Hingham Special Town Meeting Approves Purchase of Land to Build Fire and Police Station


Robin Chan from Wicked Local

Hingham residents attend special town meeting to vote on approving the purchase of land for the new fire and police station.

Keely Jordan, Co-Editor-in-Cheif

On Saturday, November 21st, a special town meeting held behind the highschool voted to approve the purchase of a three-acre plot of land to build a new police and fire station. A narrow 12 votes approved the project. 

The purchase will be worth 5,525,000 dollars and will buy a lot at 335 Lincoln Street. The town proposes that it will pay for the land using unassigned funds or by borrowing money. 

This new building would be able to replace the North Fire Station and police headquarters on North Street. The senior center will take the place of the old police station, expanding the existing senior center to fit the space.

In June, the town approved an investigation into what purchasing this land would entail. The town priced the study for 250,000 dollars. It also approved a new building committee for the public safety building, establishing a price of 525,000 dollars for design and engineering. 

In October, Kaestle Boos, the engineering company in charge of the project, that that construction would cost around 34 million dollars. In total, the project will likely cost the town 39.6 million dollars. 

Nancy MacDonald, a member of the Advisory Committee, stated that despite the vote last week, the town is still in the very beginning stages of the project. She declared the only reason that Hingham held the meeting when it did was that the current owner of the land insisted on a purchase deadline on November 30th. The project will not be able to continue without the approval of Town Meeting Voters on later steps of the project. 

Why Build a New Fire and Police Station in the First Place? 

The current North Fire Station is far too small for modern fire equipment, according to town leaders. It lacks separate living quarters for men and women firefighters, nor does it have enough space to decontaminate gear properly. The building is 80 years old. According to Fire Chief Steve Murphy, “It’s reached its limitations.”

When it comes to the police station, located inside of town hall, it too does not hold enough space. It needs more space for meetings, training, and parking. 

The Foster School Debate

It is well known throughout the town of Hingham that Foster Elementary School is quite literally falling apart. Much of the debate revolved around whether the new development would overshadow the Foster School project. 

The ultimate decision of the meeting was that the town should avoid pitting two equally valiant projects against each other. It concluded that we must focus on the police station and not let Foster School hold back the development of this project. The town is still seeking state funds for the Foster School project, and it would be irresponsible to pass up on this opportunity while waiting for that funding. 


The vote was decided by a two-thirds majority, with 314 votes in favor and 139 opposed. The motion needed 302 to pass, narrowly meeting the minimum by 12 votes.