The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of October 28 to November 4, 2021
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

MCHS Hosts First Winchendon Pumpkin Roll Event in Winchendon Community Park

Pumpkin Roll
Let 'Em Roll!
Seen in this photo, attendees of the first ever MCHS Free Pumpkin Roll Contest show their pumpkin rolling skills as they each aim for a pumpkin target
Photo by Keith Kent
Pumpkin Roll
Event volunteer Tammy Woodard holds up just some of the goodie bags event attendees receive under the theme, "Everybody Goes Home a Winner!" Woodard who recently moved to Toy Town, wanted to jump right in and help
Photo by Keith Kent

It was a first-ever fall town event, for an appropriately cool and crisp New England fall day, as the Massachusetts Critical Housing Service (MCHS) sponsored its first annual Pumpkin Roll event in Winchendon on Sunday, October 24, to begin the conversation about the growing need for both a local and additional homeless shelters in the North Central Mass region.

MCHS is a grassroots volunteer group passionate about helping those in need. By volunteering and showing compassion to others, it is their hope to effect change in the state one town at a time, while also breaking the stigma of homelessness. MCHS believes that together, it can find ways to provide shelter, food and clothing to fellow humans. MCHS is proud to announce a successful fiscal sponsorship collaborative with Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts (CFNCM).

Its "Four Pillars" are described as: Mission, to help people suffering from all types of homelessness; Vision, to offer caring and compassionate solutions for helping the less fortunate; Now, being in the now and always looking for ways to pitch in and help; and Later, looking to the future so the MCHS can continue to put the less fortunate first by collaborating with local individuals, groups, non-profits, and other willing agencies.

Event organizer and town resident Theresa Suzor could not have been happier to begin the conversation of the growing need for both a local, and other area homeless shelters. "We hope to bring a homeless shelter to the town of Winchendon, to serve the people of Winchendon, and up to the thirty-two communities surrounding us if needed. Today's event is about both doing something for our community, and getting the MCHS name out there. We have to start going for grants, and I have found a grant writer! We want to get the shelter going, but if we can't at least we can get this event 'Pumpkin Roll' going every year."

Suzor also serves as the board secretary of the North Central Mass Faith Based Community Coalition, which she explained assists in feeding some 2,000 low income and homeless individuals a month, has worked with Restoration Recovery Center Inc. of Fitchburg, MA to help people stay sober, and assisted with the bringing of a homeless shelter to nearby city of Gardner under the Gardner Emergency Housing Mission.

As Suzor explained, strong support for the cause and event was demonstrated by many local businesses with donations for goodie bags and more. The GFA Credit Union, C&S Pizza, The Glen Cafe, Winchendon Furniture Company, Zoe's Restaurant and Pizzeria, Hannaford's Supermarket, McDonalds, Belletetes, Federated Auto Parts, Christo's Place, Fidelity Bank (who was at the event with their free ice cream truck), Hometown Cafe, Subway, Toy Town Treasures, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Barbers Beyond Dawn, Not Just Produced, The Toy Town Barber Shop, and even Hollis Hill Farm of Fitchburg all pitched in for the cause.

Hosted at the Winchendon Community Park soccer field which provided plenty of room, the event enjoyed sunny skies, a high of 50 degrees, and lots of happy children realizing a long-standing New England fall tradition: playing games outside with each other and picking their own pumpkins! A play area for children's free play, pick your own pumpkin display, the pumpkin roll, corn hole, and even Tarot card readings were offered. Fidelity Bank was on scene with their Frosty Flyer van handing out free ice cream to all attending.

Suzor appeared before the Board of Selectmen on October 18 for an entertainment permit for the use of the town-owned park soccer field, which was reviewed by all town department heads, and approved by the BOS and the Board of Health. Because MCHS is a non-profit and the event was open to the public free of charge, the BOS voted to waive the application fee for the permit. Nevertheless, Suzor was forced to call police to deal with persistent harassment from a park abutter before and during the event.

Suzor has strong motivation for supporting and starting a conversation about building homeless shelters. "I've been in the field of Human Services all my life. I feel the need for a homeless shelter in Winchendon, because I have been personally picking up women in this town and paying for their hotels which has been a lot on my shoulders financially. I just can't walk past it. If I see a woman crying on the side of the street who is all alone, I just have to stop. I finally decided to try and start my own agency, so that is what I am trying to do. With roughly forty years in Human Services, going back when I was eight years old I was helping get people out of ditches, and at ten years old instead of playing with Barbie dolls, we went in to the nursing homes and played there. That stayed with me my entire life, just being a kid playing in the street and seeing somebody that needs help. You never forget that."

