The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of June 24 to July 1, 2021
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

UUCW Lawn Fair Jump-Starts Summer

As the State emerges from pandemic confinement, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon (UUCW) ushered in the season with their annual Summer Solstice Lawn Fair. On Saturday, June 19, over 30 vendors and groups assembled on the church's front lawns, displaying a wide array of crafts, retail items, tag sale treasures and foods. The sultry day served up plentiful sunshine and a nice breeze.

Over half of the vendors hailed from Winchendon, with the remainder from nearby towns, giving a much-needed boost to our cottage industries. Shoppers perused hand-made clothing, jewelry, custom wreaths and floral art, wood crafts, crochet and knit items, original novels, collectible vinyl albums and more. Popular line products such as Paparazzi, Scentsy, DotDotSmile and Color Street were also present. Friends of the Beals Library offered a large selection of gently used books and DVDs. The Winchendon Garden Club cleared an impressive collection of outdoor plants and conducted their popular themed basket raffle. HEAL Winchendon set up an information table with sign-up sheets for Family Play Days, Youth Changemakers, and workshops. Vendors from the biweekly Toy Town Outdoor Market also joined in.

UUCW's food stand sold out of hot dogs, baked potatoes and chili con carne with choose-your-own toppings. Dessert options were amply covered by the delicious baked treats offered by Teenie's Sweet Shop and Slutty Muffins.

DJ Kayden Gordon kept toes tapping with live-streamed country music favorites from the church front steps. He was joined midday by local artist Fred Ellsworth who performed live at the mike.

UUCW's lawn fairs are a long-standing tradition. The church has been running such fairs since the 1860s, when their first lawn fair was held to finance the construction of their historic granite building. The proceeds of this year's lawn fair were dedicated to UUCW's Set in Stone Capital Campaign to repair the building's masonry. The work performed on the church tower this past Spring was Phase 2 of a multi-year, multi-phase project to preserve the building for generations to come. For more information, visit

Summer Lawn Fair 2021
Shoppers Pore Over Beals Library Books and DVDs
Photo by Joe Sackett
Summer Lawn Fair 2021
Crooner Fred Ellsworth Performs with DJ Kayden Gordon's Country Music Show
Photo by Joe Sackett
Summer Lawn Fair 2021
Winchendon Garden Club Draws a Crowd to its Plant Sale and Basket Raffle
Photo by Joe Sackett

Winchendon DPW Benefits from Large Robinson Broadhurst Donation

The Town of Winchendon Department of Public Works accepted delivery of a new CAT Skid Steer and a Salsco Sidewalk Paver, courtesy of the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation, on Thursday, June 24. According to Superintendent Brian Croteau, the new equipment will provide the town with significant cost savings over the next ten years.

The CAT Skid Steer model 246D3 arrived complete with buckets and a Cold Planer valued at a combined $70,000, while the Sidewalk Paver is valued at over $40,000, according to Croteau. Both were funded primarily with a grant from the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation. Croteau said the Town of Winchendon DPW budget covered roughly $4,500 of the $116,000 total equipment purchase cost.

With job bidding costs, both labor and materials, increasing almost daily since the nation began reopening from the global pandemic, Croteau looked for cost-saving alternatives for the DPW's needs which could provide equal or better results. Croteau presented the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation board with an estimate of potential job contract bids for sidewalk paving compared to the cost of the town doing the same work, if equipped properly.

Croteau explained, "The sidewalk paver is designed to pave a width from seven feet down to four feet, and will save the town significant project costs. The unit is both adjustable in paving width and is track driven, and it's going to rejuvenate a lot of sidewalks for the town."

Croteau added, "The CAT Skid Steer is what is going to feed this paver, and will also help with the preparation of the sidewalks for both old materials removal and new materials installation, as it comes set up for mill heading with a cold planer, so we can tie back in to the asphalt the correct way, and skid steer can be used with various other attachments so it can be used for many other types of jobs other than just sidewalk paving in the town."

