Hingham: Experts Present Financial Info on Aquarion Purchase

The Town of Hingham is considering the purchase of the Aquarion Water Company, and heard reports from two experts hired by the Board of Selectmen on possible impacts if the town were to purchase the company.

Jim Dondero, the Managing Director at Andersen Tax, says residents could see savings.

“There’s a $50 million savings over the 30 years when you’re paying for it,” said Dondero. “Then after that, there’s $7.4 million every year that the town saves, because they don’t have to have a profit, they don’t have to pay income taxes, all those cost savings.”

If the town were to purchase, the company would be operated by an enterprise fund, supported by rate payers.

Julie Keim, a Principal at BerryDunn, says the town was accurate in its assumptions and models for future rates. One area of focus was Mains Replacement Adjustment Mechanism (MRAM) for Aquarion.

“Basically what that means is that they need to put in a lot of capital expenditures to get infrastructure up and running. Aquarion really wanted to get that recovered sooner rather than later. Instead of going in for rates every time they did this increase, they just wanted to get this additional surcharge,” said Keim. “Consumers, customers, rate payers are going to see that surcharge on their bill. It’s going to be something they’re interested in, and something we wanted to make sure we understand how it was applied.”

The presentations will be posted on the Hingham town website. The discussion continues at the next Water Company Acquisition Study Committee Meeting on Tuesday January 15th at 7:30 p.m.

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About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny left the City of Boston and now lives in Rockland. Lenny has covered both news and sports, from the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com