The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of April 1 to April 8, 2021
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Search Committee and Community Paradigm Associates Present Three Finalists for Town Manager Position to BoS

At a special meeting of the Winchendon Board of Selectmen on Monday, March 29, the Search Committee appointed by the Board, and Bernard Lynch of the municipal consulting firm Community Paradigm Associates presented their three finalists for the position of Town Manager. Thomas M. Guerino, Nina Nazarian, and Justin Sultzbach will be interviewed by the Board of Selectmen next week.

The Search Committee consisted of five citizens--Ryan Forsythe, Jane LaPointe, Felicia Nurmsen, Carly Antonellis, and Jill Sackett--Greg Vine representing the School Committee and Thomas Kane representing the Finance Committee. Mr. Kane chaired the Search Committee.

Describing the selection process, Mr. Kane said, "We met as a committee for the first time on March 4. We met with Mr. Lynch, who really walked us through the process...what Community Paradigm was going to do and what our roles were as members of the Search Committee. Essentially from that first meeting, the advertising for the position had taken place, Mr. Lynch collected the [twenty] applications that came in and we met again on March 10 to review those applications. We then reviewed all the applications and settled on a selection of six semi-finalists to interview. We scheduled those interviews for Friday, March 19, and we spent a full day that day conducting the interviews. We interviewed the six candidates. We met afterwards and made a decision to reduce the six candidates down to three finalists."

Mr. Lynch added that the committee met from 8:00 a.m. until after 6:00 p.m. on March 19, conducting six interviews via Zoom and then discussing the candidates. This included a "working lunch hour" during which they continued discussions while eating.

The Board of Selectmen thanked the committee for their dedication and their many hours of hard work.

Mr. Lynch provided some information about each finalist, presenting them in alphabetical order.

Thomas M. Guerino (LinkedIn profile) has decades of experience in municipal management. He served as the Town Administrator for Bourne, Massachusetts from 2005 until September, 2019. He was Executive Director of the Massachusetts Rural Development Council for a number of years. He served for fifteen years, from 1986 until 2001, as Municipal Manager and Economic Development Director for the Town of Rockingham/Bellows Falls Village Corporation in Vermont. He holds a B.A. from the University of Southern Maine.

Addressing Mr. Guerino's departure from Bourne, Mr. Lynch said, "Tom and the Board [of Bourne] came to an agreement after fourteen years, all parties felt it was time to head in different directions for all of them. Tom is currently in a role of Executive Director of the Greenfield Housing Authority. That does not show up here on his career experience because that's more of a short term position, he's helping out there."

The Courier learned that Mr. Guerino lives in Vermont and commuted to his job in Bourne and other locations. During 2020, he served as the Interim Town Manager of Vernon, Vermont. His salary at Greenfield Housing Authority is reported to be approximately $117,000 per year.

During his fourteen years as the Town Administrator in Bourne, Mr. Guerino dealt with several difficult situations and some friction between himself and the Board. (See Town administrator bids farewell by Paul Gately, Wicked Local Bourne.) In 2018, he received a letter of reprimand and a six-day suspension after approving the transfer of an employee who had resigned, in violation of the town charter (see Bourne selectmen, town administrator to part ways, Cape Cod Times.) His severance package included a full year's salary, requiring the Board to request $122,000 in additional funds from the town to pay his successor's salary. Bourne Select Board Chair Judith Froman gave Mr. Guerino an "unsatisfactory" evaluation for his last year as Town Administrator, but upgraded the review to "satisfactory" after the three-month transition period, according to the Cape Cod Times. Immediately following his departure from Bourne, Mr. Guerino served as a consultant for the neighboring town of Wareham. He has been a finalist for several positions around Massachusetts since leaving Bourne.

In July of 2020, the Town of Hadley, Massachusetts announced that it had offered the position of Town Administrator to Mr. Guerino, contingent upon a satisfactory negotiation of the contract. The position was advertised with an annual salary range of $90,000 to $110,000. In 2018, Mr. Guerino was paid $167,501 in salary by the town of Bourne. In August, the Hadley Select Board offered the position to another candidate, Carolyn Brennan, after contract negotiations with Mr. Guerino reportedly "fell through."