In closing, regarding the need for homeless shelters, Suzor said, "It's a thin line. Anybody can due to unforeseen circumstances, can cross that thin line between being homed and being homeless. I want my agency to be there for the people who actually do experience homelessness which is horrible. But more importantly, for the people who don't experience homelessness you need to know bad things happen and you could cross that thin line and while hopefully not, you could need that homeless shelter someday."

The MCHS can be reached by phone at 978-413-0356, emailed at and visited on the Web at

Pumpkin Roll
Pumpkin Roll

Event organizer Theresa Suzor of Winchendon makes sure a heart felt thanks goes out to all who assisted in hosting the 1st event.
Photos by Theresa Suzor

MPHN Nurses Honored with Citation for COVID Work

Citation for MPHN nurses
Seen in photo from left to right, Keith Kent, Chairperson, Winchendon Board of Health, Winchendon Town Manager, Justin Sultzbach, State Representative Jon Zlotnik (D-Gardner), holding her Massachusetts Statehouse Citation of Recognition, Susan Avallone, RN, viral case tracker for the Town of Winchendon and Chairperson of the City of Gardner BOH, Winchendon BOS Chairperson Audrey LaBrie, and Town of Winchendon Health Agent, James Abare. Not seen in photo unable to attend and also awarded a Statehouse Citation of Recognition for her dedicated Winchendon viral case tracking and notification efforts, RN, Sandra Knipe.
Photo by Linda Daigle

At the Board of Selectmen's meeting on Monday, October 25, Susan B. Avallone, MSN, RN, NCSN-E, and her sister Sandra J. Knipe, RN, BSN, both part of the Montachusett Public Health Network COVID-19 Response Team, were presented with citations from the Massachusetts State Legislature by Representative Jon Zlotnik to recognize and honor their work in contact tracing to help slow the spread of COVID in North Central Massachusetts. Ms. Avallone accepted the citation on behalf of Ms. Knipe who was not able to attend in person.

Board of Health Chair Keith Kent began by saying, "A couple of months ago, I spoke to our health agent, James Abare, and I reached out to State Representative Jon Zlotnik's office. These wonderful individuals, as we have present with us here this evening, we're honored to have her, have been on the front lines this entire way, helping our community with all their hearts and good work. When they have to call a complete stranger's home to try to explain to them if they're positive, what would be beneficial to them, their families, their friends, people they met with, the contact tracing aspect, shall we say to be polite, is extremely difficult at times for these wonderful individuals who are giving everybody the best they have. The responses can obviously run the gamut from 'O my lord, thank you for calling me and letting me know, we were totally unaware,' to, 'please don't call my house again.' That's putting it nicely."

Mr. Kent added that Rep. Zlotnik's office already had "something ready quite a while ago, but due to everybody's schedules and this little thing we have going on called the pandemic right now, it's been challenging at times getting everybody together in the same room at the same time."

Rep. Zlotnik thanked Mr. Kent and went on, "The contact tracing program really has been, I don't think people realize, such a crucial part of how we combatted this pandemic for the last year and a half, how their efforts have helped stopped the spread as it's moved through our community, and undoubtedly those efforts have saved a lot of lives. So with that, I have a pair of citations, from the Massachusetts House of Representatives, recognizing what they have done over the last year and a half, in this program, and thanking them, from the House, and from our community, for those efforts."

Ms. Avallone said she felt "just totally humbled that you guys would be so thoughtful, to thank us like this." She added, "We've just been doing what we've been doing because it was the right thing to do," and she and her sister would certainly continue the work because "we have a belief in public health."

Another Milestone for the Future Gateway Park on Spring Street

new sidewalks on Lake Street new sidewalks on Lake Street

Newly installed sidewalks are seen still curing on Thursday, October 28, providing a first time added increase in pedestrian safety along the full length of Lake Street, as part of the upcoming Central Street Business District revitalization project. Lake Street which is now one-way only diverting traffic from the Front Street bridge at Hunt's Pond to the Spring Street bridge and Route 12, was also recently paved with a fresh coat of asphalt. The sidewalks are seen in these photos being installed by Rob Pszyk of Prestige Concrete, LLC of Rindge, New Hampshire.
Photos by Keith Kent

Railroad Street Updates in Progress Despite Supply Chain Backup

Railroad Street design schematics
This schematic of the Railroad Street improvements project displays the placement of new parking spaces, trees, intersection improvements and more soon coming to fruition in the current reconstruction project.
Photo by Keith Kent

As part of the several-years-long, ongoing multiple street revitalization projects bringing significant infrastructural improvements to Winchendon's Central Street business district area, Railroad Street, while currently unsightly, is well on the way to realizing order where there was once chaos.