Discussing total costs, Croteau said, "This project of procurement has been in the works for about six weeks now. Once we examined the costs of what we could do it for vs what other companies would charge to do the same work, we found out we could do it for a fraction of the price if we had the necessary equipment in-house. Currently in contracts the cost to pave sidewalks is about $100 per foot, and with this new equipment using our own DPW staff, we can do the same jobs and work for under $20 a foot, saving Winchendon over four-fifths of the total price at a significant cost savings.

"The original Foundation donation was for us to hire a contractor to do the work, however after speaking with the board and their members, they had come to a decision that this combined purchase would be a better route more suited for the town, and we could get more done in a better time period providing better quality sidewalks for the residents," Croteau said.

These cost savings will soon be providing huge dividends to the town. Croteau said, "In one upcoming particular project, replacing sidewalks along Central Street from Maple Street to the Broadview Assisted Living Center, it was going to cost about $300,000 and now with this equipment the DPW can do the same job for about just $20,000 in materials."

In closing Croteau said, "We would really like to thank Robinson Broadhurst for their donation allowing us to make this change, and now any future money which can be put towards the sidewalks is greatly appreciated, and this equipment the foundation funded will truly help Winchendon out for years to come."

New DPW sidewalk equipment
Parked side by side at the DPW, the both new 2021 Salsco sidewalk paver and CAT skid steer just delivered will soon be put to work funded almost entirely by the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation.
Photo by Keith Kent
New DPW sidewalk equipment
DPW Superintendent Brian Croteau puts the new sidewalk paver through its very first motions making sure the equipment operates properly.
Photo by Keith Kent
New DPW sidewalk equipment
This new CAT skid steer model 246D3 will see plenty of work helping save Winchendon residents walk on safer sidewalks and much more over the years to come.
Photo by Keith Kent
New DPW sidewalk equipment
A new Cold Planer which attaches to the skid steer will allow the DPW to get to the bottom of the old sidewalks, and make sure new sidewalks have a solid foundation with an even transition from one surface to another.
Photo by Keith Kent

Fire Department to Continue Multiple Controlled Burn Trainings

WFD new ambulance
Acres of land purposefully set on fire is renewed with more fertile soils and the elimination of invasive plants and many forms of natural occurring debris.
Photo credit: Winchendon Fire Department

The Winchendon Fire Department has participated in two prescribed Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) controlled burns in the Birch Hill Wildlife Management area. According to Chief Thomas Smith, there are more to come.

A multipurpose 27-acre training exercise on Friday, May 28 followed a similar event on Thursday, April 8 in which the WFD executed a regulated controlled burn. The May 28 training exercise was witnessed in live action by Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and other officials.

Through the process of eliminating dead leaves, trees, branches, and other debris from a forest, prescribed burns aid in preventing future destructive wildfires. Other benefits are the removal of unwanted insect populations and the destruction of many types of invasive plants.

According to Chief Smith, the exercises "have been conducted jointly with the Mass Department of Fish and Game, Department of Conservation and Recreation, and D.C.R. District 8 members." Representing the WFD and taking part in the May 28 exercise were Lt. Andrew Harding and Firefighter Jim Watkins Jr. They gained experience which will be critical should a naturally occurring, accidental, or purposeful event take place.

According to Mass DFG and DCR, the 27 acres affected by the prescribed burn will greatly improve the wildlife habitat and ecological structure of the area.

Lt. Andrew Harding and FF Jim Watkins Jr. spent the day training with crews on various prescribed burn techniques using a drip-torch and other tools.

The department's new eight-wheel ARGO, an amphibious extreme terrain vehicle, was used throughout the day for a multitude of tasks, transporting both people and goods, and ensuring the day's event was a success.

Chief Smith also said, "I want to say thank you to all involved in this incredible process. I would like to offer a special thanks to the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation for the grant to provide our department with the ARGO forestry unit that functioned perfectly. It's a great piece of equipment to have available for many tasks and we are very grateful for it."

