The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of August 12 to August 19, 2021
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

"Winchendon Grows LLC" Holds Community Outreach Meeting for Proposed 120,000 s.f. Cannabis Facility on Rte 140 Corridor

On Monday, August 9, 2021, Winchendon Grows LLC held a Community Outreach meeting before the Board of Selectmen, the first step in the lengthy and complex approval process mandated by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (MCCC) for adult-use cannabis businesses.

This facility will be located in the Hillview Business Park next to Mylec Hockey, on the east side of Route 140 (Gardner Road), across the street from Irving Oil and Dunkin Donuts. The North Central Pathway bike/hike trail runs along the west boundary of the parcel.

Attorney Blake M. Mensing, who described himself as a "full time cannabis attorney and municipal attorney" who has personally attained "just over five percent of the licenses in the state" represented Frederick Massa and Stephen Cefalo, managers of Winchendon Grows LLC, who attended the meeting but did not come to the microphone to speak.

Atty. Mensing covered the main points required by the MCCC for the initial community outreach meeting, stating that he and the owners would be happy to answer additional questions from the Board and public.

The type of marijuana establishment, Atty. Mensing explained, is "a proposed Tier 11 Cultivation Operation, growing and manufacturing. It will be new construction of approximately 120,000 square feet of building, obviously subject to the various permit granting authorities' guard rails that they may decide to put on that proposal." (The Tier number indicates the facility's size, with 11 being the largest size defined by MCCC, "90,001 to 100,000 sq ft" of operating space.) Atty. Mensing went on, "This will generate between 100 and 140 jobs of varying skill levels, obviously there's a hierarchy within it, from the lowest level, trimmers, gardeners if you will, to those who may running extremely expensive extraction equipment, that is frankly beyond my ability to understand, so it is quite involved and more like a lab environment than a farm."

Atty. Mensing said that the next MCCC requirement was to address issues of security. He stated that the facility will have "commercial grade locks," and high resolution camera coverage throughout the building, in every room except employee rest rooms, producing continuous digital footage with a date/time/location watermark on every frame. Potentially there would be a livestream that first responders and law enforcement could access in emergencies. "If there's an emergency response, so for instance you'll be able to see what's waiting for you around the corner, if there was some accident, or god forbid someone tried to break in, although that would make them frankly a very foolish criminal because of how many cameras there are," Atty. Mensing said.

Access to areas of the facility, such as the product vault for storing finished product, would be strictly limited to certain authorized employees according to the sensitivity of the area.

Another topic of concern was "diversion to minors"--keeping any cannabis product out of the hands of minors. "Minors aren't allowed in this facility. Period end of sentence," Atty. Mensing said. "Even if you happen to have a police officer that was twenty years old, I'm sorry, but your badge does not trump state law, you would not be allowed in if you happened to have such a young police officer. So that means, no 'bring your kids to work day' at a facility like this." In addition to this, he went on, "The second thing the state requires is a seed-to-sale tracking requirement, and that's both a digital mechanism as well as physical. Every product, every plant will have a unique alpha-numeric code, the plants are literally tagged with a physical piece of information that's scannable through an RFID reader, and that number, RF sequence, follows that plant from seed to sale, so if you grow it, and turn it into basically just a bag of weed, that has a number, and the state knows who grew it and who sold it, and that is helpful in preventing diversion to minors."

Moving to the Community Impact topic, Atty. Mensing explained that "there's a state-required Positive Impact Plan, capital letters there, what that plan is intended to do is to try to undo some of the wrongs in the failed drug war. What the Cannabis Control Commission did is they identified twenty-nine areas, cities and towns in Massachusetts that had disproportionate enforcement against people of color. Essentially the consumption rates between people of color and white people are almost identical, and people of color according to the ACLU face 3.7 times more interactions with law enforcement, and then the sentences are harsher for the same behavior. So the state Cannabis Control Commission said, if you want to make money on this industry, you have to try to pick up some of the tab which honestly was the state doing the enforcement--but anyway, I don't have a problem with it because it is trying to help people."

Atty. Mensing said that the owners were open to input from the community as to what kinds of "charitable contributions or volunteer hours would do the most good." He added that nothing involving children or youth in any way was allowed to benefit in Massachusetts, unlike Arizona where a client of his sponsored a Little League Team. Atty. Mensing suggested a Fitchburg-based organization, the New England Veterans Alliance, as a possible beneficiary. However, he repeated, "please again if any of the audience watching from home, or any of the Board has any suggestions, we want it to be a dialogue to say, hey, how can we make something a little bit better by being here."

