WEEK AHEAD: Critical Special Town Meeting Saturday; Booster drive Sunday; Abington Celebrates all weekend; absentee ballots available; meeting schedule

The outcomes from this Saturday’s Special Town Meeting could resonate for decades.

We’ll pause for a moment…

One more time: the outcomes from this Saturday’s Special Town Meeting — gavel falls at 9 a.m. — could resonate for decades. Not years. Decades.

There’s the $38.5 million proposed fire station/ public works complex off Central Street. There’s also the proposed zoning changes at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station, which, potentially, could finally unlock the site’s full redevelopment potential.

Both projects have long-term implications for Abington, in terms of land use, delivery of municipal services, tax rates, traffic, and more.

The fire department wants to consolidate its two aging stations into one central station next to the police station, establishing Central Street has the home of the town’s emergency response services. The public works department is looking to replace its even older buildings with facilities that don’t leak, have updated electrical systems, and aren’t structurally suspect.

The fire station and public works department project would cost $38.5 million, which is down significantly from the original $58 million pricetag, but still high enough to give some pause considering the town’s reliance on residential property taxes. The average residential tax bill has grown 41% since 2015 due to skyrocketing homeprices, while commercial valuations and tax bills have actually shrunk. A yes vote would increase the average residential tax bill by another $310 while the 30-year bond is paid off.

The amount of residential and commercial property in town that can be taxed, per the state Department of Revenue. Values are in the 000,000s.

But not doing the project still leaves the fire and public works departments operating from outdated structures older than the average town resident (Abington’s median age: 39.8 years) and construction isn’t getting cheaper. The town’s fire equipment will still barely fit in the existing stations. Firefighters will leave their soot covered gear and equipment feet from where they eat. Public works employees will hope the buckling salt shed remains standing in the next storm and the holes in the garage roofs don’t get any bigger.

Meanwhile, the master developer for the long-stalled South Weymouth Naval Air Station project says it needs a more flexible, unified zoning structure to attract possible commercial and residential development. The former air base site — legally known as Southfield, but marketed under the name of Union Point — features more than 100 acres of land in Abington, approximately 70 of which would be targeted for development. The master developers say after full build-out — which will take a couple decades to complete — Abington should net $4-5 million annually in “profit” after covering the cost of increased services. But there’s also some who feel, after eight decades of use, the land should be allowed to return to nature. Plus, after 25 years and multiple master developers, there’s also healthy skepticism whether any group can tame this wild beast.

What happens if Town Meeting says “No” to the rezoning request on Saturday? It’s unclear. But likely not great. A representative from the master developer has said in public meetings it needs full agreement between Abington, Rockland, and Weymouth to proceed — it can’t have two yesses and a no, for example, or three separate zoning plans. If all three towns don’t approve, the master developer won’t guarantee it will stick around, leaving Southfield Redevelopment Authority with another failed start and $40 million in debt bonds.

If Abington does approve the plan, it could also open the door to a solution to one of the town’s biggest long-term problems: water. If Southfield decides an MWRA water line isn’t worth the multi-year wait, it could instead turn to the Aquaria desalinazation plant as its main water source. That line would come straight up Route 18 through Whitman to Weymouth. ‘Twould be mighty easy for the Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works to tap into that line.

Either way the town votes Saturday morning the repercussions could be long-lasting.


Abington’s annual fall/Halloween/Oktoberfest celebration is this weekend with lots of activities planned. It kicks off Friday night with a “Stein & Wine Paint Night” at the American Legion Post, continues Saturday with a number of events including the Not-So-Scary-Woods, and finishes Sunday with the Oktoberfest Family Celebration. More details available in the image below or through the Abington Celebrates Facebook page.


The annual Abington/Rockland football grudge match is this Friday and it marks the final time Green Wave Head Coach Jim Kelliher will take on the Bulldogs. Kelliher is retiring this season after 50 years as head coach. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Memorial Field. Rockland has won the last four meetings between the teams. Abington comes into the game 4-1 and ranked #5 in Division 6 football. Rockland is 5-0 and ranked #2 in Division 7.

