-+ The Winchendon Courier
The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of March 10 to March 17, 2022
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Ruscitos Retire from Managing Winchendon McDonald's as Restaurant is Named
First in United States for Round-up Donations

Generous Winchendonians contribute $15.3K to Ronald McDonald House Charities in 2021

Winchendon MacDonalds
Joe and Lori Ruscito, who in the Fall of 2021 sold their three McDonald's restaurants, including their Winchendon franchise after 29 years of ownership.
Photo courtesy of the Ruscitos
Winchendon MacDonalds
The Winchendon McDonald's franchise located at 235 Spring Street, formerly owned by Joe and Lori Ruscito for 29 years, was announced to be the highest ranking franchise store in the United States for the year 2021 in receipt round-ups contributed by many caring customers for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, totaling $15,304.65 and beating out every other McDonald's store in the nation!
Photo by Keith Kent

There is retiring, and then there is retiring knowing you went out on top. Such was happily the case for Joe and Lori Ruscito, owners of the Winchendon McDonald's for nearly 30 years. Shortly after entering retirement and selling their businesses they were notified that their former store was "Number One in Round-up donations for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in the United States" with a whopping total of $15,304.65 for 2021 contributed by many generous and caring customers.

To put this into perspective, the Ruscito's Winchendon McDonald's store has some pretty lofty competition. The store not only topped franchises in such highly populated areas as Boston, Worcester, and Springfield, MA as well as Providence, RI, Manchester, NH, Hartford, CT and Bangor, ME, it collected more donations than stores in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and more. In other words, McDonald's of Toy Town beat out its counterparts everywhere in the USA! 'Nuff said! ...or is it?

On October 15, 2021, the Ruscitos, just shy of three decades of personal ownership in the fast food restaurant business, decided to retire and sell their three stores--two in Massachusetts with Winchendon and Westborough, and a third store in nearby Jaffrey, NH. The Ruscitos acknowledged that after some 30 years, added to the professional complications of running multiple businesses during a global pandemic, it was time to stop and smell the roses, and enjoy some quality family time. The Ruscitos have sold their three stores to the Sellia Corporation, a family of franchisees from Spencer, MA who currently own restaurants in MA, RI, NY, and now their first in the Granite State with the Jaffrey MacDonald's.

In a true hallmark of leadership, Joe and Lori Ruscito spoke first of all the others involved in promoting the donation program before speaking of themselves. Lori said, "The team members who were the key contributors to the success of the donations for the Ronald McDonald House Charities were Restaurant General Manager Shannon Lafrennie, Geri Brouillette (whose idea it was to create an incentive to increase the donations), Joanie Lemere, Olianney Noble, Victor Perez, Julia Seavey, and Andrew Cormier. They deserve the credit for their efforts. It's truly a credit and tribute to their efforts. They all came forward and said they wanted to try to increase the funding to the Ronald McDonald House Charities and I said go for it. We had some pretty stiff competition from a few stores in New Hampshire, but our store did it, and for a small store from a small town, we are really pretty proud of that!"

Winchendon MacDonalds
The flyer located at the Winchedon McDondald's cash registers, notifying customers that their very own local McDonald's franchise with the help of all its kind hearted customers was number one in the entire USA for total receipt round-ups collected from many giving customers supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Photo by Keith Kent
On Friday, March 4, the flow of customers both in the store and in the drive-through were easily observable, with customers being asked one by one if each would like to round up their purchase to help children and families assisted by the Ronald McDonald House Charities. How many in one day? One employee, Jamie Lynne Leblanc, informed GSM Shannon Lafrennie that by 6:00 pm, exactly 752 customers had already been served by the Toy Town fast food staple, with the rest of the evening to go. Leblanc, with a transactions totaling receipt stamped 6:00 p.m. said, "Wow, it was like they all came out of nowhere all at once, we got hit hard but we kept up!"