In 2012, Mr. Guerino was offered the position of Town Manager by Longmeadow, Massachusetts, but withdrew from consideration after contract negotiations with the Longmeadow Select Board broke down. Longmeadow Select Board Chair Paul Santaniello said, "It just didn't work out. It was definitely a financial issue." At that time, Mr. Guerino's salary in Bourne was $138,000. The position in Longmeadow was advertised at a salary range of $115,000 to $135,000, according to The Reminder, a local news source.

The second finalist, Nina Nazarian (LinkedIn profile), is familiar to the Winchendon Selectmen, as she was one of two finalists for the Interim Town Manager position in December. (See Board of Selectmen Special Minutes 12-30-2020 for a transcription of Ms. Nazarian's interview, beginning on page 4.)

As reported by the Courier in December, Ms. Nazarian most recently served as the Town Manager for Littleton, Massachusetts, having resigned from that position as of July 31, 2020. She had been there since February, 2019. Ms. Nazarian holds a B.A. from University of Lowell and a Masters in Public Administration from Suffolk University, and lives in Fitchburg. She is currently doing Project Management for the city of Medford, Massachusetts. Mr. Lynch told the Board that the Mayor of Medford "cannot sing her praises enough."

Ms. Nazarian began her career in 2007 as assistant civil engineer in Melrose, Massachusetts. From 2008 to 2012 she served as Project Manager for the Tewksbury, Massachusetts DPW, becoming Acting Town Engineer in 2012. She was the Town Administrator for Tyngsboro, Massachusetts until 2015.

In August of 2015, Ms. Nazarian was one of three finalists for Town Administrator in Princeton, Massachusetts. She was offered the position after another candidate, Michael Splaine, accepted the town's first offer and resigned after three days. In February, 2019, Ms. Nazarian was a finalist for Town Administrator in Littleton, Massachusetts, and was offered the position after another candidate, Steven Sadwick, was offered the job first and declined the town's offer.

On March 9, 2021, Metrowest Daily News reported that Ms. Nazarian was one of three finalists for the position of Executive Assistant in Hudson, Massachusetts. She was passed over for candidate Thomas Gregory, it was reported on March 23.

The third finalist is Justin Sultzbach (LinkedIn profile). Younger and with a shorter resume than Mr. Guerino and Ms. Nazarian, Mr. Sultzbach is currently the Assistant Town Administrator for Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, a position he has held since August, 2017. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Tax Assessor and Principal Account Clerk in the Office of the Treasurer for the city of Watertown, Massachusetts. Mr. Lynch told the Board that Mr. Sultzbach worked on Beacon Hill for Senator Mark C. Montigny (D-2nd Bristol and Plymouth District) and "comes highly recommended."

Mr. Sultzbach holds a M.S. in Public Policy from Suffolk University and a B.A. in Political Science from Franklin Pierce University, where he was President of the Student Government Association.

The Board of Selectmen will interview all three finalists in person in the Town Hall auditorium on Monday, April 5, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The public will be able to view the interviews but there will be no comments or questions permitted. (Meeting information here.) The Board will meet in person in the Town Hall auditorium on Wednesday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. to make their final decision. (Meeting information here.)

Municipal Vulnerability Listening Session #2 FINAL DRAFT

The Municipal Vulnerability Plan (MVP) Plan assess the town’s vulnerability to and prepare for climate change impacts, build community resilience, and receive designation from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) as a Climate Change Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program municipality. Winchendon is in its final stages of drafting the MVP plan. Please join us for the final listening session to offer comment on the draft April 6, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.

Join the ZOOM meeting at:

Draft document can be fouund here: Microsoft Word - 2021_Winchendon_HMP_MVP_FINAL 20210201 (PDF)

Subway Catering for Holidays ad

COVID-19 Vaccination Information - Gardner Clinic

As of Thursday, February 18, Winchendon seniors aged 65 and up are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.

Clinics for the Gardner Regional COVID Vaccination Center will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, dependent on the delivery of the vaccine from the State.

Registration for clinics will take place on Mondays and Fridays beginning at 10:00 a.m. To register online, visit or by calling the City's Registration Call Center at 978-958-9057. Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Clinics will take place at the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC), 17 Kendall Pond Road West, Gardner MA 01440.