Wrapping up, Atty. Mensing went on, "The last item we're required to cover by law has to do with the plan to prevent a nuisance. So the first thing I always like to say is just that, any host community agreement, any local permit, any state license you have, not one of those things is a license to be a bad neighbor. It's not a license to come and do whatever you want, and frankly, the blood, sweat, tears, effort and money it takes to actually open one of these things, we're inherently incentivized to be a good neighbor, because if you're a bad neighbor, you could have the rug cut out from under you, and it's astronomically expensive to build a facility, basically of any size." He discussed methods to restrict odors from escaping the building (from internal building design with "rooms within rooms" to sophisticated air filtration systems with activated charcoal filters).

The floor was opened for questions. Selectman Barbara Anderson asked what kind of timeline the town was looking at. Atty. Mensing replied that the licensing should take two to five months after the community outreach meeting, and it depended on the state bureaucracies. He did not address the time required for construction, hiring, and launch of a business of this size.

Board of Selectmen Chair Audrey LaBrie asked if the facility will be visible from the highway. Atty. Mensing said they would provide for proper set-backs, and added, "Given that it's a warehouse the Cannabis Control Commission doesn't have any rules about people being able to see the warehouse, but one thing I would say is because it's a business-to-business only operation, there's no benefit to having a sign, neon lights or anything. Frankly, we prefer to be just anonymous, you know it's there if you're from the town or work there, or have authority to enter it."

Selectman Rick Ward brought up the issue of traffic, pointing out that the junction of Gardner Road and Commercial Drive is already "a difficult road" and a new traffic signal might be needed, if up to 140 employees would be arriving and leaving at the same times. Atty. Mensing said the facility will operate during "normal business hours" and would not have shifts around the clock. Much of the cultivation would be automated. "A traffic light to address that type of issue is exactly what state law has envisioned under the Community Impact fee, that would clearly be reasonably related to the facility's operation, so it would be off the back of gross revenues of the facility to put in that stop sign, if it was determined to be an issue," Atty. Mensing stated. Ms. LaBrie commented that the intersection was not well-designed and should also have turning lanes at that point.

Selectman Danielle LaPointe said that she was concerned about the kids using the hockey rinks at Mylec, and about odor. She stated that she frequently smells odors from the much smaller facility currently operating at 60 Franklin Street. (Jolly Green Inc. at 60 Franklin Street is a Tier 1 facility with approximately 2 employees.)

School Committee member Greg Vine rose to say that while he acknowledged the disparity in drug law enforcement, he hoped that the Positive Impact Plan benefits approved as part of this project will be "Winchendon-specific." (Of the 29 Areas of Disproportionate Impact identified by the MCCC, the closest to Winchendon is Fitchburg.)

Rick Laperriere, President of Mylec Hockey, rose to convey concerns about the effect of the proposed facility on his business. He described how activity is just reviving after the pandemic shut-down, and Mylec just hosted the largest youth tournament in the country with 36 teams and a camp for the Team USA Youth-16 team, and has entered into a major agreement with USA Ball Hockey. "Even though there's all these rules, smell's a major concern. There are some of our people used to belong to a gym in Fitchburg, they gave up their membership, because there's a place right there, the smell. A lot of people are just concerned, they don't want to bring their young kids there, right or wrong, good or bad," Mr. Laperriere said. "Don't shoot the messenger, I'm neither for or against, but just be considerate of the children."

Winchendon Director of Planning and Development Tracy Murphy stated that the outside hockey rinks are considered "places where children congregate" for purposes of the town cannabis bylaws, and a 500-foot buffer zone will be required between the rinks and the facility. The bike path itself, apart from the parking lots, is not considered a "congregation" area requiring a buffer zone as it is a byway on which users pass by without stopping. (The complete Winchendon zoning bylaws related to Medical/Adult Use Marijuana Facilities may be reviewed at Winchendon, Massachusetts Zoning Bylaw (PDF), beginning on page 70.)

With no further questions, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a motion to authorize the Town Manager to enter into a Community Host Agreement with Winchendon Grows LLC.

Winchendon Grows LLC was registered with an address in Melrose, Massachusetts on June 22, 2021, according to the Massachusetts Secretary of State's corporate database. Atty. Mensing explained that it was formed solely for the purpose of going through the licensing and approval process with MCCC.

Ms. Murphy told the Courier that the Winchendon Redevelopment Authority, which owns the 68.05-acre parcel, will be selling approximately 15 acres to Winchendon Grows LLC for their facility and will retain ownership of the rest of the parcel. (The Winchendon Redevelopment Authority acquired the parcel from the estate of Nancy J. Hoar in 2008 for $30,000.) With the Community Host Agreement in hand, the next steps for Winchendon Grows LLC, with respect to the town, are to purchase the lot and apply for an Approval Not Required (ANR) permit for development.

