The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of September 2 to September 9, 2021
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Traffic Redirection Into Blair Square Marks Beginning of "Gateway" Improvements for Winchendon Downtown

Beginning on Friday, September 3, traffic heading north on Front Street (coming down the hill from High Street and Old Centre and crossing the bridge) will no longer be able to merge directly onto Route 12 at Blair Square, next to the United Parish Church. Instead, drivers will be directed to turn right onto Lake Street, immediately after crossing the bridge, and then turn onto Spring Street/Route 12 at the intersection with Beech Street. (see diagram)

Blair Square traffic flow Traffic on Front Street from the United Parish Church to Lake Street will be one-way only, south; drivers may go that way to get to High Street and Old Centre from Blair Square if they wish.

This change is the first step in extensive and long-range plans to improve the appearance, traffic flow and safety of Blair Square, as well as re-design and enhance all of the "gateways" into Winchendon center. Currently, Blair Square is the site of frequent accidents as traffic traveling north and south on Route 12 merges with traffic heading north and south on Route 202, with Front Street, Spring Street, School Street and Main Street all merging and splitting off from each other around multiple islands in the roadway. In the midst of this tangle are Cumberland Farms, Dunkin' Donuts, Town Hall, the GALA art gallery and the Winchendon History and Cultural Center, among other frequently visited points of interest.

The Town Hall states, "Barriers and signage will be placed in the road for the next several months to provide an opportunity for motorists to adjust to the change. This will mark the beginning of an exciting redevelopment of Blair Square that will increase motorist and pedestrian safety while also encouraging economic development and downtown beautification efforts along Front Street."

At the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, August 30, Town Manager Justin Sultzback described some of the plans for Blair Square. "As part of a larger discussion we've been having as a community about downtown, one of the items identified in the Master Plan is the need to try to dress up the gateways that we have, to address some of the blight that we have downtown, with the long-term goal of making it a more community-friendly place, but also somewhere that businesses would like to more readily invest. So, as part of that effort, we are looking at a couple different spots," Mr. Sultzbach said. "By switching one part of the Blair Square intersection one-way, we'll be diverting traffic down Lake Street. As part of that, Mr. Croteau was committed to repaving Lake Street, and that's kind of what led to the conversation of, while we're repaving this, what should we do about what's happening here."

Town Planner Tracy Murphy told the Board, "We do have some leftover funds from our Shared Spaces grant on Central Street. We're not quite through with the projects for that, but we're going to have some excess funds. So I contacted the state and asked if we could create a new space with the leftover funds, which was part of what they wanted us to do in the beginning, and sent them pictures of this spot [the intersection of Lake Street, Beech Street and Route 12/Spring Street], and they approved it within a couple of hours. So our excess funds, which is near about 40,000 dollars, we can put into this."

As Lake Street will now be experiencing far more traffic than it's been used to seeing, it will be getting a makeover. The road has already been resurfaced, and future plans will keep it a one-way road, newly paved, with curbing and a sidewalk, and turn lanes at the intersection with Spring Street. Department of Public Works Director Brian Croteau responded to a question from Selectman Danielle LaPointe with assurances that the guard rail will be extended to curve around onto Lake Street and prevent cars from potentially skidding into Hunts Pond (which concerned citizens stated had happened in the past).

The entrance from Lake Street into the auto repair business on the corner will be improved, and native plants will be put in to help soften the appearance of the lot to traffic approaching from the south and create a more attractive view.

Asked about the large billboards and open ground to the south of the ponds, at the intersection of Water Street and Spring Street, Mr. Sultzbach stated that they needed to take things a step at a time. The property there is privately owned. "Part of the intent of clearing up the section we're talking about and clearing up Beech Street is that once we're complete, it kind of helps us start the conversation about what we can do to beautify [the area with billboards], because, this is the way I come into town every day, so I have a lot of time to think about it. I look at them four, five days a week. So when you're coming in before you even take that turn, this is one of the first things you're looking at, and so that's part of the conversation we want to have, as well as how can we or what can we do to dress this up a bit, and to incentivize the property owner to clean it up a bit."

Ms. Murphy emphasized that "those billboards, and the sign before it, are all grandfathered, they wouldn't be allowed by today's standards, but they are now. So if there's any modification to those, then--they would go, but they don't usually do any modification because they know that, they know that they're not allowed, by today's standards."