In closing Chief Smith said, "We have been notified that our department will be involved at the same site for continued training this year. We don't have a date for the next live practice exercise, as we often don't find out until the very day of or day before it's about to happen, as temperature, humidity, rainfall, and especially wind are all contributing factors."

WFD new ambulance
WFD Fire Fighter / Paramedic Andrew Harding uses a drip-torch, which allows a steady stream of flaming fuel to be directed and aimed at specific areas on the ground as needed.
Photo credit: Winchendon Fire Department
WFD new ambulance
An eight-wheel ARGO extreme amphibious all-terrain vehicle provided both humans and event item-specific goods safe transportation around the site for the event's duration to help ensure success.
Photo credit: Winchendon Fire Department
WFD new ambulance
Warning signage is placed so if any people hiking or driving nearby see smoke and fire, they will know not to call and report the event.
Photo credit: Winchendon Fire Department

BoH Member Keith Kent Discusses Illegal Dumping, Recommends Gating Off Lincoln Avenue Extension

At the Board of Selectmen's meeting on Monday, June 14, Board of Health member Keith Kent described the problems with illegal dumping and littering throughout the town of Winchendon, stating that it is a huge problem, with certain areas being particular "hot spots" for dumping and trash.

"Our past Earth Day was both productive and very disturbing," Mr. Kent said. "We filled forty cubic yards of rubbish...we could have filled forty more. Lincoln Ave Extension has become an extreme problem in town, past, I would say, the last existing junkyard-slash-garage, from that border to the solar field...just on that stretch of road, we removed two couches, a day bed, two televisions, fifteen tires, six of them on steel rims. Just from Lincoln Ave Extension. Couple of propane tanks, paint cans." Paint cans have been found dumped in several places in town, Mr. Kent stated.

The stretch of Glenallen Street/Rte 202, and Elmwood Road leading to it, is lined with litter and trash. In 2019, working with a crew from the Worcester County House of Corrections supplied through a volunteer charity progam, the Board of Health removed "thirty-five thirty-gallon rubbish bags," Mr. Kent said. "It was 'interesting' what was found. People coming to and from the state line, both sides of the road going to and from New Hampshire, are just tossing things right out the windows." He added, "the road was full again in two months."

Mr. Kent emphasized that this stretch of 202 leads to the Veterans Memorial Cemetery (one of only two such cemeteries in Massachusetts) and the state of the road presents a poor image for visitors going to pay their respects or attend a service. Trash on Rte 202 also negatively impacts the Millers River watershed and its wildlife.

Mr. Kent explained that during the pandemic, 95 percent of the low-risk offenders were released early from the WCHC, so the cleanup crews are no longer available from that program.

"Go halfway down Hale Street, you'll see some new construction, rubbish down both sides of the road. You get to the wetlands, where that side road I alluded to intersects with Hale heading towards Alger, I can't tell you how many times I've picked up two and three cases of beer cans, partying late at night," Mr. Kent said. "Our bike path, soon as the snow melted, I removed, from just the three-quarter mile section from the stanchion at the track to Glenallen Street...I removed three 13-gallon bags of rubbish."

Mr. Kent praised the volunteer efforts of Scout Troop 193 and the Girl Scouts during the Earth Day cleanup. He emphasized the importance of early education and setting a good example, pointing out that the kids were picking up trash the adults threw away, and a lot of that trash comprised recyclables such as cans and plastic. Mr. Kent expressed disappointment that in a town of 10,700 residents only 35 people volunteered for the Earth Day cleanup.