A quick recap of marijuana/cannabis business proposals in Winchendon

In November 2016, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission was formed to license and regulate adult-use marijuana production and sale in 2018. Winchendon voters approved the 2016 state ballot question by a majority of 60 percent. However, voters at the Fall Special Town Meeting on November 17, 2017 approved a one-year moratorium on allowing marijuana businesses to open in town so the town could put zoning bylaw regulations into place. At Annual Town Meeting on May 21, 2018, voters approved a town excise tax on recreational marijuana retail sales, a limit of three marijuana retail licenses in town, the amendment of Article 6.12 of the Zoning Bylaws regulating marijuana businesses, and the addition of a "Medical/Adult Use Marijuana Facilities Retail Overlay District" to the Zoning Map which marijuana retail establishments were restricted to.

At the current time, only one marijuana-related business has gone through all of the required procedures with the MCCC and the town and begun operations: Jolly Green Inc., operated by Kyle and Wendy Higgins, who also own Higgins Mechanical in Gardner and 5 Summer Drive in Winchendon (formerly Playaway Lanes bowling and now occupied by Simply Grounded Yoga/Pilates). Jolly Green is business-to-business only with no retail sales and is a Tier 1 (very small) operation. MCCC documents for Jolly Green Inc (PDF).

In the pipeline but not yet open for business are:

Curated Leaf, 2 Juniper Street - Cultivation. Working on site development plans with the town. Mantis Management, LLC. MCCC documents for Mantis Management LLC (PDF).
CHA Stores, Inc. West Street - Cultivation. Held Community Outreach Meeting and has Community Host Agreement, license status unknown.
Winchendon Grows LLC, Commercial Drive. Held Community Outreach Meeting and has Community Host Agreement, license status pending.

Cultivation & Retail
Not Grampa's Tobacco, 703 School Street - Cultivation/manufacturing & Retail. Held Community Outreach Meeting and has Community Host Agreement, license status unknown. MCCC documents for Not Grampa's Tobacco (PDF).

Bud Barn, 682 Spring Street - Retail. Expected to open in 2021. 202 Trading Company, Inc. MCCC documents for 202 Trading Company (PDF).
Toy Town Alternative Health, 463 Maple Street - Retail. Held Community Outreach Meeting and has Community Host Agreement, license status unknown. Toy Town Project, LLC.

COVID-19 on Rise in Winchendon

With the newest 14 day positive COVID-19 test rates just released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as of Thursday, August 12, the Town of Winchendon has seen a significant positive test rate increase for the 4th consecutive calendar week.

The positive test rate in five weeks steadily rose from 0.35 percent, to 1.73 percent, to 3.68 percent, to 3.73 percent as of last week on August 5. Now, as per the newly released data for August 12, Winchendon shows a 14-day positive test rate of 4.47 percent, up just over a full seven tenths of a percentage point.

Under the previous color coded risk assessment maps since done away with by the Mass DPH, any result of 5.00 percent or higher would have placed Winchendon in the former Red risk assessment zone.

Calculated by total population, Winchendon has now risen from a town vaccination percentage on August 5 of 45 percent, to being listed by the DPH at 0.499 or 50 percent. The Mass DPH, as of August 12, 2021, lists Winchendon as having a population of 10,765, with 2,890 Female and 2,489 Males fully vaccinated, for a total of 5,379 combined fully vaccinated, out of 10,765 residents, which gives Winchendon 50 percent fully vaccinated. While this is a positive increase from the previous week, we are still far below both the Worcester County and Commonwealth of Massachusetts averages.

Our surrounding towns yielded the following data. Royalston to our west came in at a 0.00 percent positive test rate, and Ashburnham to our east came in at 2.96 percent. The City of Gardner to our south with a recorded population of 19,874 is listed at 58 percent fully vaccinated, and due to its higher vaccination rate came in at just 2.99 percent positive tests. The Town of Templeton, also to our south, is now listed at a very high 6.77 percent positive test rate, with neighboring Phillipston with which it shares a school district listed at 4.55 percent.

In closing, with our numbers on the rise yet another 0.74 percent in one week, we have now gone from 0.35 percent positive to 4.47 percent, a huge increase in just four weeks.

Our numbers versus the City of Gardner speak volumes. Gardner has a higher vaccination rate, and with a higher population and much higher population density per square mile, their positive test rate is 35 percent lower than that of Winchendon.

As Chair of the Board of Health and not speaking for my board but as Chair, I ask you if able to do so, please consider getting vaccinated, as the US CDC has listed the Delta Variant to be as contagious as chicken pox among the non-vaccinated population.