Soon to transform from a slender two-way public road on which frequent unorganized parking on both sides made it even tighter, once completed, the future revitalized Railroad Street will feature fifteen marked parking spaces--thirteen regular and two handicap--at least nine new trees, and traffic bump outs. Increased traffic safety for motorized vehicles and pedestrians alike will include one-way traffic from Railroad Street's eastern end, beginning at Central Street, to its intersection with Pleasant Street, then two-way traffic on its western half from Pleasant Street to Spruce Street.

The project, which costs $600,000, is part of a $715,510 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - Community Development Fund (CDF) grant which also included much needed Fuel Assistance, and is the third large grant secured by the Town of Winchendon Planning and Development Office. It follows a 2017 grant for $557,336 for Chestnut Street Reconstruction, Housing Rehab, and Fuel Assistance, and a 2016 secured grant of $1,000,000 for Walnut Street reconstruction, Housing Rehab, and Fuel Assistance.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Brian Croteau explained, "The drainage previously crossed private property going underneath a bar over to Pleasant Street, and as part of this improvement project, we are eliminating that and keeping everything under the public streets now." Elaborating on the area, Director of Planning and Development Tracy Murphy continued, "As we are with this design pushing more traffic permanently towards Grove Street, it should be known that the condition at the end of Grove Street at its intersection with Central will also be improved and taken care of as part of the 2022 Central Street project, where the intersecting streets with Central along its southerly side will all also receive additional line of sight improvements. Additionally, before this project, there was technically no [legal] parking on Railroad Street, it wasn't posted. Now we are gaining all this parking with these organized parking spots as it will be much more organized. We have been working on all this dating back to the Summer of 2019."

When asked about a project completion date, Croteau elaborated, "We can't really give a hard date, because due to the shortages in the supply chain isses, we can't get confirmation on when certain items will be delivered, and that weighs heavily on what are able to make on informed decisions and what we allow them to do in terms of what parts of the project we move forward with the rest of the year. The project has six phases, with water, sewer, drainage, paving, sidewalks, and then landscaping. The water lines under the ground are done, but the sewer as an example is not, because again due to the supply chain backup, the primary sewer contractor, GEG Construction who did Walnut Street is ready to go, but is waiting on those supply structures."

The project, which began one month ago, is now more likely to miss its completion target date at no fault of either the town or the contractors. "In a perfect world this would be an eight week project, but it's clearly right now with all the supply issues not a perfect world and that is one hundred percent of the issue right now," Croteau added. Murpy followed, "We really wanted to have this closed out by winter which was the intent, but we just don't know at this point if that is going to be feasible now."

In closing, Croteau said, "Without all the funding secured by Planning and Development the project wouldn't be available to be completed. People need to know this is a thirty to forty year fix, and on some of the aspects of this project like water and sewer it's close to a hundred year fix, so it's something that is not going to have to be redone in just five to ten years."

Winchendon Experiences Welcome COVID Viral Drop in Final Report for October

COVID map 10-28-2021

The Town of Winchendon after spending a month in the low 5 to high 5 percentage viral infection range, has just experienced a large one week drop over the previous weekly reporting average dropping from 5.07 to 3.82 percent positive testing, numbers not realized in Toy Town for some time. In the past several weeks, Winchendon has dropped from 5.64, to 5.54, to 5.07, to 3.82 percent viral positivity, exiting the bottom of the October calendar month, on a welcome high note.

In other good news for the Town of Winchendon, in a conversation with our Town Health Agent, James Abare, we were happy to confirm at this time, two weeks out from the Winchendon Fall Festival, a very large outdoor public gathering, there was no spike in either viral positivity or confirmed cases. As of Wednesday, October 27, Winchendon realized an active tracking of 34 known cases, out of 10,765 residents as listed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Again those are known cases as viral effects vary per person, and some do not even know they are infected.

At the time of the early March 2020 shutdown, the United States Centers for Disease Control believed up to 10 percent of all viral infections occurred outside in the open air, prompting the Massachusetts outdoor mask mandate. The CDC has since admitted, with more scientific data available, what many of us knew, that the previously believed number was incorrect and actually less than one half of one percent of cases are now believed to be transmitted outside in the open air. As Winchendon is now well past its Fall Festival where over 2,000 people participated up close in the open air proximity of Central Street, with no spike in cases documented at this time, it backs up the modified beliefs that the majority of infections occur indoors in close proximity contact without filtrated air, and not outdoors in the fresh circulated air.