2021 Proposed Revisions to Charter and Bylaw Now Available to View

In compliance with Section 7.6 of the Town Charter, Town Moderator, Coral Grout, appointed seven residents and Town employees to the Charter Bylaw Review Committee. The Committee was formed in November 2020 and has met several times over recent months to review and edit the Charter and Bylaw where needed. Public input was sought and Department Heads were asked to provide their input as well. These proposed changes were presented to the Board of Selectmen at their March 8, 2021 meeting. They have been reviewed by Town Counsel and the final proposed changes will be presented to the citizens at the May 17, 2021 Annual Town Meeting for approval. If approved by the voters, the changes will then be sent to the Attorney General's Office for final approval.

The proposed revisions to the Charter and Bylaw are now available to be viewed at the following link:

Central Mass Tree

Local Organic Farmers to Host Workshop: Mushroom Growing

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting a workshop regarding Mushroom Growing on April 10th from 10:00 to noon at the farm in Barre. Join the cast and crew at Many Hands Organic Farm for 2 hours of hands on learning. We’ll be hefting logs, plugging them with shitake spawn, and sealing the plugs over with cheese wax. When we’re done with that we’ll start our first ever oyster totems, using poplar logs. Potluck lunch to follow, questions encouraged, comraderie required. Registration is available on the Many Hands Organic Farm website at

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

COVID Numbers Rising as Vaccinations Creep Ahead

COVID-19 numbers are rising in Massachusetts as the state proceeds with Govenor Baker's reopening plans, elementary school students prepare to return to full-time in-person classes on Monday, and vaccination appointments remain scarce and elusive for residents outside of metropolitan areas. The state continues to place the highest priority on "mass vaccination sites," the most recently opened being the Hynes Convention Center in downtown Boston.

22.8 percent of Winchendon residents have received at least one vaccine dose as of April 1. This is well below the state-wide number of 32.9 percent.

Winchendon's official case count is now 653 (that's total confirmed cases since March). This is an increase of 22 cases from the previous week. As of March 30, 829 tests had been done in Winchendon in the previous 14 days, and 40 tests returned a positive result. This slightly increases Winchendon's two-week percent positivity to 4.83 percent, up from 3.16 percent the previous week. Winchendon still appears as yellow (moderate risk) on the color-coded list of Massachusetts towns. Of surrounding towns, Athol, Orange and Templeton have returned to "red" status. Ashburnham, Fitchburg, Gardner, and Westminster remain yellow or lower. The total number of Massachusetts towns in the highest risk category has increased by 72 percent. 55 towns are now designated as "red" or highest risk, up from 32 last week.

The MA Department of Public Health announced that as of Thursday, April 1, there have been 600,632 confirmed cases in Massachusetts (14,334 in the previous week), with 16,876 fatalities (205 in the previous week). The rate of new cases across the state is rising steadily, largely because of increased cases among younger people. Deaths and hospitalizations remain at a steady level.

Massachusetts moved to Step 2 of Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan as of Monday, March 1.

In Phase 3, Step 2 of the plan, indoor performance venues such as concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces may re-open at 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 500 persons. Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact, such as laser tag, roller skating, trampolines and obstacle courses may open at 50 percent capacity.

The following businesses or sites may open at 50 percent capacity, not including staff and employees:

  • Arcades & Other Indoor and Outdoor Recreation Businesses
  • Close Contact Personal Services
  • Driving and Flight Schools
  • Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
  • Golf Facilities (indoor)
  • Libraries
  • Operators of Lodging (common spaces)
  • Museums, Cultural & Historic Facilities, Guided Tours
  • Office Spaces
  • Places of Worship
  • Sectors not Otherwise Addressed
  • Theaters and Performance Venues
  • Relevant EEA Industries – Youth sports spectators and so on
Restaurants will have no capacity limit, but must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between tables. Parties are limited to six persons per table and can remain at the table no longer than 90 minutes. Open food courts (such as in malls) must remain closed. Musical performances will be allowed in restaurants with appropriate distancing.

Retail stores selling clothes may re-open fitting rooms.

Under Step 1, Phase 4, large capacity sports and entertainment venues may open at a strict limit of 12 percent capacity. Exhibition and convention halls may open, following gathering limits, dance floors may open and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this summer. Gathering limits in event venues and public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 outdoors. The limits for private gatherings will remain at 25 persons outdoors and 10 persons indoors in private homes.