When asked how long she and her husband Joe had been in business with the McDonald's franchise, Lori Ruscito replied, "My husband Joe had forty-nine years in his career working with McDonald's, and I had about forty-five, so it's a long time. With everything happening these days we just wanted to have enough time to enjoy retirement together, and also with our family. We also can say we grew and had a nice McDonald's family as we call them all our McFamily. We felt the operation we sold to, Sellia Corporation out of Spencer, Massachusetts was a good fit, as we also wanted new owners that we felt would take care of the people working for us, who we truly considered our McFamily."

While always supporting charitable causes, the Ruscitos kept their charitable giving close to their vests--from local fundraising efforts, to gift coupons for town causes such as Earth Day, school events, to the Winchendon CAC and private requests for helping families in need. Over the years those in the know knew the Ruscitos quietly and privately supported many local charitable causes and endeavors, never seeking credit for their donations, all the while just wanting to support the same community that supported their local business and employees.

Joe Ruscito explained, "It was absolutely great to be able to do that. We never really set priorities as to who or where would get what, or where they were in line. When assessing the needs of people or groups as explained to us, we just tried to always accommodate them all as much as possible." Lori Ruscito added, "Winchendon as we all know is not a very financially affluent community, so when we kept seeing how much people were donating over time rounding up purchases, it really told us about the same community we were also giving back to. It said a lot about Winchendon as a community, especially in this current economy today. You also really choke up when you see what kind of work the Ronald McDonald House Charity does with those roundup donations for children and families providing for all their expenses."

Now that they are finally retired, the Ruscitos are looking forward to traveling. "Owning the businesses are a 24/7 thing, so your cell phones are always at your side. Now knowing we can take a trip and not have to always take the laptop computer with us, or having to always check our emails and message will be a welcome change. Many people thought we were a huge corporation being McDonald's, but we were a small family-owned business franchise with three stores, so we truly were a small family owned and operated business. So that being said, not having to have a phone or laptop with us on vacation for once is going to be a real treat. We now own a second home in Florida and we haven't yet been snowbirds, but you can bet we are looking forward to that next year!" Lori Ruscito happily added.

Both Joe and Lori also said that now being able to do things like take up hobbies, read a book, go for walks, and much more will be welcome changes after their over nine decades of combined years of work in the McDonald's franchise. They also added that while their children are grown up and grandchildren are now also grown and or in college, they have seen their grandchildren more in the last six months leading up to and during the start of their retirement than they had in the last two years and expressed that they are off to a great retirement start.

In closing, Lori Ruscito wanted their former customers and everyone else to know, "We are so thankful for all the community support over all the years, and also being able to help support the community in a small town. Our employees were really like a family to us. While we are now glad to be retired, we miss the people. It's really nice to be retired, but yes, we miss the people and we miss our McFamily."

Rolling Thunder® Inc. Donates $2,000 to MVOC for Winchendon Veterans' Housing Project in Honor of Former Member

Winchendon MacDonalds
On February 23, Vermont Rolling Thunder Inc. Chapter 1 Vice President Fred Blanchard presents Stephanie Marchetti, Executive Director of the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center, a check for $2,000 in memory of deceased member Marie Conlin, to be applied to the cost of future Veterans Housing in the Town of Winchendon.
Photo courtesy of the MVOC
Winchendon MacDonalds
Marie Conlin, a VT Rolling Thunder Inc. Chapter 1 member who passed away last December 2, 2021, was honored by the MC Chapter with a $2,000 donation made in her name and memory, with the donation designated for the future Veterans housing project to be constructed in the Town of Winchendon.
Photo courtesy of VT Rolling Thunder Inc. Chapter 1

As part of a significant ongoing fundraising effort in support of much needed new Veterans Housing in the Town of Winchendon, Rolling Thunder® Inc. Vermont Chapter 1graciously presented the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center a check for $2,000 in memory of one of its former members on Wednesday, February 23, as a contribution to one of what it recognizes as many honorable causes.

The check was donated in honor of chapter member Marie Conlin, who was a patriot, a former member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and a member of Vermont Rolling Thunder® Inc. Chapter 1 for several years. The organization felt it both proper and fitting to present the donation in Marie's name to MVOC Executive Director Stephanie Marchetti, Ed.D.