Mr. Sultzbach said, "Over the next few years, we're going to try to cobble together different blends of funding, and available grant money, and different resources available to us, we'll certainly be reaching out to the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation this fall, and asking if it's something they'd be interested in contributing to as well, but just to chip away at these piece by piece by piece and really kind of rebuild all this vibrant downtown for the community to enjoy."

Bull Spit Brewing Renews Licenses for Bull Yard, Updates BOS on 4 Summer Street Work

Owner Jim Hunt and General Manager Rebecca Higgins of Bull Spit Brewery appeared before the Board of Selectmen on Monday, August 30 for two separate agenda items: renewing their one-day special licenses and permits for the Bull Yard on Central Street, and updating the Board on the progress with the properties across the way on Summer Drive.

When Bull Spit applied for their permits for July and August, they stated that they would return to renew the permits for September and October as long as things went well. The renewal application extends the operating hours for the Bull Yard to one hour later on each day: 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. Mr. Hunt explained, "So we're looking to get approval for an hour on the back end, we're not looking to change the music [time], so the live music would stay the same. What we noticed, where people weren't really ready to go, they were still with their family, they were still eating, so we thought an extra hour, to let people finish their food, and enjoy their last beverage, before they go on their way, would be easier for our staff, because we were trying to move a lot of people at once."

In response to the observation that darkness will be falling earlier in the fall, Ms. Higgins said, "We did put lighting up, but we also have the lights in the parking lot on a timer so when as soon as it gets dark--so we added lighting on the fencing area, and then there's actual, like the street lights point out towards the street and then there's ones that point in towards the parking lot that are on the timer. So we have those set for 7 o'clock, and then to be shut off, I believe 10 o'clock it would be." Mr. Hunt and Ms. Higgins assured the Board that they are very careful about checking IDs and making sure no underage persons are drinking alcohol. Several members of the Board commented on the positive impact the Bull Yard has had on business and activity at that end of Central Street.

Selectman Rick Ward put in, "The only thing that I've heard is that some of the businesses, their regular customers are having a little bit of a problem, because they can't get to their-- for example, pizza, across the street. You can't pull in to pick it up anymore, because people park to go to the thing across the street. So they're parking there for three hours, and same with Beth's shop up the street, Not Just Produce, people park there and they park there for the whole evening, and so people who would drive in to get things can't get to those spots."

Mr. Hunt stated that they would do some social media posts about respecting local ordinances about on-street parking, which is limited to one hour on Central Street. Department of Public Works Director Brian Croteau stated that signs have been posted with the parking limits.

The Board of Selectmen approved the renewed permits for the Bull Yard, which cover the months of September and October. The Bull Yard will continue to open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with extended hours of 12:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 12:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, hours for music performances remaining the same. Following this, the Board heard updates on the status of 4 Summer Drive and the Goodspeed building, which Bull Spit has purchased. Bull Spit has not actually taken possession of 4 Summer Drive; the title will be transferred when remediation work has been completed.

Mr. Sultzbach began, "As you know, this was a phased project, and actually Tracy Murphy if you'd like to come up as well, has had a huge hand in laying the groundwork for this and executing it. As part of that [involved] grant funds received from the town, that will remediate some of the hazardous materials that are on site and some of that has been completed, many asbestos and hot materials on the roof has been removed, and there's just a handful of hazardous materials inside that have been removed but are currently stockpiled that our goal is to be removed this Wednesday. And so...what that brings us to at this point is the phase in the upcoming month or so, people around town are going to see some active redevelopment there in the form of laying down a new roof, doing some masonry repairs on the exterior. And we felt that it was appropriate to get ahead of that and give the community some updates, just so they're not scratching their heads in terms of where we're at with the project."

overhead view of 4 Summer Drive Mr. Hunt displayed some aerial views of the property showing some of the basic plans, showing the Board the locations of future parking areas, outside hospitality areas, and work that is being done on the building so far. Bull Spit owns the property along the waterfront behind the Goodspeed building, up to the back wall of the former bowling alley at 5 Summer Drive (now occupied by Simply Grounded Yoga/Pilates).