Travelers arriving in Massachusetts from other states are now recommended, but not required, to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they have had a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours. Massachusetts residents travelling to Maine are no longer required by that state to quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

Vaccination appointments are now open to persons aged 60 and up, and persons with at least one of the following eligible medical conditions: Asthma (moderate-to-severe), Cancer, Chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Down Syndrome, Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher), Pregnancy, Sickle cell disease, Smoking, and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

As of Thursday, April 1, 2,268,511 persons (32.9 percent of the state population) have received the first dose of vaccine. 1,370,079 (19.9 percent of the state population) have received two doses (or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and are fully vaccinated.

Complete Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report, Thursday, April 1 (PDF, 79 pages)

Gov. Baker stresses the vital importance of wearing masks and face coverings at all times, in public or private, whenever people are not alone or in the sole company of their immediate household members. Employees must wear face masks at work except in individual work spaces or alone, and communal break rooms should be closed or limited. Persons using gyms must wear face masks at all times, even while exercising.

Face masks are required for anyone over the age of 5 in any public setting, indoors or outdoors, whether they are maintaining a six-foot distance or not. Anyone who steps outside their home anywhere must be wearing a mask.

As with existing rules, fines of up to $500 may be imposed for failure to comply with protocols in force. Full details are available in the following documents:

Revised Governor's Order Required Face Coverings (PDF)

For full details and updates on Massachusetts state-wide COVID-19 news and restrictions, see There is a new state webpage on stopping COVID, You Have the Power to Save a Life. The Montachusett Public Health Network COVID-19 Hotline number, answering questions about the COVID-19 situation, is 1-844-968-3323.

For complete details, see the overview on the website. Download the complete, 29-page report at Reopening Massachusetts (PDF).

Below is an updated list of the COVID-19 arrangements made by Winchendon community services, centers, organizations and businesses, as far as the Courier was able to determine as of Thursday, April 1. Changes have been happening very quickly and without notice, so call or check the websites or Facebook pages of a business or organization for the most up to date information. (Winchendon businesses or organizations who would like to be added to this list, or change their information, should email with details.)

Winchendon Public Schools
All elementary school students will return to full day regular classes as of April 5, by mandate of the Commissioner of Education. Parents may opt for all-remote learning if they don't wish their children to attend in-person class, but there will be no hybrid classes. Middle school students will return to full day classes as of April 28, and high school students at a later date. Elementary classes will be meeting at Murdock Middle High School as the HVAC system at Toy Town is still being repaired.

Town Hall
During Phase 3, Town Hall remains closed to the public for general business, except for some Boards and committees that have resumed in-person meetings which the public may attend (masks are required). Most staff will continue to work from home, but are responding to emails and phone calls (expect a delay). Most bills can be paid and applications submitted online, and payments can be dropped off in the dropbox by the Front Street entrance to the building. See agendas for Board and Committee meetings for detailed information on whether meetings will be in person or held remotely via Zoom, and how to attend.

The transfer station is OPEN for regular hours. Residents using the transfer station should complete their visit quickly and maintain a six-foot distance from each other and from attendants.

The Police Station and Fire Station are fully staffed but closed to walk-in visits by the general public. Call 911 for emergencies only and the business numbers for general questions and calls (Police: 978-297-1212; Fire: 978-297-2324). See each department's Facebook page for ongoing updates and information.

Old Murdock Senior Center
Closed to the public. The Center is starting an Intergenerational Pen Pal program in collaboration with The Winchendon School to help seniors and younger people connect. Call the Center for more information. Staff are at work and continue to deliver lunches to seniors, as well as bags of groceries. The Center is also delivering loaner books and jigsaw puzzles to seniors. Essential transportation offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact them if you're a senior and need groceries or medications. See their Facebook page for updates. 978-297-3155.