Other surrounding towns and school districts have also for most part seen a decrease, while New England's largest three cities all located in the Commonwealth have again led the way holding the highest populations, while providing through vaccinations, the lowest viral numbers. The third largest city of Springfield, MA registered this week in the October 28 DPH reports at a lower 2.70 percent. The second largest city, Worcester, MA with a population of 209,000 realized a viral positivity rate of just 1.18 percent consistent for its municipality. Massachusetts and New England's largest city, Boston, with 670,000 residents year round, and 1.5 million residents during active college and university academic periods, reached a phenomenally low 0.69 percent viral infection rate per this report.

Locally, to Winchendon's east and southeast in the joint towns of the Oakmont Regional School District, Ashburnham experienced a slight drop from 2.96 to 2.66 percent, while member Town of Westminster continues to struggle, increasing from last week's 8.65, to a current 8.95 percent. To Winchendon's south in the Narragansett Regional School District, Templeton dropped from 6.44 to 5.79 percent, while member Phillipston who the last two weeks realized a dangerously high 11.80 and 12.86 positivity, thankfully finally dropped to 6.37 percent, still high but at least in the right direction. Also to our south, the City of Gardner dropped four tenths of a point, from 5.06 to 4.61 percent. Lastly to our west and southwest in the Athol Royalston Regional School District, bordering Town of Royalston dropped from 2.34 percent to 1.77, and Athol, the largest town in North Worcester County, dropped from 5.78 to 4.75 percent viral positivity.

Still in place at this time is a mask mandate in all town-owned public buildings between employees who cannot maintain six feet of social distancing or more between each other, and for employees when approaching the public at large when they enter an office or pass an employee in any of the premises. This is per order of Town Manager Justin Sultzbach, under weekly advisement by the Chair of the Board of Health and the Town Health Agent.

Going forward, if Winchendon can realize two consecutive weeks under a viral positivity of 4.49 or less, the masks in public buildings can come off. If two consecutive weeks of 4.50 or more then happen, the masks must go back on. While some may disagree with it, there must be best practices implemented with a bench mark which can be adjusted as needed.

The Town Manager and myself would like to remind all employees, both by salary, or either elected or appointed as "full time non-compensated municipal employees" under M.G.L., that no matter what your position with the town, if you see a sign in a town public building entrance door saying "Must wear a mask" no matter what your position you must comply. It's really quite simple, if the signs say all entering must wear a mask at the door at that time, then please wear your mask while entering. If the sign says no mask necessary at this time, then no worries. Again, there has been a conversation with the Town Manager, and both he and the Board of Health are now monitoring the situation for the town.

Keith Kent
Board of Health
Town of Winchendon

To schedule a free COVID-19 vaccination at any time, go to

Fall Special Town Meeting will be held on Monday, November 8, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at Murdock Middle High School.
Read the Final Warrant with BOS and FinCom Recommendations (PDF)

Be sure to check out our Classified and Employment Ads on the Events Page!

Winchendon Lions Winter Coat Drive on October 30

The Winchendon Lions will hold their annual children's coat drive on Saturday, October 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Clark Memorial YMCA, 155 Central Street.

The Lions will be gratefully accepting new or lightly used coats, hats, gloves/mittens and snowsuits. All sizes are needed. Donated items will be redistributed to those who need them through the Winchendon CAC. "Together we can keep our kids warm this winter!" say the Lions.

Fun With Shadow Puppets at the Beals Memorial Library

If you're looking for some family-friendly fun on a Saturday morning, then head over to the Beals Memorial Library in Winchendon to see Mr. Vinny's Shadow Puppet Show! This exciting show featuring stories and games is sure to keep kids entertained and give participants of all ages a good laugh.

Mr. Vinny will be appearing at the Winchendon library on Saturday, November 6th, at 11 AM. Very silly and interactive, Mr. Vinny is out in front with the audience using an old school overhead projector and his homemade shadow puppets. Audiences will get to hear funny stories like "The 12 Lil' Pigs and the Big Bad Pineapple", and they'll get to play along with games like "What's That Shadow?" It's the rowdiest shadow puppet show out there!

This event is for children ages 3 and up. There is a limited capacity, with only twenty spots available, so sign ups are required. Participants must wear masks while inside the library. This event is funded in part by the Winchendon Cultural Council and the Friends of the Beals Memorial Library.

The Beals Memorial Library is located at 50 Pleasant Street in Winchendon. To sign up or for more information, contact the library at 978-297-0300 or visit their website at

Mr. Vinny's Shadow Puppet Show
Head over to the Beals Memorial Library on Saturday, November 6th, to see Mr. Vinny's Shadow Puppet Show, the wildest shadow puppet show around!
Photo courtesy of the Beals Memorial Library

UWNCM Presents Workers Credit Union with Spirit Award

WCU receives award

The Spirit of North Central Massachusetts Award for Corporate Leadership of the Twin Cities region was presented to Workers Credit Union for their overall spirit of giving through contributions of time, leadership and resources in support of United Way's work.