"Marie Conlin passed away in early December," Marchetti told the Courier. "She and her [late] husband were both members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and she is best known for her community support, particularly her membership in Rolling Thunder® Inc.. The Winchendon connection is that this donation was made specifically for the housing project MVOC is working on in Winchendon."

The check was presented by Vermont Rolling Thunder® Inc. Chapter 1 Vice President Fred Blanchard, who at age 79 is active in the organization Chapter, and served his country during the Vietnam war in the United States Air Force. Blanchard explained that the organization hosts many fundraisers throughout the year, such as pancake breakfasts, raffles, coffee breakups, calendar sales, and more. Blanchard is also known for doubling as Santa Claus to help raise money and donations for the organization's various patriotic causes. Blanchard added, "The purpose of Vermont Rolling Thunder® Inc. Chapter 1 is to honor past, present, and future veterans of the United States of America, and you do not need to be a veteran to participate in the [organization]."

Blanchard went on to say, "We are a non-profit, and every single penny we take in, goes back to veterans. Some examples are we give to the Veterans Home in Vermont, the Veterans Outreach in Greenfield, Mass who provides veterans with meals, and other causes. In the case of the upcoming Veterans Housing Project in Winchendon, we were previously invited to a meeting with Stephanie Marchetti regarding the project, and felt after Marie Conlin's passing that the donation should go to the project in her name, so our [organization] appropriated the donation and I met with Stephanie and handed her the check for $2,000 from our [organization] for the Veterans Housing Project."

Assisting with another noteworthy cause, members of Vermont Rolling Thunder® Inc. Chapter 1 also recently helped out by attending a veteran's funeral at the Winchendon State Veterans Cemetery, forming a flag line of twelve persons for the deceased and family, one of many they have assisted with at various veteran's funerals. After the funeral, the organization chapter attended the celebration of life at the Winchendon American Legion, where family members thanked them for showing up to pay respects and assist with providing the flag line for the funeral outside of the cemetery chapel. Blanchard was quick to point out many other patriotic motorcycle organizations also provide the same services to honor veterans.

When asked about motivations to donate to the Winchendon Veterans Housing Project, Blanchard explained that as there is no military draft, it's a smaller select group of people who volunteer to sign up for military service. Many are seeing more than one or multiple tours of service, and PTSD and other issues are far more common than previously. Blanchard also added, "Projects such as this to provide housing for Veterans who often have medical, psychological, financial issues and more, need places like this available to them, and that is what Stephanie Marchetti and the MVOC is trying to help provide. We have to pay respect and take care of these men and women who are taking care of the rest of us. Freedom isn't free, and it's costing money to get these people back where they should be. These are the kinds of things Rolling Thunder® tries to do and wants to contribute to!"

For previous coverage on the entire scope of the Winchendon Veterans Housing Project, see "Former Streeter/Poland School Buildings Slated to Become 44 Units of Veterans Housing" in the December 23-30 2021 edition of the Winchendon Courier. Find contacts for Vermont Rolling Thunder® Inc. Chapter 1 and other state chapters online by visiting https://www.rollingthunder1.com/chapters You can also visit VT Rolling Thunder® Inc. Chapter 1 on Facebook by going to https://www.facebook.com/Rolling-Thunder-Vermont-1-221657651498777/.

Edited to correct organization name.

Council on Aging To Hold Vaccination Clinic for Winchendon Residents on March 17

Winchendon Council on Aging Director Sheila Bettro, and Town Health Agent James Abare, are pleased to notify the public there will be a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Winchendon residents only, held at the Old Murdock Senior Center at 52 Murdock Avenue, on Thursday, March 17, during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Registration is highly encouraged, however, walk-ins are still welcome.

To register for the vaccination clinic, please call the Montachusett Public Health Network COVID-19 Response Team at 978-602-2356 Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

All three vaccines will be available: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Residents can receive any dose that is needed, first dose, second dose, or booster shot. Residents should remember to bring their vaccine card to the clinic if already vaccinated or seeking a booster shot, and also always bring your insurance card and/or information to the clinic.