Beals Memorial Library
Will be allowing the public inside the building by appointment only as of March 22. Only 4 people inside at one time, 30-minute appointments. Restrooms will not be open and computers will not be available. See their Facebook page for more details.
Interlibrary Loan is now available. Copying and Fax service is available: make an appointment for dropping off and picking up materials. Payment due at drop-off (b/w copies $0.10 per side, color copies $0.25 per side, faxes $1.00 per page).
Building remains closed to the public, all programs, events and meetings suspended until further notice. The library is waiting for air quality tests and approval from the state and there is a long backlog of libraries and public buildings ahead of them. Library materials may be borrowed via pickup in the library lobby or curbside. Patrons can reserve items over the phone (978-297-0300), by email or online. Pickup will be by appointment. Patrons must be wearing masks to enter the side door lobby, one at a time. Only physical items owned by Beals Memorial Library are available until further notice (no interlibrary loans). You can borrow library e-resources through the Beals website. (If you have a library card, you can use the Libby app to borrow ebooks via your cell phone.) Library materials can be returned in the outside drop box. Overdue fines are waived for the time being. Check the Beals Facebook page for video book readings by Library Director Manuel King.

Used book and media sale on Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:00 p.m. by appointment. Books and magazines by free donation, puzzles for $5, DVDs, music, video games and audio books $1. All proceeds go to future library programs and events. Call for an appointment.

BealsCon has been rescheduled to June, 2022 as it appears uncertain that the pandemic will subside enough in 2021 for an event of this kind.

Clark Memorial YMCA
Open under Phase 3 guidelines. Registration open for this summer's Camp Clark. Hiring lifeguards and swim instructors. For full details, see their Facebook page or website.

Full day child care for school age children starting September 14, 6:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m., $150 per week. Call 978-297-9622 or email Kyle Scrivines at with questions.

Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC)
Clothing room is now open to the public--limit of 4 persons at a time, masks required.
Produce Market each Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Accepting SNAP/HIP and cash payment, open to all.
The CAC frequently has excess food at the end of the week and puts out last minute calls asking people to come get food--watch their Facebook page, especially Thursday and Friday.
Tutoring/mentoring program for WPS students in conjunction with The Winchendon School. Limited space, call 978-297-1667 to get on the list.

NEW HOURS. CLOSED MONDAYS. Open Friday 8:00-3:00 with pantry 9:00-1:00. Public is allowed inside the building by appointment, three appointments per 30 minutes. NO ADMITTANCE WITHOUT MASK AND HANDS SANITIZED IN AND OUT WITH PROVIDED SANITIZER. CAC Haven of Hope is open to provide services during business hours, including showers, laundry, pre-made meals and relaxation area. Accepting donations, see new guidelines. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and information, or call 978-297-1667.

Winchendon American Legion Post 193
Building closed until further notice, due to COVID restrictions. See post on their Facebook page.

Winchendon History and Cultural Center
Seppie's Ice Cream Parlor remains closed until further notice. See their Facebook page for updates about future events. 978-297-2142.

The Dance Center
Studios open for in-person dance classes. Online virtual dance classes and activities continue. See their Facebook page for more information. 978-297-5678.


Carriage House Restaurant
Open for indoor dining. See their Facebook page for menus, hours and specials. 978-297-1089.

Christo's Place
Open for take-out only. Note temporary new hours: Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. & Fri-Sat-Sun 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Pay-by-phone, curbside pickup and free delivery available. Christo's family and staff ask that as few people as possible come inside the store to pick up orders, to help keep everyone safer. 978-297-1142.

C & S Pizza
Open for take-out only. 978-297-2202.

Dunkin Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only.

Friends Garden
OPEN for take-out only as of May 1. 978-297-2277, 978-297-2278.

Gabby's Pizza
Re-opening on Monday, April 5. Back open for take-out only. Check their Facebook page for updates. Note: customers MUST wear a mask to come inside to pick up orders. 978-297-3909.

The Glen Caffe
Open for dine-in and take-out, Thurs-Sat 4:00-8:00 p.m. 978-297-0800. Still preparing take-out meals for sale at Not Just Produced, 290 Central St.

Gourmet Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only. No refills of reusable cups for sanitary reasons. You can call ahead with your order and it will be ready to pick up. 978-297-9700

The Harbour Sports Bar
Indoor seating for meals. Check their Facebook page for hours, menus and updates. Customers are encouraged to order online at 978-297-2133

Hometown Cafe
Limited indoor dining. Will be closed Easter Sunday. Menu, including daily specials, posted on their Facebook page. Customers are asked to wear masks when picking up orders, and to call in orders ahead if possible. 978-297-2233.