Keith Kent
Board of Health
Town of Winchendon

Town Accountant Updates BOS: Water/Sewer Hemorrhaging Dollars and Gallons

Town Accountant Joanne Goguen meet with the Board of Selectman during a Tri-Board meeting on Monday, August 9. She reported that while most accounts were meeting or exceeding expectations, both the Water and Sewer Enterprise Funds continue to plunge deep into the red despite back-to-back years of 20 percent combined rate increases paid by the water and sewer customers.

Goguen began, "Thank you, and I know everybody is still anxious to know how we are doing this year, I am still working on reconciliations and year-end encumbrances. The auditors are here at the Town Hall this week working on preliminary stuff and we have been working on grant reconciliations."

On the positive side, SPED Medicare showed a $25,000 positive balance, Meals Tax plus $26,000 and $79,000 over on building fees. Additionally the Ambulance Account is positive by $31,000 and also $34,500 over on Chapter 70 funds.

Under budget revenue, accounts were listed as Investment Earnings minus $38,000 due to low interest rates. Treasurers Miscellaneous was under budget by $20,000, as typically Goguen said rebates are received by their property liability insurance but none were received this year. Large claims at both the School Department and Department of Public Works were cited as reasons for no rebate. Veterans benefits revenues are under by $36,000 with the Veterans surviving spouses exemptions under budget by another $35,000. Goguen commented, "I am hoping to get that before I close because I can book it in Fiscal 21 even though we receive it in the year. Last year we got it in September, so hopefully we will get it before September 30 and that will increase our revenue.

"If we were to close our books today, our revenue is over by $3,000 and pretty much right on target. As of today if the School Department, if they don't do any re-classes and I am not sure if they will be or not, but if they were to close today, at this time they would be turning back $200,000 to the town. Under budget for their expenses, transportation costs are under by $240,000 while the FinCom Special Reserve Account has a balance of $75,500. Election Expenses has a balance of $26,700 and Veterans Benefits a balance of $92,000, however, there are request for reimbursements that have not been encumbered yet. The unemployment line item has $184,500 left because all the unemployment we thought was going to go into the school department was covered on the CARES Act. Health Insurance is under budget by $62,000 and Property and Liability Insurance has $25,430 dollars remaining. So if everything was to stay the same as what I have here, our potential free cash would be $909,130," Goguen explaned.

The CARES Act town funding received to date is $961,998 of which $730,483 has been spent thus far through this past June 30, leaving a balance of $231,515. Goguen added, "I will get a complete expenditure out to all of you in the next couple of weeks." Goguen also reported a request made to FEMA for $147,000 with claims for last March through October, with a second request going out for another $121,100. ARPA funds received thus far are $570,705 of a projected $3.4 to $3.6 million which are given out in different stages between a municipal side, and a county side with $3.2 million of it coming at some point. Goguen pointed out that she cannot get an answer from the county side of the equation.

Lastly, Goguen addressed the Enterprise Funds. The Transfer Station ends Fiscal 21 with positive retained earnings of $128,779. It was then the bad news started "pouring in", with the Water Enterprise Fund which started with a positive retained earnings of $22,206, and ended up with a negative retained earnings of $81,563. The Sewer Enterprise Fund which started off with a negative retained earnings of $40,046, ends the year much worse with a negative returned earnings of $154,122. Goguen said, "The Enterprise Water and Sewer are in tough shape."

During this discussion, another figure which has been a long ongoing problem with debt collection due to lack of timely payments for water and sewer bills was mentioned by the Town Manager. Sultzbach informed the BOS that at this time, while the water and sewer revenue combined was down significantly, there were some $180,000 in unpaid bills still owed to the town. According to the Assessor's office, once a lien on a property has been applied to a mortgage for lack of payment, it takes one year on average to collect the amount due from the lending institution which holds the property's mortgage.

Recently appearing in a meeting of the Finance Committee, which was reported on August 5 in The Winchendon Courier, Town Manager Justin Sultzbach addressed current issues with the Water and Sewer Enterprise Funds, saying, "During COVID the town was not shutting off the water of customers who were not paying their bills. Now that the emergency order has been lifted, we have begun again the process of shutting peoples' water off who are delinquent. On a larger scale which is not just the meters, the main feed coming from the Ashburnham plant which as a large stretch is known to be losing a significant amount of water, and to replace that would come at about a $6 million price tag. Our infrastructure around the entire town system is so old and leaky that along with all those lines and the main feed line combined, I am currently working with our DPW Director to price what it would cost to get an engineering firm to do a system wide assessment of every inch of our pipes in town. We can now estimate a combined overall total water loss of twenty-five percent before it even gets to peoples' houses in the system." (In a conversation with the Courier, Sultzbach later stated that he'd double-checked the data and the actual amount of water loss is 28 percent. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommends investigating water loss in a system when it reaches 12 percent.)