Mr. Sultzbach clarified for the Board and for voters, "when the property actually officially changes hands, that will be complete once we're done doing the grant-funded portion of the project. So things are going a little out of sequence here, so even though we may see some roof work going on or masonry work, the earthwork, of existing site conditions and any contaminants in the soil, that's something that's going to be done by the town, and has to be done prior to us officially handing the property over. So that's why we're going to hold off for a little while before formally signing the property over. When that time comes, Bull Spit will come back, and that's when we'll have conceptual drawings and other items so the community can get a really good udea, from a rendering perspective of what this, what the vision for this property will be, and I think that's probably an appropriate time for the Board to revisit officially signing off on the purchase and sale and all of that and formalizing that agreement. So that's something that I would to imagine would happen before the end of this calendar year."

Mr. Hunt reviewed the general state of the Goodspeed building and the old train station next to it, which will have to be demolished as it is too dilapidated to save.

Selectman Danielle LaPointe suggested that a "future agenda item" might be to discuss security for the Clark Memorial YMCA, with a drinking establishment opening right next to their facility. Mr. Hunt assured her that Bull Spit was already on this.

"We did meet with the Board of Directors and all the professional staff with the Y, it was probably late winter early spring, we had them over for some snacks, and we gave them a tour of all the buildings, and again showed them the vision for what we want to do," Mr. Hunt explained. "The main priority there was to see if they had any concerns, and their basic concern was, an abandoned building right behind their brand new addition. So they were more than thrilled that someone was going to be in there, and taking care of it, and bringing things back up to code, because it's only helping protect their assets. We have a really good dialogue with them right now, so that's good."

Selectman Barbara Anderson said that she feared that Bull Spit wouldn't have enough parking, given how popular and busy their Westminster facility is. Mr. Hunt explained that they actually own the property up to and around Doody's building, with a shared driveway there, and they'll be able to show actual numbers of spaces when the site plans are drawn up. "We're just glad our customers won't have to cross a state highway" in Winchendon, he added.

Winchendon Fall Festival Taking Shape, Only One Month Away!

Mark your calendar and set the date! The 4th Annual Winchendon Fall Festival is on target for Saturday, October 9 during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. rain or shine. With two dozen vendors joining in just the last two weeks, there is sure to be something for everybody as the downtown area of Central Street will be bustling with both joyous children and adults alike.

From many and varied vendor sales, to food trucks, to demonstrations for all ages--both the Winchendon Police Department with its favorite four-legged member, Officer K-9 Clyde, performing on the Clark YMCA field at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., and the Winchendon Fire Department performing home cooking fire demonstrations at the corner of Central and Summer Streets at alternating times. While temperatures may soon start dropping, people's spirits promise to be high, enjoying activities outside in the fresh October fall air.

The Fall Festival, like almost everything else forced to take a temporary absence by the pandemic, was last held two years ago in October of 2019. However, with more people becoming vaccinated and life slowly returning to some level of normal, both Town of Winchendon Director of Planning and Development Tracy Murphy and her assistant Nicole Roberts have been hard at work bringing a successful Fall Festival back to life. Make no mistake, there will be plenty of action for people of all ages.

With the last pre-pandemic event boasting 210 vendors, many have been on the sidelines watching and waiting before making that all-important last-minute event commitment. With only 82 vendors signed up as of late May, Roberts confirmed the addition of two dozen more in just the last couple of weeks, bringing the current vendor count up to 145 (or 70 percent of 2019) and counting, of which 43 are locally known, with just over one month to go. With their event grid and map stretching over six feet on a wall in Town Hall, Roberts wants you to know they can fit in up to 360 vendors, so there is still plenty of room, and plenty of time to join in on the Fall Festival fun!

For children attending there will be the "Trackless Train" ride making its rounds up and down Central Street, along with two bouncy houses, and the Shriners making balloon animals. Not to be forgotten, for people of all ages, the Winchendon History and Cultural Center, Senior Center, and all the businesses along Central Street will be adding to the event's dynamics, along with the participation of the local Scouts BSA Troop and Pack 193, just to name just a few.

If all the walking makes you hungry, in addition to the local food vendors along Central Street including Christos Pizza, Friends Garden, C&S Pizza, Gabby's Pizza, Not Just Produced, and Hometown Cafe, also available to please your palate will be the Harbour Restaurant with tasty offerings, the Glen Caffe and their popular chowder along the route, and even the Kiwanis Club with their traditional fairgrounds style food. There will be the popular food trucks of Say Cheese, Joey's Cannoli, Kim Capone who is seen at the Grout Park on the bike path, Pops Sweat Harts / ice cream truck, and the Fidelity Bank ice cream truck.