"You've got Lincoln Ave Extension, that's cleaned up for the time being. I advised the Town Manager that I think it would be good to look into the possibility of putting up gates," Mr. Kent said. "Nobody needs to get through that section to Robbins Road of Lincoln Ave Extension. I know it's ATV heaven, I get the enthusiasts, I'm not trying to harm nobody, dirt bikes or what not. But that section to Robbins Road is Illegal Dumping Central. If we were to put gates on that section of road, Robbins Road to Lincoln Avenue Extension, to where the solar field is...the cost savings down the road are going to be far more than the cost of putting up these structures, to block, one, as the police well know, 'interesting' evening traffic. Activities out there after dark; the illegal dumping."

Mr. Kent continued, "I know the cost of putting in a gate, it's not that bad versus what we're spending. You could give a key to police, fire, DPW. They'll have keys. There's your EMS covered for fire. They could get in any time they need to, they could get in if they had a lock to the gate, just like DCR has had to do on many roads at Lake Dennison due to all the furniture and televisions, rugs, couches, carpets, chairs, refrigerators, that's why they gated off all those roads."

Town Manager Justin Sultzbach said, "Pricing out a gate on Lincoln Ave Extension is an easy fix and that's something we're going to look into, and we can certainly actually just leave a key up on site with a code for public safety to access. Then we're also going to look into other low-cost opportunities to address blight throughout town, in terms of increasing patrols, posting signage, and even using trail cams in certain hotspot areas, just to further deter people and let people know that in some capacity in certain areas, we're keeping an eye out and's kind of a larger piece of working on the image townwide."

Selectman Barbara Anderson commented, "Even when it's not Earth Day, I see people, especially on Forristall Road, and I've seen West Street, people out picking up their own neighborhoods...It's always appreciated, and we know littering is a problem. Illegal dumping is a problem. But a lot of people do it, they don't get thanks, they don't formally sign up for Earth Day, but they're doing it."

Board of Selectmen Chair Audrey LaBrie added, "This is going to be an ongoing topic of discussion."

(See "Winchendon Earth Day Celebration Yields 40 Cubic Yards of Waste!" in the May 20-27 2021 edition of The Winchendon Courier.)

Winchendon Lions Club Installs New Officers

Lions Club installs new officers
Governor Denise Andrews installing Joni LaPlante as President of the Winchendon Lions Club for 2021/2022.
Photo by Vicki LaBrack
Lions Club installs new officers
Governor Denise Andrews installing Linda Tenney as Secretary
Photo by Vicki LaBrack

Lions Club installs new officers
Past President Mark Desmarais handing off the mallet to incoming President Joni LaPlante.
Photo by Vicki LaBrack
Lions Club installs new officers
Installed Board of Directors: Past Presidents Ken LaBrack, Dee Holt, Bruce LaPointe, Mark Desmarais, Governor Denise Andrews, new President Joni LaPlante, and Curt Fitzmaurice.
Photo by Vicki LaBrack

At their last meeting, The Winchendon Lions Club installed the new board of Officers for 2021-2022. The officers installed were: President Joni LaPlante, Vice-President Mark Desmarais, Secretary Linda Tenney, Treasurer David Walsh, chaplain Curt Fitzmaurice, Tail Twister Bob Betourney, Lion Tamer Tracy Monette and Membership Chair Amanda Phillips.

The club meets once a month, the 3rd Tuesday of the month from September to June at the American Legion. Anyone interested please give any Lion a call, they would love to have you! Or you can call 978-297-2753, please leave a message!

Earl McQueston Honored with Boston Post Cane Citation

As announced at the 2021 Annual Town Meeting on May 17, and at the Board of Selectmen's meeting on Monday, June 14, Earl McQueston, age 99, has been honored with the 2021 Boston Post Cane as the oldest resident of Winchendon.

On Thursday, June 17, members of the Board of Selectmen visited Mr. McQueston at his home to present him with the official citation and a plate of whoopee pies in a private ceremony.