Lickity Splitz
OPEN for the season, see their Facebook page for info and specials. 978-297-1777.

Little Anthony's & Little Lizzie's
New hours, see their Facebook page. Open for indoor dining. Open for take-out, pickup at Little Lizzie's ice cream window. Menu and online ordering may be done here. Beer and wine available for take-out. Local delivery available. Local ice cream now available. 978-297-2669, 978-297-1880.

Murdock Farm and Dairy Bar
Will open for the season on May 1.

Ruschioni's Cruisin' 12 Diner
Outdoor seating, limited indoor dining. Parties cannot be seated until everyone is present, due to space limitations. Customers are asked to respect protocols for sanitizing tables and keeping distance. Open for take-out. Will have some outside tables available. See their Facebook page for daily menus and specials. Grocery food (cheese, butter, bread, etc) available to order, cash only, delivery available. List with prices on their Facebook page. 978-616-8956.

Open for take-out only, see Facebook page for hours, weekly specials and ordering information. 978-297-0011.

Zoe's Restaurant and Pizzeria
Outdoor seating open, weather permitting. Open for indoor dining, take-out and delivery. Also offering take-out for beer and wine. See their Facebook page for menus and specials. Trivia night on Wednesday has resumed! Hiring server/bartender, apply in person. 978-297-5200.


Beaman's Bait Shop
OPEN. Ring for admittance.

Belletetes Winchendon
Open to customers.

Cumberland Farms


Family Dollar

Horse & Buggy Feeds
Garden plants, supplies. See their Facebook page for news and specials. Only eight customers inside at a time, customers are asked to maintain social distancing. 978-297-2518.

Mystical Magical Marketplace
Open Thurs-Sat, looking for vendors. Classes beginning soon. 978-297-9790.

Not Just Produced
New and additional inventory. Deli is now open. Locally grown produce and beef, local cheese. Hosting the Winchendon Mobile Market on Fridays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Packaged meals ready-to-go prepared by the Glen Caffe. Organic produce from Charlie's Redhouse Farm. Only ten customers can be inside the store at one time. New phone number: 978-297-7142. Call and order ahead for curbside pickup.

Pattie's Jewelry
Store open to the public, with limits on number of people inside at one time. See their Facebook page for daily specials and information. Hand delivery of local purchases, layaway available. 978-297-3536.

The Perennial Patch
Watch their Facebook page for updates about new season opening. 978-297-0604.

Powell Stone and Gravel
Open with Phase 3 occupancy limits. 978-297-5600.

Reflections Country Collections
See their Facebook page for hours and updates. 978-297-2411.

Rescued Treasures Second Hand Shoppe
Open Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., or by appointment. All proceeds benefit Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue. See their Facebook page for fundraising events and updates.

Robin's Retro Dolls
PM Robin for an appointment. Store currently closed to customers but Robin is buying and selling dolls by appointment, mail order, and on eBay. Contact her at 978-912-1688 with inquiries. If you have a doll to sell, text a photo to 978-912-1688 and she'll get back to you. Watch her Facebook page for updates.

Smith's Country Cheese
OPEN. Call for curbside pickup. 978-939-5738.

Sunset View Farm

To Each His Own Design
Store is open to customers. Taking orders by phone or over the internet, delivering. See their Facebook page for news and specials. 978-297-3959.

Toy Town Stained Glass
Open to public, appointments available outside general hours. Classes being held at store and Monty Tech. See their website for details. 978-297-7102.

Toy Town Treasures
Open with Phase 3 precautions. No more than eight customers inside at one time, face masks required. See their Facebook page for updates and specials. 978-297-4474.


Winchendon Furniture
Winchendon and Keene showrooms now open. Customers asked to wear face masks. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the store. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and specials. 978-297-0131.


Athol Savings Bank
Branch lobbies open to customers as of March 15. Open for drive-through, ATM, online banking and by appointment for in-person services. See their Facebook page for updates, including current hours. 978-249-3200.

Brooks Automotive
Open for Inspection stickers during business hours, no appointment needed. Open for repairs and towing services. Call or check their Facebook page for updates and hours. 978-297-2561.