For those of you who get thirsty, Bull Spit Brewery will be "on-tap" to help quench your thirst from all the walking around. Continuing with the live entertainment theme and also not to be missed, "Winchendon Winds" concert band will be performing from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the UU church, and the BIG RanDom will be playing classic rock, along with other groups providing additional live entertainment, beginning at 11:30 a.m. and continuing through the event's duration.

Roberts would also like the public to know she is still looking for event volunteers. Roberts said, "We are looking for people who are needed to help unload vehicles to assist the vendors with their tent and staging areas. We also need people at the start and end of the event area, and we will have several golf carts where volunteers will also be helping out to help guide vendors to their individual site. We are looking for at least a half dozen or more volunteers to still join up with us so if you are interested please reach out."

In closing Roberts emphasized, "This is an important event for the town. It highlights local businesses, provides fun activities for people of all ages to do, and really provides a sense of community, a great satisfaction seeing Central Street full, and will be a way to bring everybody together for a fun-filled day. Please come out and support the event as it's the first time now we have been able to celebrate in two years, and everybody will have a great time!"

For more about the event please visit the Winchendon Fall Festival Facebook page. If you have any questions regarding joining the event or in general, you can call Roberts directly by phone at the Winchendon Planning Department at 978-297-0085, extension 7, email her at or apply as a vendor at

2019 Winchendon Fall Fest 2019 Winchendon Fall Fest

Seen in these photos from the Fall, 2019 Winchendon Fall Fest, Central Street bustles with vendors and attendees throughout its business district. Now scheduled to again take place rain or shine this upcoming October 9, 2021, over 140 vendors have now signed up with more soon to come.
Courtesy photos provided by Nicole Roberts & the Winchendon Fall Festival

Winchendon Realizes Significant Viral Increase After Two Week Decline

The town of Winchendon after seeing a drop in COVID viral cases for the last 2 weeks, has per the latest Thursday, September 2 report, realized a significant increase in positive cases rising from 3.89 to 5.23 percent over its 14 day testing average, an increase of 36 percent from the previous week.

Currently as of the Thursday, September 2 report, the testing average for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts registers are 2.74 percent, which leaves the Town of Winchendon a full 48% higher than the state average, while maintaining lagging vaccination rates per population versus the Worcester County average. While out of the light blue and in to the white color coding identification due to vaccinated residents versus its total population, still registering over 5.00 percent at 5.23 percent, would have formerly placed Winchendon in the red zone, if not for those vaccinated at this time.

In the immediate surrounding region, the City of Gardner along with Winchendon were the only two municipalities to experience significant increases. Gardner's positivity rate increased from 3.61 to 4.80 percent in the last 7 days which represents its update on a combined 2 week testing average.

Most of Winchendon's surrounding towns realized decreases in positivity testing averages. Ashburnham dropped from 3.13 to 2.82 percent%, with its neighbor and fellow Ashburnham-Westminster School District partner Westminster, while still very high, dropping slightly from 6.70 to 6.27 percent. The town of Templeton decreased for the third consecutive week from 3.67 to 3.26 percent, with neighbor and fellow Narrangansett Regional School District member Phillipston also decreasing from 4.26 to 2.91 percent. Winchendon's western bordering town of Royalston only increased slightly from 1.28 to 1.39 percent, and fellow Athol-Royalston Regional School District town of Athol also dropped from 3.45 to 2.86 percent.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts breakthrough cases, defined as "a person who is fully vaccinated diagnosed as COVID positive," increased by 3,700 in the last month, with the state reporting just over 16,000 total cases to date, up from 12,500, out of the just under 4.5 million fully vaccinated residents, or just 0.003 percent of fully vaccinated individuals. Of those breakthrough cases, the vast majority were infected with the Delta viral variant.

Additionally at this time, the majority of Massachusetts new COVID positive cases continue to be unvaccinated individuals, and of the Delta variant at hospitals, urgent care facilities, and doctor's offices, all the while maintaining 90 percent of new cases diagnosed with unvaccinated individuals.

Please remember to wash your hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer when touching surfaces, especially in highly populated areas. Do not rub your eyes with your hands, as the fluid on the surface of your eyes provides nearly an instant transmission into the body for viruses upon contact. Also do not rub the opening of your nasal passages. In both situations, remember to use your sleeve or a clean cloth whenever possible.