For the last two consecutive years, the Town of Winchendon Board of Selectmen have by majority vote raised water and sewer bills by a combined 20 percent after some 5 previous years of no increases. The BOS members are by town law the water and sewer commissioners. Select Board member Barbara Anderson both times spoke strongly against raising the rates and voted no each time. Currently the Town of Winchendon contracts national giant water service management provider, Veolia. Per a request of the Board of Selectmen, a study is currently being undertaken to see if Veolia as a provider management company is providing the best possible service for the price compared with other potential contractors, based on Winchendon's needs.

Later on in the meeting under Agenda Item 7.1, Town Manager Sultzbach reiterated the same message, as cited above, previously provided the week before to the Finance Committee in reference to the Enterprise Fund deficits and issues, and promised the BOS the town is taking the issues and shortfalls seriously and looking into all possible options. Sultzbach, however, did add that as the town is only months from the last year of its contract with Veolia, there is currently no possible way to find another company soon enough, even if an equivalent one could be found at a cheaper cost.

Broadview Assisted Living Celebrates 25 Years in the Family

Celebrating 25 years in the family!
Tom and Jamie Connor pose with their daughter and now Broadview Executive Director Bethany (Connor) McCormick, celebrating 25 years of family ownership on Saturday, August 7.
Photo by Keith Kent

Live musical performance was on tap for both residents and attendees to start things off from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Photo by Keith Kent

Jamie Connor (in foreground) stopping at vendors' tents. Now that she is retired, she can tour her family celebration not as an employee, but a happy spectator during Broadview's 25 Anniversary celebration.
Photo by Keith Kent

Celebrating twenty-five years of family ownership on Saturday, August 7, recent retirees Tom and Jamie Connor were surrounded not only by their immediate family, but what they will tell you are also members of their family--residents and friends alike happily showing personal photos and stories of years past at the assisted living center, in a unified celebration of what it means to belong at Broadview.

Starting at 10:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m. on a hot, humid and sunny summer Saturday, live music, various artisans, free food and drinks, and even a small car show filled the facility grounds. Connor family members, Broadview residents and their families, as well as local residents enjoyed each other's company at what is, Tom and Jamie Connor both made clear, "a place where all reach out and truly care about each other."

Now able to relax after officially retiring last December, 2020, Tom and Jamie Connor repeatedly received hugs from residents and employees as they moved from one person to the next. When residents or staff weree asked if what Tom and Jamie were saying was true, that everyone at Broadview was family, all replied, "Yes, it's like we are all family here." Bethany (Connor) McCormick told the Courier, "See this beautiful elderly lady right there, when I was young growing up she was the mother of my best friend. Now I get to help take care of her. That means a awful lot. This is why I am here, this is why I, like my parents, really care about what we do here. She is family!"

The Courier asked Tom Connor, "What does today mean to you, during this twenty-five year celebration of ownership at Broadview Assisted Living, looking back over the years leading up to this accomplishment?" Connor replied, "I am very happy about today, and what we are celebrating. But the most important thing is that our daughter is here and taking over for us. That means the world to me. It means so much to Jamie and I that Broadview is staying in the family, and that it's with us, and others in the family are helping her also. It's going to be nice that Jamie and I can finally take some time for ourselves, and work on our health and get ourselves feeling better. I am loving it. It's a little harder for my wife making the transition but she will learn how to adjust," Connor said with a smile.

Describing the facility, Connor went on to say, "No matter if you come here to work, or come here as a resident, you become part of our family. We have many family members working here, but our residents truly are part of our family. That is why I am glad my daughter Bethany is here. She understands how we started it, out of our love just like my wife Jamie says, why we did and operated it how we did, and she really understands the family aspect. If you come to work here, or you come to live here, you become part of our Broadview family."

When asked about any prominent Broadview memories which really struck her heart, Jamie Connor quickly replied, "One time when the electricity went out for a while as we were all watching cable television and Lawrence Welk was on performing. A man named Bunn Roy from Ashburnham was here and he knew how to play the saxophone and played in a band back in the day. Well wouldn't you know it, he got his saxophone out while the power stayed out, and he played all this great music, and we were all out here at Broadview and we were all dancing together during the power outage!"