Taylor Tower, Administrative Assistant to the Town Manager's Office, provided the Courier with this account of the Boston Post Cane's history:

In August 1909, Mr. Edwin A. Grozier, Publisher of the Boston Post, a newspaper, forwarded to the Board of Selectmen in 700 towns (no cities included) in New England a gold-headed ebony cane with the request that it be presented with the compliments of the Boston Post to the oldest male citizen of the town, to be used by him as long as he lives (or moves from the town), and at his death handed down to the next oldest citizen of the town. The cane would belong to the town and not the man who received it.

The canes were all made by J.F. Fradley and Co., a New York manufacturer, from ebony shipped in seven-foot lengths from the Congo in Africa. They were cut into cane lengths, seasoned for six months, turned on lathes to the right thickness, coated and polished. They had a 14-carat gold head two inches long, decorated by hand, and a ferruled tip. The head was engraved with the inscription, --- presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of (name of town) --- "To Be Transmitted". The Board of Selectmen were to be the trustees of the cane and keep it always in the hands of the oldest citizen. Apparently no Connecticut towns were included, and only two towns in Vermont are known to have canes.

In 1924, Mr. Grozier died, and the Boston Post was taken over by his son, Richard, who failed to continue his father's success and eventually died in a mental hospital. At one time, the Boston Post was considered the nation's leading standard-sized newspaper in circulation. Competition from other newspapers, radio and television contributed to the Post's decline and it went out of business in 1957.

The custom of the Boston Post Cane took hold in those towns lucky enough to have canes. As years went by, some of the canes were lost, stolen, taken out of town and not returned to the Selectmen or destroyed by accident.

In 1930, after considerable controversy, eligibility for the cane was opened to women as well.

Read Mr. McQueston's Full Citation here (PDF)

Earl McQueston receives Boston Post Cane
Earl McQueston displays the gold-headed cane and his citation from the Board of Selectmen.
Photo by Skip McQueston
Earl McQueston receives Boston Post Cane
From the left, Audrey LaBrie, Chair of the Selectboard, Shawn Vallaincourt, granddaughter of Earl, Earl McQueston himself, and Rick Ward, Selectman.
Photo credit: Rick Ward
WFD new ambulance
WFD Chief Thomas Smith and Lt. William Davis pose with the new self supporting load and lift system helping to increase both fire fighter and patient safety.
Photo by Keith Kent
WFD new ambulance
Newly constructed, this 2020 Ford F-550 and 2021 EMS patient transport facility are currently being loaded with all necessary tools of the trade and should be on the road soon.
Photo by Keith Kent
WFD new ambulance
Seen in this photo, the Stryker Power Pro self powering lift and load system will safely load up to 700 pounds not including the weight of the stretcher or other parts, greatly reducing any chance of injury.
Photo by Keith Kent
WFD new ambulance
In these views of the rear patient treatment transport compartment, just as in the 2016 purchased ambulance, it has a larger working area greatly assisting fire fighters with the proper space to treat patients in transport with a variety of needs.
Photo by Keith Kent

Local Organic Farmers to Host Workshop: Layer Management with Chicken Tractors

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting a workshop regarding Layer Management with Chicken Tractors on July 10th from 10:00 to noon at the farm in Barre. We will discuss the benefits of a mobile house where chickens can pasture and get some hands-on experience building a new house. Egg collection, feeding and watering, and security from roaming dogs and wildlife will also be discussed. Registration is available on the Many Hands Organic Farm website at

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Fire Department Accepts Shipment of New Ambulance

The Winchendon Fire Department accepted delivery of a newly constructed Ford F-550 ambulance on Thursday, June 3 allowing the department to retire an older 2012 model with over 100,000 miles on the odometer as part of a proper and safe fleet equipment rotation.

Communications are being adapted before the ambulance is used. Chief Thomas Smith explained, "The radio communication systems were installed Monday, June 7, and the ambulance should be in service as soon as items used for all EMS services will be removed from the older 2012 ambulance, and installed by location to match the interior of the department's 2016 model so all department members will know exactly where everything is, as time is always important."