Clifford P. Beauvais Insurance Agency
Open Mon-Thur 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Fri 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For emergencies outside these hours, email If possible, call or email before coming to the office. Must wear a face mask to come inside. 978-297-0472.

LaPoint Law Office
Office is closed to the public, but attorneys are responding to queries and serving existing clients. Contact them at 978-297-2390, 978-297-3673, or by fax at 978-616-8491, or by email at:,, or See their Facebook page for more information.

Tip Top Nails
Open as of June 22. 978-297-0400.

Toy Town Barber Shop
Open with precautions as of Tuesday, May 26. Customers are asked to wear masks and stay six feet apart while waiting. Advance appointments preferred. Call Sharon Esper at 603-554-2402 (cell) or 978-297-7354 (shop) to make an appointment.


The Chapel, The Chapel Downtown
Holding worship services in the chapel. Attendance limited, all attendees must follow guidelines. Services will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. See their Facebook page or website for more information.

Cornerstone Church
In-person Sunday worship services with a limit of 65 attendees. Online services will continue to be offered. Holding virtual prayer meetings online. See their Facebook page for more information. NOTE: some posts on this Facebook page contain false information and/or are shared from unreliable sources.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
Open for mass at 6:30 p.m. Services will return to normal schedule with guidelines in place. Attendance will be limited and all attendees must wear masks. See the church Facebook page for more information. Contact the office at, Fr. Henry at, or call 978-297-0280.

Our Neighbor's Kitchen community suppers have resumed as take-out meals on first and third Thursdays of the month.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon
Our Neighbor's Kitchen suppers are being distributed as “drive-through/take-out" from the church circular driveway every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. until further notice. AA Meeting on Monday nights at 7:45 p.m. in the church parish hall. For more information about these and other events, visit their Facebook page or website:

United Parish of Winchendon
In-person worship services resuming Sunday, June 28. Pre-registration required; check their Facebook page for registration form and further updates. Sunday worship being streamed online, see their Facebook page for information, as well as for daily videos, Bible readings and prayers. Sunday School has resumed--pre-register on the church website. Zoom meetings and at-home study materials are also both available for Sunday School.

Now Seeking Volunteers to Serve on Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC)

At their February 22, 2021 meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to adopt the Master Plan presented to them, and to establish a Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) for the purpose of overseeing the execution of the Master Plan as outlined.

The Winchendon Master Plan describes the will of the people of Winchendon. All town boards, commissions, committees, staff and citizens should use this Plan to guide their work in creating the future everyone seeks. The Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) is charged with overseeing its execution and will work with the Town Manager and Responsible Leads. Members of the MPIC have a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the Master Plan, are a Winchendon resident or have vested interest in the community, are a demonstrated team player, are reliable and have at least one of these qualifications:

  • Project management
  • Communications
  • Town history
  • Knowledge of "how things work"
MPIC specific responsibilities include:
  • Coordinate and monitor implementation
  • Collaborate with players to develop and track execution goals
  • Assist with goals that require additional resources
  • Encourage ongoing citizen engagement
  • Assess status of specific actions, evaluate priorities, and suggest new implementation techniques where appropriate
  • Identify successful strategies and barriers to progress
  • Periodically evaluate the plan
  • Create a mechanism to provide updates and progress reports to the Board of Selectmen
To see the full Master Plan, click here.

The Board of Selectmen is currently accepting letters of interest to serve on this committee. If you are interested, please send your letter of interest to the Town Manager's Office, 109 Front Street, Winchendon MA 01475 or to Taylor at

Winchendon CVS One of 21 COVID-19 Test Locations in Massachusetts

Beginning Friday, May 22, the Winchendon CVS will be offering COVID-19 tests to residents who meet CDC criteria for testing and age requirements. The tests will use a self-swab system, and residents must register for an appointment in advance and drive to the drive-through window to be tested. No tests will be administered on a walk-in basis for safety reasons. The CVS store is located at 301 Central Street.

Patients should make an appointment at, and bring the appointment confirmation, proof of identity and date of birth, and an insurance card with them. Most patients will not have any out-of-pocket costs, as health insurance will cover the test, but patients can check with their insurer to confirm that the test is covered.

This test is for active COVID-19 infections. It is not an antibody test to discern a past infection.

Full details are on the CVS website.

CVS plans to open 1,000 test sites across the country.