Asked how she felt about her daughter Bethany coming home to help run Broadview, Jamie Connor said, "I am so grateful, just so grateful. I know that she has so many talents that will make Broadview even better. She leads with her heart as well. I know with her it's all about what is best for the residents and the staff." Tom Connor chimed in, "We started this place from our heart, and our daughter brings a lot of brains on how to not only run the place, but has great ideas and will make Broadview even better in the future. Over the years as the state got more and more involved, there were a lot of regulations. Serving in the military as Bethany has, she understand regulations. She will do very well."

Both Tom and Jamie Connor immediately credited Operations Manager and brother-in-law Anthony Dixon for stopping the virus from doing any more damage than it already had in the facility during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic was a trying time as COVID-19 broke new ground in both ease of transmission and severity in the congregate style assisted living facility. Both reflected on how in the beginning, as in all places, nobody could predict how long and how profound the situation would be. Advisements and regulatory directives constantly changed, making it extremely difficult to manage as things changed day to day. Tom and Jamie also pointed out that experience in running the facility also comes from family member Lindsay Connor who serves as Assistant Executive Director with a MS in Gerontology and a BA in Health Science. Bethany added, "We both have so much we can teach each other between our two educations and all our experience. It's a great partnership, and what we do here means so much to both of us."

The Connor family also wanted to thank Dr. David Havlin, along with Drs. John and Rebecca Warden who also helped Broadview Assisted Living during the pandemic. Dr. John Warden made several visits a week, and Dr. Rebecca Warden made a lot of gowns while there was a gown shortage. People in the community also helped make both gowns and masks. "So many great people stepped up to help, such as these doctors, and people in the town were absolutely incredible with helping us here," said Jamie Connor.

Bethany added, "I am so happy for my parents that they can now enjoy life. We know what Broadview means to them, what they want and expect from all of us as family, and that this place has to be run with the same level of heart as my parents always had. It's up to us to keep that level of family commitment going, and my parents know we will."

When asked if they have a message for the Town of Winchendon after twenty-five years of family ownership, Tom Connor replied, "All the town members supported us both when we started and as we advanced and grew. We had the advantage of everybody knowing us. I previously served on the fire department and on the ambulance, Jamie and I were well known in town, and people knew what we were about. Everybody has just been so supportive of us over the years." Jamie added, "I just can't say thank you enough to so many great people. Thank you all!"

Tom and Jamie wanted to send one last message. "We want everybody, again, to know that all here at Broadview--family, workers, and residents--are part of our family, and we thank Winchendon for always supporting us for all these years while we always tried to help make Winchendon for seniors a better place."

From becoming high school Sweethearts at Murdock High School, Tom and Jamie graduated together in the Class of 1973 in June, and immediately married in July on Friday the 13, proving the date doesn't have to be a bad thing. Growing not just their love for each other and a family, but their love for their town and its people, while also growing Broadview Assisted Living for twenty-five years. Taking care of people who have grown older, while they themselves have now done the the very same, entering their next chapter in life of retirement, passing the torch to the next generation of family.

From the 50s though the 2000s, Broadview's car show properly represented the automobile with vehicles such as 50s Fords and Chrysler products along with classic Chevrolets, including three generations of Camaros, bringing seven decades of automobile performance for display.
Photos by Keith Kent

Second Winchenstock Concert Will Rock the Rod & Gun Club for the Winchendon CAC

On Saturday, August 14, the Winchendon Rod & Gun Club will be rockin' and rollin' as the second annual Winchenstock classic rock 'n' roll extravaganza hits the boards for a great cause: to benefit the Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC). Local favorite band The BIG RanDom will be joined by headliners The Fools, Beach Zombie, KILROY and Point the Finger for an all-day "World Dance Party" running from noon until 9:00 p.m. Acoustic sets will be played by Mark Fisher and Winchendon native Brian Dickens.

To accomodate fans from far away, the club is offering free RV/trailer/tent camping on Friday and Saturday night.

Food vendors will include Shane's Hot Dogs, Keith and Eva's Food Truck, cupcakes by "Slutty Muffins" Shannon Sylvia, and free ice cream served from the Fidelity Bank Ice Cream truck. The HEAL Winchendon Youth Changemakers will have a table. A kid's corner will feature face painting, games and crafts for littler music fans--Winchenstock will be fun for the whole family.

The first Winchenstock was organized in 2019 for the 50th anniversary of the legendary three-day Woodstock concert held in upstate New York on August 15-19, 1969. It raised some $3,500 for the Winchendon CAC. The second concert was planned for 2020 but was postponed to this year because of COVID. This year, the BIG RanDom will perform covers of at least seven songs played at the 1969 Woodstock.