Pictured left to right: Maria McCaffrey, Community Relations & Communications Specialist, Workers Credit Union; Kory Eng, President, United Way of North Central MA; Tim Smith, SVP, CFO, Treasurer, Workers Credit Union; Doug Peterson, CEO, Workers Credit Union; Jody Athanasiou, Director of Resource Development, United Way of North Central MA

The North Central MA Food Campus Survey

If your profession is food...if you produce food, sell food, buy food as a commercial/institutional user...if you're a farmer, a restaurant owner, a retailer, or in any other way deal with food as a business or enterprise... ...the North Central MA Food System wants to hear from you!

Local Food Works of North Central Massachusetts including the HEAL Winchendon initiative have partnered with a number of community stakeholders to explore the concept of a "Food Campus" for North Central Massachusetts (NCMA). The food campus could potentially house a number of businesses including a:

  • food hub for local produce/food aggregation
  • commercial kitchen for food entrepreneurs
  • retail/grocery site
...and perhaps more!

This initiative is part of an effort to improve the health and quality of life for residents in North Central MA.The Food Center will support farmers, food businesses, and the community in strengthening the local food economy, bringing more local food to North Central Massachusetts, and improving the health of the region. Planning for this project has been underway since 2018.

Please fill out this survey at by the second week of November! It should take about 15 minutes to complete. Your input will help improve food access in North Central Massachusetts. Thank you!

Plant a Clove and Grow a Community at the First Annual Winchendon Garlic Drop

On Sunday, November 7, HEAL Winchendon invites volunteers of all ages to help plant over 100 cloves of garlic at two community gardens in Winchendon. The garlic (which is normally planted in the fall in our climate to give it a head start) will be harvested and donated to town food pantries and schools. At 1:00 p.m., volunteers will start at the community garden at the Winchendon CAC, 273 Central Street.

At 2:00 p.m., volunteers will head over to the Winchendon Community Garden next to Murdock Farm on 62 Elmwood Road. The turn-in is just west of Murdock Dairy Bar; there will be signs. Park on the side of the red metal barn.

Volunteers can attend either or both planting sessions. Free hot coffee and cider will be available. The rain date is November 13.

Learn how to plant garlic and help out your community! The plots will be prepared and ready to plant. Wear gardening shoes and clothes, dress for the weather, and bring garden gloves if you wish. Registration not required, but feel free to RSVP at the Facebook Event Page.

Subway October 2021 Sub of the Day

Central Mass Tree

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Click Here for Community Directory

Winchendon Businesses, Organizations, Services, and Government

Theme for 2021 Toy Town Tree Festival is "Stories in the Trees"

Registration is open for the third annual Toy Town Tree Festival at the Beals Memorial Library. This year's theme is "Stories in the Trees."

Individuals, businesses and organizations can contribute a tree decorated in any way that represents their personal message or interests--base it on your favorite story or book, or tell your own story.

Trees will be on display to the public in the Beals Memorial Auditorium between November 29 and December 11, at the following times:

Mondays-Thursdays, 1:00-8:00 p.m.
Fridays, 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 11, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Visitors will vote on their favorite tree. Trees donated for auction will be listed in a silent auction for bids. Entrants will be responsible for picking up their tree if there are no auction bids, or they choose not to auction their tree.

All proceeds will go toward funding the new Children's Room at the library.

Click here to download the Tree Festival Guidelines (PDF)

Click here to download the Sign-Up Form (PDF)

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

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Residential Water and Sewer Assistance Program Opens For Winchendon Residents

The Town of Winchendon is offering a one time grant of $100.00 (water user only) or $250.00 (water and sewer user) toward your current water and sewer bill. (Commercial properties are not eligible under this program.)

Eligibility: Households who are under 80% (LMI) of the FY2021 Income Limits as determined by HUD qualify for assistance. The Income limits used to determine qualification can be found here.

Proof of income is required.

Program will run from October 4, 2021 through December 30, 2021. Applications received after that date will not be accepted.

The applicant MUST live in the residence and be the/a responsible party named on the account.

All awards will be credited to current bills. Users remain responsible for any past due payments and associated fees due to the town.

All information will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by M.G.L. Chapter 66.

Applications are available here (PDF). Questions? Contact Nicole at or by calling 1-978-297-3537

Funding provided by The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) Details of this program can be found here (PDF).

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.

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

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.

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 October 25, 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
Planning Board - 1 Alternate 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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