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Bathhouse and snack counter planned for Hingham Bathing Beach

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  August 2, 2012 02:56 PM

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The Hingham Trustees of the Bathing Beach can now move on to soliciting bids for a bathhouse, after receiving the state’s approval this week to lease the land.

Governor Deval Patrick approved the special legislation, which was passed in recent weeks by the Legislature.

The legislation allows the town to lease a portion of the Bathing Beach, namely the 44-year-old building located on the property, to a private vendor that will be charged with renovating and operating a bathhouse and snack shack.

“This legislation enables the town, through the Trustees, to enhance the public enjoyment and continued maintenance of the structure,” state Representative Garrett Bradley said in a release. “Funds derived from the lease agreement will help the Trustees support and improve the bathhouse and the property on which it sits.”

Hingham Town Meeting approved the lease of the land in Special Town Meeting in October 2011.

At the time, Bathing Beach Trustees said there was support from the project exhibited through the Harbor Task Force. The trustees expect the lease term would be for 10 years.

“The third-party lessee would be required to supply the funds necessary for most of the improvements, and would contract with a general contractor for that purpose,” the warrant article stated.

The snack stand’s service counter will probably face the beach parking lot. In addition to the stand and bathhouse upgrades, the septic system at the site would also be improved, using money from mooring permits.

“Success of this project might generate money for the Town,” the warrant said. “While it would be desirable to strike the most profitable deal possible with the lessee, the Trustees’ chief concern is to complete the improvements in a way that enhances public enjoyment.”

State Senator Robert Hedlund also commended the passage of the legislation.

“The passage of this legislation enables the Town of Hingham and the Trustees to better maintain existing structures while increasing access to facilities and creating a better experience for the public,” he said in a release.

Joan Willians, chariman of the Trustees of the Bathing Beach, said the group hasn’t discussed next steps, but said the town will need to put out bids for the project before any type of construction can occur.

“We have to get is somebody who wants to do it. Somebody who wants to have a snack shop down at the beach and is willing to put the money in to repairing it. Until we get some bids in on that, I can’t give you [a timeline],” she said.

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