Winchenstock will be groovin' at the Winchendon Rod and Gun Club, 169 Winchendon Road, Royalston, MA, starting at 12:00 noon. Tickets are $25 per person, which includes the Psycho Chicken Barbeque (named after one of The Fools' biggest hits) served from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m, and may be purchased at the door, from LaPoint Law Office at 91 Central Street, Winchendon, at the Winchendon CAC at 273 Central Street, Winchendon, or at Children under 16 admitted free with a paying adult. Bring along a blanket or lawn chairs (no outside food or beverages allowed). The venue will follow all COVID-19 restrictions/guidelines in place on the day of the event.

More details at

Murdock Trustees present gift

Murdock Trustees Present Winchendon with $175K Gift

Seen in this photo, taken at a BOS Tri-Board meeting on Monday, August 9, Murdock Fund Trustees representative Jack Ladeau presents Town Manager Justin Sultzback and the Town of Winchendon School System a donation in the form of a check for $175,000. The charitable donation comes from a fund created by Captain Ephriam Murdock Jr., who left his entire estate to the town for education after dying in 1882 a very successful business man. The fund was designed specifically to fund and assist education in Winchendon, funding the entire Town of Winchendon School budget during the years of 1890 - 1920, while paying also paying for then new Murdock School, now the Senior Center, operations for Meals on Wheels, and town polling placefor elections. The fund trustees faithfully manage the fund and its distribution, allowing Murdock's charitable donation to assist Winchendon Public Schools in its mission to support education to this very day.

In photo, left to right, are Town Manager Justin Sultzbach accepting the charitable check donation, Murdock Trustees Representative Jack Ladeau presenting the $175K check, and Interim Superintendent of Schools, Thad King. Photo by Keith Kent

MassHire Holding Virtual Job Fair
August 16-20

All jobseekers, from entry level to executive, are invited to attend this FREE 5-day virtual event consisting of two general job fairs and three industry-specific job fairs. Attend as many days as you choose to meet your job search needs.

August 16-20, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day.

Monday, August 16: General Job Fair (all industries)
Tuesday, August 17: Manufacturing, Professional Services, Finance
Wednesday, August 18: Healthcare, Hospitality, Education
Thursday, August 19: General Job Fair (all industries)
Friday, August 20: Information Technology, Building Services, and other

The MassHire:Massachusetts Virtual Job Fair will be held on Premier Virtual, an online platform that allows jobseekers to interact with employers through a visit to their virtual booth, instant message or video chat, view job openings and submit resumes.

Register today at

Subway August 2021 Fresh Refresh

Central Mass Tree

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Cold Chocolate plays at GAR Park
The musical group "Cold Chocolate" plays for just over fifty adults and children at G.A.R. Park on Friday, August 6. Concerts at the park are scheduled Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. through August 27, weather permitting.
Photo by Keith Kent

Townwide Yard Sale on Saturday, August 14 Sponsored by Ahimsa Haven

On Saturday, August 14, from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue is sponsoring a Town-Wide Yard Sale. Stop by Rescued Treasures at 200 Central Street to get a map of participants, and then visit dozens of coordinated yard sales all over town! Participating addresses below--the most up-to-date map may be found online at Town-Wide Yard Sale Map (Google Map).

200 Central St (Rescued Treasures)
12 Congress Rd
126 Central St (UU Church of Winchendon)
106 E Monomonac Rd
39 Front St
277 Ash St
79 Baldwinville State Rd
550 Hale St
91 Baldwinville Rd
1 Kemp St
311 Rice Rd
135 Baldwinville State Rd
52 Jackson Ave
57 Jackson Ave
83 Pearl St
5 Windsor Rd
485 School St
35 Royalston Rd N

4 Munroe St
759 Brown St
161 Mill Glen Rd
4 Hyde St
47 Highland St
32 Pearl St
26 Academy St
46 Prospect St
445 Central St
576 Alger St
213 Mill Glen Rd
110 Morse Ave
37 Washington Ave
141 Mill St
163 Brown St
36 Royalston Rd N
88 Pleasant St
231 West St
582 River St

UUCW Sponsors Second Sold-Out Lawn Fair

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon (UUCW) will be holding its second and final Lawn Fair of the summer this Saturday, August 14 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Fair will run concurrently with Winchendon's Town-Wide Yard Sale sponsored by Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue. In addition to the various tag sale and freecycle offerings, over 25 vendors and groups will be assembled on the church's front lawns, displaying a wide array of crafts, retail items and foodstuffs.