Due to increasing cost of repairs with age, Smith explained that it's important to replace each ambulance after no more than ten years, as the mileage and other wear and tear on the vehicle become very costly. "The older they get it's also harder to pass a vehicle inspection where typically more and more items are found needing replacing, which can potentially take that ambulance out of service, which then costs the town revenue drawn by service calls for aid," Smith said.

The new F-550 platform ambulance fulfilled a purchase order placed in December 2020. It was given a visual inspection at its Atlantic City, NJ factory in May by both Chief Smith and Lt. William Davis. A few changes were then made in the design per their suggestions.

The heavy duty ambulance comes with drive train components vital in the local region. "This unit comes with four-wheel drive," Smith said. "Unlike the 2016 which uses rear wheel tire chains for added traction, having power to all four wheels will be a huge plus, depending on location and conditions such as winter snow, hills, and dirt roads."

The 2016 International ambulance, complete with a cardiac unit, was completely funded by a grant from the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation at a cost of $260,000. In contrast, the new 2020 model, with a 2021 rear box facility, is completely taxpayer funded at a cost of about $280,000. It includes a tool Smith said is vital to preventing workplace back and neck injuries: a powerful rear patient lift and load system.

Chief Smith enthusiastically said, "The Stryker Power Pro System is built to lift and load up to 700 pounds not including the weight of the unit! This means we can now not only more safely load individuals who are heavier than average or weight challenged, but we also safely protect members of our department staff while assisting those in need of services. It's just a much safer platform for all involved, and is becoming the industry standard for workplace and patient safety."

Smith also explained, "The electric drive system mounted to the floor, the stretcher designed to work with it, and all the installation including wiring and more costs roughly $40,000 in total but is well worth the prevention of costly possible injuries in the long run."

In closing Smith said, "I would like to thank the taxpayers of Winchendon. This new ambulance is going to well serve them for up to the next decade. I believe it will not only help our fire fighters with their patient care and ability to transport individuals, but with all the safety equipment on it, it will help all our fire fighters in their day-to-day activities and we thank you for your support."

On Monday, June 21 the new ambulance, designated 39A2, was dispatched to answer its first call just two minutes into its new service life for the Town of Winchendon.

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Subway April 2021 Steak Sub Ad

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5th Annual Fall Festival to be held October 9, 2021

We are excited to announce that the 5th Annual Fall Festival will be held on Saturday, October 9, 2021! This will be the fifth year that the Winchendon Fall Festival has been located on Central Street. At past year's festivals, there have been over 200 crafters, vendors, and businesses set up along Central Street with over 8,000+ in attendance. Many craft vendors will be selling their handmade items. Not all vendors accept credit cards so it is best to bring cash to pay for your purchases, although there are some ATM machines along the festival route. There will be many children's activities including bouncy houses, pumpkin painting and face painting to name a few. There will be a variety of food available, a beer tent and local bands! We pride ourselves on this fun family event!

Winchendon Fall Festival will be taking place in the heart of Winchendon on Central Street from Front Street to Maple Street. If you are using a GPS mapping service, please keep in mind that there may be some road closures and detours in the immediate area of the festival; please use Central Street and Front Street for your destination.

Vendors interested in registering may find the application here (PDF).

For further information contact Nicole Roberts at 978-297-3537 or

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Applications Available for Senior Tax Work-off Program

The Senior Work-Off Abatement Program is a program allowing the Town of Winchendon the opportunity to utilize the knowledge and skills of its senior residents in exchange for credit toward the resident's property tax bill. The purpose of this program is:

  • To employ qualified senior citizens who will apply their earnings toward payment of a portion of their property taxes;
  • To increase senior citizen involvement in local government; and
  • To enhance municipal service by using the skills of resident senior citizens.
Qualified and income-eligible residents will accrue the Commonwealth's minimum wage per hour ($13.50/hr) toward a maximum credit of $1,100.00 per household during the fiscal year. The criteria for this program is:
  • You must be 60 years old or older
  • Homeowner in Winchendon and occupy property
  • Annual income below $40,150 if single; or below $45,900 if married.
Applications for the program are now available in the Town Manager's office or on the town website, and will be accepted until the eight slots are filled. There are different types of positions that are available depending on the preference and qualifications of the resident and the needs of each department. Types of past and current positions have been: Custodial services, clerical help for both School & Town, library aides, Senior Center aids, cable station operator, Bike Path clean up, painting, light outdoor work and classroom volunteers. Click here for more information and a downloadable application.

