Ward Street Grass Roots

A Hingham organization fighting for rational use of our Town’s resources

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Linden Ponds Residents

Vote NO at Town Meeting on Warrant Article 46.

Preserve 13 acres of Open Space.  Protect our environment.

Don’t risk a dramatic rise in Linden Pond’s real estate tax assessment.

As a resident of Linden Ponds there are five concerns you should have about the turf fields proposed for Ward Street.

There are three that relate to Town Finances. Any one of these could lead to a significant increase in Town expenses that will directly increase Linden Pond’s real estate tax assessment and thus your monthly expenses.

The first is that there is a real chance that at the end of the 8 – 10 year life of the two fields there will be insufficient reserve funds available to remove the old fields and install new fields. It is estimated that there will be 800 tons of toxic crumb rubber / silica sand mix that will need disposal at a significant cost. Crumb rubber classified as a “Special Waste” by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “Special Waste” requires significant costs in the monitoring and ultimate disposal. Another “Special Waste” is asbestos, and we know how much that costs to transport and how difficult it is to dispose in the Commonwealth. This is an expense that will belong to the Town of Hingham.

Second, this is removing a 13 acre parcel from the Open Space of the Town of Hingham. This parcel will need to be replaced. Depending upon location, it is not unreasonable to estimate that the new parcel would cost in excess of $1 million. Where will these funds come from? Hingham taxpayers of course.

Third, in addition to the cost of Crumb Rubber disposal as a “Special Waste”, there is also the concern of toxins leaching from the Crumb Rubber while on the turf fields. The type of rubber pellets used to populate artificial turf fields, have been tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory and found to leach Lead, Zinc, Selenium and Cadmium when exposed, over time, to water.  If this happens, Hingham will face an extraordinary environmental problem. The secondary water supply for the Town in in this sensitive watershed area. The cost to Hingham taxpayers would be extreme for years into the future. The nations two largest cities (New York and Los Angeles) have banned the construction new new Turf Fields that propose to use crumb rubber.

Fourth, there is the traffic concern. The single field is used 300 hours per year. The 2 new Turf Fields need to be used at least 2,300 hours per year.  To be financially viable, many of the rental hours must come from teams outside of the Town of Hingham. Town teams get a substantial reduction in fees, so we need to bring in many playing hours from non-Hingham Teams. Between the extended hours of use and the need for outside Teams, the traffic increase in South Hingham will be staggering.

Finally, and to the point of the upcoming Town Vote on Article 46, there are those 80′ lights. These are unprecedented in Hingham. The plan to have these bright lights will bring a strong glow in the Eastern Sky from Linden Ponds. But more than that will be the roaring noise from the cheering crowds at the 2 Turf Fields. The Recreation Commission plans to hold evening football games in the Fall. The proponents want to light the fields till 9 PM on Friday and Saturday evenings. Imagine the raucous sounds that will overwhelm your peaceful evening strolls,  enjoying the wonderful colors of a warm Fall evening.

These commercially lighted, artificial Turf Fields are not consistent with the rural nature of South Hingham, especially Ward Street.