UUCW is welcoming both returning and brand-new vendors. Shoppers will find a variety of woodworks; hand-sewn, crocheted or knitted items; home décor; summer clothing; baked goods; military surplus goods; and unique crafts. Collectors will want to peruse classic vinyl records; vintage and new computer games and cards; and DVDs. Several vendors specialize in customization. Others offer popular lines such as Perfectly Posh, 31 Bags, Paparazzi, Scentsy, and DotDotSmile. Members of the Toy Town Outdoor Market will be selling fresh produce and handmade items.

DJ Kayden Gordon promises an upbeat atmosphere with live-streamed country music favorites from the church front steps. Hungry and thirsty shoppers can stop at the UUCW concession stand for lunch or a cold drink.

As with their Lawn Fair last June, this weekend's proceeds will be dedicated to UUCW's Set in Stone Capital Campaign to repair the building's masonry. The church is about one-quarter of the way through a multi-year, multi-phase project to preserve the building for generations to come. For more information, visit

Lawn Fair June 2021
Putnam's Clothing Bazaar Returns
Photo courtesy of UUCW
Lawn Fair June 2021
Zebo's Wild Wood Creations Displays Hand-Carved Walking Sticks
Photo courtesy of UUCW
Lawn Fair June 2021
A Collector Converses with Off-The-Wall Vinyl Vendor James Thompson
Photo courtesy of UUCW

Movies and Music at the Beals Library

If you're looking for a fun night out with the whole family, then head over to the Beals Memorial Library for their final Outdoor Movie and Music Night of the summer! On Friday August 20th, the library will be screening the action-packed dinosaur film, Jurassic Park!

Before the movie, Jumpin' Juba kicks off the night at 7:00 p.m. with a unique, rootsy-bluesy brand of music inspired by New Orleans swamp rock, classic boogie-woogie, folk, Memphis rock & roll, and a playful use of everything from Calypso to country.

At dark, the library will be screening the 1993 classic, Jurassic Park. The film is directed by Steven Spielberg and is set on the fictional island of Isla Nublar. There, wealthy businessman John Hammond and a team of genetic scientists have created a wildlife park of de-extinct dinosaurs. When industrial sabotage leads to a catastrophic shutdown of the park's power facilities and security precautions, a small group of visitors and Hammond's grandchildren struggle to survive and escape the perilous island. The film stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum.

From 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Friends of the Library will be running both their book sale and a concession stand. There will be popcorn, cookies, and other treats available for purchase. Profits go to fund future library programs and events.

Summer movies at the library are held outdoors on the library lawn and are free to attend. Bring your own lawn chairs or a picnic blanket for seating. Please note that movies will start when it gets dark and in the event of rain, the movie will be held on Thursday of the following week.

The Beals Memorial Library is located at 50 Pleasant Street in Winchendon. For more information, call the library at 978-297-0300 or email at

Jumpin' Juba musicians
Jumpin' Juba, a rootsy-bluesy band, will be performing American blues inspired tunes at 7:00 p.m. before the screening of Jurassic Park.
Photo courtesy of Beals Memorial Library

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Winchendon Businesses, Organizations, Services, and Government

Murdock High School Class of 1971 Plans 50th Reunion Celebration

Members from the Murdock High School Class of 1971 have been planning a two-day celebration of their 50th Anniversary of their Graduation. The weekend of events is planned for September 24th and 25th. Information will be mailed to all members of the class on or about August 8. The reunion committee has mailed 95 Save the Date postcards. Classmates who did not receive a postcard can send a current mailing address and email address to

The class also posts information on a closed Facebook private group: Murdock Jr Sr High School Class of 1971.

You must already be a Facebook member to join the private group. Send a request to join to Marc Brouillette at, or request to join from the page.

The Committee is requesting help in locating several members of the Class. Anyone with information is asked to contact any member of the Committee. The following people have not been located: Roy D. Carr; Michael Connors; Mary Ann Gouslin Dunchus; John Keane; and Linda Berardi Ghize.

MHS class of '71
(Front Row, Left to Right). Bonita (Fortunato) Drew, Susan (Vaine) Martin-Scott; Susan Giardini; Coral May Grout; and Judith (Duplease) Moriarty.
(Back Row, Left to Right). Noel Veilleux; John Goan; Glenn Hunt; Marc Brouillette
Photo courtesy of Coral Grout

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.

STILL 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

HEAL Winchendon Offering Financial Coaching Workshops

HEAL Winchendon, in conjunction with the Winchendon CAC, is offering a free financial coaching program to any residents who are interested. The program runs for eight weeks with a flexible schedule and is available in both English and Spanish. Coaching will be scheduled at the Winchendon CAC, 273 Central St. To enroll, fill out the form at HEAL Financial Coaching Sign-Up (Google form) or call 978-621-4524.

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 Committee Vacancies
as of June 24, 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 Committee - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 14 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 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).

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