Both the United States Center for Disease Control and Massachusetts Department of Public Health strongly recommend both individuals who are not vaccinated, and those who are either vaccinated or not vaccinated and immune system compromised, to wear masks when out in public, especially in highly or densely populated areas.

In closing, if you are not yet vaccinated, I ask as Chair of the Board of Health and not on behalf of our board, that if you are healthy enough to do so please stop making excuses and become vaccinated. To date nationally over 160 million of our 330 million United States residents are fully vaccinated, which has paved the way in the right direction for a return to normal. Please do not listen to the false stories all too common on social media platforms. Please speak to your own doctor regarding your health, and not armchair social media fake news sources. Listen to the science, for if many continue to not pay attention to facts and data, this public viral loop will continue to round the circle over and over again. It's time to break the circle.

Keith Kent
Board of Health
Town of Winchendon

The Clark Memorial YMCA Announces September Membership Drive

The Clark Memorial YMCA in Winchendon has announced its "Our Gift To You" membership drive. Join the Clark Y during the month of September and get the month of December FREE!

The Clark Y is the regional YMCA for the North Central Mass communities of winchendon, Gardner, Ashburham, Templeton and Royalston and offers a range of programs for everyone in the family. The Clark Y campus includes the fitness center, six lane pool, gymnasium, field house, gymnastics center, before and after school child care center and soccer fields. Youth programs include learn to swim programs, swim team, gymnastics, team sports and summer camp. Adults can choose from a variety of fitness classes, or structure their own workout with cardio machines, weight training or lap swim. Seniors enjoy the Silver Sneakers classes every day and the whole family has fun during Family Swim hours.

The Clark Memorial YMCA's membership fees are among the lowest in the Central New England region. Further, our Membership For All program, an income- based fee structure funded by the Clark Y's Annual Campaign, is evidence of our commitment that no one is turned away from the Clark Y for lack of financial resources.

Are you ready to put the COVID pandemic behind you and recommit to a healthy lifestyle? Learn more about the Clark YMCA on our website (, visit us on Facebook or stop by at 155 Central St. Winchendon and tour our facilities. Then take advantage of the "Our Gift To You" by joining in September and getting the month of December FREE!

Clark YMCA Robinson Broadhurst Field House
Clark YMCA weight room

Organic Farmers to Host Workshop: Poultry Management with Chicken Tractors

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting a workshop regarding Poultry Management with Chicken Tractors on September 18th 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

Immediate Vacancy on Finance Committee - Volunteer Needed

This is a volunteer position, with meetings typically held once a month with more frequent meetings as we approach the Spring Town Meeting. The Finance Committee is charged with the following:

It shall be the duty of the Committee to investigate the financial affairs of the town, including receipts of and expenditures by the different departments, or any Town Officer; the methods in which the town business is conducted; the general conduct of the town affairs; and all the articles in town warrants for town meetings referred to it; and, in the discharge of its duties, shall have free access to all books of accounts, books of record and all accounts, bills, and vouchers on which money has been or may be paid from the town treasury.

This position is appointed by the Town Moderator, Coral Grout. Apply in writing to Coral at

Subway August 2021 Fresh Refresh

Central Mass Tree

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Clark Memorial YMCA

Last concert at GAR Park
Last concert of the season.
Seen here playing the last scheduled public outdoor summer concert on Friday, August 27, the musical group the Terryiffics play for patrons marking the closure of this year's concert series at G.A.R. Park to the enjoyment of all attending.
Photo by Keith Kent
End of summer fun
End of summer vacation fun!
Seen in this photo, children up to their early teens gather with their life jackets on for kayaking, swimming, and stand up paddle boarding at Lake Dennison making the most of their last days of summer break on Saturday, August 28.
Photo by Keith Kent
flowers behind RHI building
flowers behind RHI building
Beauty behind the beast!
Hidden behind the now defunct RHI building along Railroad Street on the rear property of Winchendon Wine & Spirits, this beautiful long flower garden following the curve of the parking lot proves you can find beauty in the most unlikely of places if one is only willing to look for it.
Photos by Keith Kent
baby frog in flower
baby frog in flower
Seen recently in one of many gardens at the home of Carol Smith of Winchendon, former co-owner of Smith's Country Cheese, this young immature Tree frog is seen hiding in nature's natural canopy over two feet off the ground in a vibrant day lily as it seeks protection from natural ground level predators.
Photos by Keith Kent

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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

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 August 30, 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 - 11 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
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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