standing letters

This letter is in response to Ms. Hutchinson’s letter pleading for more grocery markets in Hopkinton.

The geology and hydrology of Hopkinton are very limiting. The glacier took all our primordial top soils and scraped them to Charlestown and the muds out to Block Island, leaving us with a thin layer of coarse glacial till and boulders sitting on impervious bedrock in most of the town. Very few places in Hopkinton contain the proper soils rich in humus to treat sewage especially the wastes of a major grocery market.

In addition, we have no reservoir or remote production aquifer from which to draw large volumes of potable water. When Richmond’s in-town aquifer became contaminated with leaking gas station fuels and a dry cleaner’s chemicals, they were lucky enough to locate a public water source north of the village that now serves the developed area. Locating such a resource in Hopkinton that isn’t already compromised by golf course chemicals or fuels and wastes from the Connecticut border stations, hotels and restaurants would be nearly impossible and extremely expensive to develop. Even if located and developed, dealing with the sewage in our federally declared groundwater sole source aquifer would necessitate the installation of extraordinarily expensive tertiary treatment, like Foxwoods, for any large market or development. In Hopkinton, we cannot use our rivers for sewage discharge, since they are surface expressions of our only source of drinking water, groundwater.

So, in Hopkinton, please realize the limitations on development. It wasn’t people that stopped a federal prison, “Big Box,” Six Flags, a dog track, a high-tech medical facility, or the state’s Visitors’ Center, it was Hopkinton’s geology and hydrology, things we humans can’t change. Some communities are just destined to remain rural, so “love it or leave it” should be added to our motto, because we should never compromise our meager resources for mere human convenience.

Mimi Karlsson

Hope Valley

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(1) comment

jeff gilman

Jeez Mimi, I don't believe grocery stores put much effluent into their ISDS nor do I believe everyone who goes to the grocery store needs to pee every visit. I presume the soils around all of our schools have the same geology and their ISDS's function properly. No?? All of the potential developments nixed by Hopkinton over the past decades have been a result of the mentality of "Just Say No to Commercial Development" even when the Comp Plan and Zoning support it. It has never been the constraints of an ISDS.

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