Make DIY Cloth Face Masks

Many people are sewing cloth face masks for themselves and for health care workers. There is even a Facebook group supporting this effort, Mask Makers.

There are a number of patterns available on the Internet. The Courier is sharing the PDF pattern below, which includes templates and clear, photograph-illustrated sewing directions, for the convenience of our readers. The pattern is being distributed by Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, NH and may be copied and shared freely.

The CDC has issued a nationwide advisory asking people to wear face masks at all times when out in public. COVID-19 is spread primarily through the air, and infected persons are the most contagious before they have any symptoms. It's estimated that as many as 50 percent of infected persons may never show symptoms or get sick, but still are able to infect others. Wearing face masks will significantly reduce the chances of infected people spreading the virus.

Face Mask Pattern and Directions (PDF)

Do You Have a Garden in Winchendon?

You can help the Winchendon HEAL Project bring affordable, whole food back to town by telling us about your garden! Fill out this online survey:

What is the HEAL Winchendon Food Project?

Hydrant Flushing to Begin April 5th

Hydrant flushing will begin Monday, April 5th and continue through the end of the month. Work will be conducted Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Hydrant flushing is a part of our routine maintenance and is important to ensure appropriate water flow is available to fire fighters. It also improves water quality by clearing iron and other mineral deposits from the system. Residents may notice reduced water pressure or discolored water while flushing is occurring.

2021 Town Meeting Set for May 17

At their meeting on Monday, January 25, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to set the date for the 2021 spring Annual Town Meeting and Special Town Meeting for Monday, May 17, at 7:00 p.m., to be held at Murdock Middle High School. The warrants will be open from January 25 until April 6.

The location within Murdock Middle High School, such as the auditorium or the gym, will be decided at a later date depending on the situations around the pandemic later this year.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of February 8

If you'd like to be an active participant in decision-making and management for your community, consider joining a town committee or board. There are a number of vacancies currently open.

Communications Commission - 1 vacancy
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 9 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Library Trustees - 1 vacancy
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Recreation Commission - 1 regular vacancy, 1 student vacancy
Toy Town Community Partnership - 4 vacancies
Zoning Board of Appeals - 2 vacancies

If you'd like more information about any of these positions or are interested in being considered for an appointment, contact the Town Manager's office at 978-297-0085, or send a letter to Town Manager, 109 Front Street Dept. 1, Winchendon MA 01475.

A complete description of each committee's responsibilities, updated for July, 2020, may be found here (PDF).

If You Call for Emergency Services...

...the Winchendon Fire Department asks that you let the dispatcher know if you have flu-like symptoms, are quarantined or are under self-quarantine. This will allow the first responders to take all necessary precautions to avoiding spreading COVID-19 and to protect themselves and you.

Toy Town FYIs

2021 Dog Licenses are now overdue. All dogs were required to be licensed by March 31. You may purchase a license through the mail, drop box, or online through the Town Clerk's page. The licenses will be mailed to you. Please be sure to provide a valid rabies certificate. Spayed & Neutered dogs are $10 and Non-Spayed & Non-Neutered dogs are $20.

Sign up for Code Red Emergency Alerts
Sign up for our emergency notification program today! Receive up-to-date information before, during and after an emergency in your neighborhood. You can choose to be notified via voice, text and email notifications of emergency and inclement weather alerts.

Please Do Not Flush Sanitizing Wipes Down the Toilet
Wipes Clog Pipes!

The Department of Public Works is asking all users of the public sewer system to please be careful not to flush santizing wipes down the toilet. These wipes collect in the pumps and destroy them, causing the Town to be forced to replace two pumps just in the last month alone. If a pump at the wastewater treatment plant were to burn out from wipe accumulation, it would cost the Town $30,000 to replace it. Please throw these wipes into your rubbish instead.

Is Your House Number Clearly Visible from the Street?
The Winchendon Fire Department reminds all residents to make sure their house number is clearly visible for first responders who may need to find you. Numbers should be at least four inches high and facing the street, with lighting if possible. Put numbers on a contrasting background so they will stand out. If your driveway is long, put the number on a mailbox or pole on the street or at the end of driveway, facing in both directions. (Reflective numbers are helpful.) Check your house numbers to make sure foliage has not grown up in front of them without your being aware of it.

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