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

Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Seeks Information on Available Commercial Properties in the Region

Carol Jacobson, President and CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce has announced that the Chamber is compiling a list of available commercial and industrial properties in the region. This list will be included in a data base that will be made available to the public in an effort to help market the region and facilitate economic development initiatives.

Tracy Murphy, Director of Planning & Development is currently compiling a list of available properties in Winchendon. Property can be existing structures or buildable land but must be zoned for commercial or industrial use(s). If you own or know of properties that are available for purchase or lease please send an email that includes details and photos, if available, and pertinent facts about the property that you wish to be included such as price, lease terms, contact info, etc. to: Feel free to reach out to the Planning & Development Department if you have any questions at: 1-978-297-3537.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of May 10, 2021

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 - 8 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Historical Commission/Historic District - 1 Alternate vacancy
Master Plan Implementation Committee - 7 vacancies
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 Alternate 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.

Complete description of each committee's responsibilities, updated for May 10, 2021 (PDF).

Council on Aging Now Hiring Part Time Position

The Council on Aging is seeking a part time employee, 18 hours a week from Monday through Friday. The ideal candidate would:

  • Be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Be able to load/unload food
  • Have an excellent driving record
  • Enjoy working with elders
  • Maintain vehicle inside and out (referring to the Director when repairs are needed)
  • Keep vehicle fueled
  • Be able to maintain accurate records
  • Other duties as required
For more information, please call the Council on Aging at 978-297-3155. Application deadline is June 29, 2021.

The Town of Winchendon is an equal opportunity employer.

Water Use Restrictions Begin May 1

Water use restrictions for users of Winchendon town water will be effective as of Saturday, May 1, 2021 and will remain in effect until October 1.

Outdoor water use is permitted for odd-numbered addresses on odd-numbered days, and for even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days. Watering is permitted only overnight, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., to minimize water loss from evaporation.

Call the Department of Public Works at 978-297-0170 if you have any questions.

According to the National Weather Service, the Monadnock region is currently experiencing "moderate drought" with below normal amounts of spring rainfall.

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

The 2021 Town Street List is now available at Town Hall and on the town website. You can download a PDF copy at You may purchase the hard copy of the book for $8.00 or $5.00 for seniors. Please call Town Clerk's office at 978-297-2766 to arrange pick up/payment.

The 2020 Annual Town Report is now available at Town Hall and on the town website. You can download a PDF copy at 2020 Town Report PDF. Hard copies are available, free of charge, and can be picked up at the Town Manager's Office during regular business hours (Monday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). To request a copy, call the Town Manager's Office at 978-297-0085, extension 5, or email

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.

Town of Winchendon Hiring Multiple Positions

The Town of Winchendon is seeking applicants for several positions, including a part-time Veterans' Agent, a full-time Department of Public Works Foreman, a full-time Department of Public Works Highway Laborer and a full-time Department of Public Works Cemetery Laborer. For complete details and an application, go to: Town of Winchendon Job Opportunities or call 978-297-0085.

Organic Farm Opens CSA Shares for 2021

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting its largest organic community supported farmshare yet, with a goal of 200 shares! MHOF focuses on maximum fertility through soil carbon-sequestering techniques that grow the tastiest and most nutrient-dense vegetables. The summer fruit and vegetable CSA starts on May 24 and runs through October 22. Become involved in the local food movement by signing up for a share at

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