Absentee ballots for the Special Town Election to be held on Saturday, October 21 are now available.

Voters will be asked to approve a temporary tax increase to pay for a new fire station/ public works complex — assuming Special Town Meeting approves the project concept this Saturday. Under state law, a debt exclusion override automatically comes off the books once the bond is paid off.

Voters who will be absent from the Town on election day during the polling hours and those who are unable to vote in person may vote absentee or early. Applications are available in the Town Clerks Office or online at http://www.sec.state.ma.us. Voters can also make a written request through the Town Clerk’s Office by Monday October 16, at 5 p.m.

Absentee/early voting takes place in the Town Clerk’s Office until Noon on Friday Oct. 20. Office hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The polling hours on Election Day are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. All precincts vote at the Beaver Brook Elementary School. For questions regarding absentee voting, call the Town Clerk’s office at 781-982-2112 or email lmadams@abingtonma.gov.


The Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works is continuing its fall hydrant flushing schedule this week. The department is sending out anticipated locations through town email alerts, and posting updates on the town website. Why do they need to flush out the hydrants and water mains? Here’s some info.


The Abington High Boosters’ biggest fundraiser of the year is this Sunday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Green Wave athletes will be going door to door raising money to help support the high school’s sports programs. Check and cash accepted.



No Meets



Tuesday, 3 p.m., vs Cardinal Spellman High School @ The Valley

Wednesday, 3 p.m., @ East Bridgewater Jr./Sr. High School @ Ridder

Thursday, 2:30 p.m., @ Cardinal Spellman High School

Junior Varsity

Tuesday, 3 p.m., @ South Shore Technical High School

Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., vs East Bridgewater Jr./Sr. High School



Friday, 7 p.m., vs Rockland High School

Junior Varsity

Monday, 10 a.m., vs Sandwich Middle/High School


Thursday, 4:30 p.m., vs Brockton High School



Tuesday, 5:15 p.m., vs. Sandwich Middle/High School

Thursday, 4 p.m., vs. Middleborough High School

Junior Varsity

Tuesday, 3:45 p.m., vs Sandwich Middle/High School

Thursday, 4 p.m., vs Middleborough High School

Friday, 4 p.m., @ Hingham High School



Tuesday, 5:15 p.m., @ Sandwich Middle/High School

Thursday, 3:30 p.m., @ Middleborough High School

Junior Varsity

Tuesday, 3:45 p.m., @ Sandwich Middle/High School

Thursday, 3:30 p.m., @ Middleborough High School



Wednesday, 5:15 p.m., @ Middleborough High School

Friday, 5:15 p.m., vs Rockland High School

Junior Varsity

Wednesday, 4 p.m., @ Middleborough High School

Friday, 4 p.m., vs Rockland High School


Wednesday, 4 p.m., @ Middleborough High School

Friday, 4 p.m., vs Rockland High School




Affordable Housing Trust Fund Committee, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes South Shore Habitat for Humanity’s request to build a house on a portion of Griffin’s Dairy or other town-owned sites, a vote on CPA requests, and a discussion on the action plan.


Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works, 3:30 p.m., 366 Cetre Ave. Agenda includes water allotment for 1015 Plymouth Street and 695 Bedford Street, a proposed project at the Harmon Club, and a possible senior discount.

Historical Commission, 6:30 p.m., Dyer Memorial Library. Agenda includes discussion on working closer with the Historical Society of Old Abington, a vote on possible CPA projects, the grant application for updating the town’s historical places.


Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes 46 Beaver Lane, 36 Daniel Drive, 263 Lincoln Street, 469 Hancock Street.

Conservation Commission, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes 0 Summer Street, complaints involving tree companies, 154 Brockton Avenue, 95 Niles Street.

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