As of Thursday, March 10, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that 6,017 or 56 percent of Winchendon's residents are fully vaccinated, and 6,750 or 63 percent are partially vaccinated. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts totals register at 5,300,535 of 6,996,000, or 75.8 percent of residents fully vaccinated. 2,871,992 or 41 percent of Massachusetts residents have also received a supplemental booster shot.

Asked why she would like to see Winchendon residents attend the vaccination clinic offered by the COA, Bettro replied, "The main reason I wanted to host a vaccination clinic was just knowing how low the vaccination percentage is in Winchendon versus the rest of the state, and knowing the population that we work with, I am always out there trying to look at how to make it easier for the elders. They are already in the building, so having another clinic with the booster shot also available I think it's just very worth it."

To schedule a free COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster, at any time, go to www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine.

Massachusetts COVID-19 Positivity Rates Continue to Plummet

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 viral positivity averages continue to rapidly drop, as the 14 day average has dropped from 2.32 to 1.85 percent over the course of the last week, with the current 7 day average now down to just 1.6 percent.

Locally, the town of Winchendon like almost all those around it has seen a considerable decrease in COVID positivity rates, lowering its 14 day average from 4.98 to 4.10 percent in the last 7 days, a drop of 18 percent versus the week prior Department of Public Health report. All but one town in Winchendon's ten town area continued to realize welcome decreases, with the only one to increase by only 4/100's of a percent being Royalston moving up from 2.90 to 2.94 percent. Its school district partner Athol, while considerably lower versus the week prior, is still the second highest in our ten town area, dropping from 7.92 to 5.03 percent. The neighboring town of Phillipston remains the highest in the area, decreasing from 9.84 to 6.67 percent positivity, with its school district partner, Templeton, seeing a healthy drop from 5.04 to just 2.95 percent.

Elsewhere around our ten town area, Gardner dropped considerably for a city of 20,000 plus, lowering from 4.47 to 2.81 percent. In the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District, Ashburnham dropped from 3.13 to the lowest in the area at just 0.93 percent, and Westminster lowered nearly 50 percent from the week prior, from 5.00 to 2.77 percent. Ashby decreased from 5.45 to 3.85 percent positivity, and Hubbardston dropped down from 3.67 to 2.07 percent positivity.

Winchendon vaccination rates have remained stagnant or nearly unchanged over the last several weeks. With school age students the percentages also remain nearly unchanged. Children in the 5 to 11 year old age group are listed by the Mass DPH as 21 percent fully vaccinated and 25 percent partially vaccinated. In the age group of 12 to 15 years, children register at 42 percent fully vaccinated and 45 percent partially vaccinated. In the 16 to 19 year old age group, Winchendon teenagers are 46 percent fully vaccinated and 53 percent partially vaccinated.

Among Winchendon adults, those aged 20 to 29 register at 46 and 51 percent fully and partially vaccinated, persons aged 30 to 49 show as 53 and 60 percent fully and partially vaccinated, and those aged 50 to 64 are 75 and 82 percent fully and partially vaccinated. Among older adults, persons aged 65 to 74 register at 89 percent fully, and greater than 95 percent partially vaccinated. Winchendon's oldest population, those aged 75 and older, are 86 percent fully, and greater than 95 percent partially vaccinated. In total, as of Thursday, March 10, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that 6,017 or 56 percent of Winchendon's residents are fully vaccinated, and 6,750 or 63 percent are partially vaccinated, out of 10,785 residents, virtually unchanged from the two weeks prior.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts totals register at 5,300,535 of 6,996,000, or 75.8 percent of residents fully vaccinated. 2,871,992 or 41 percent of Massachusetts residents have also received a supplemental booster shot. State wide, hospitalizations also continue to drop among the Commonwealth population.

In closing, the Town of Winchendon Board of Health continues to recommend getting vaccinated if not yet vaccinated, if healthy enough to do so. If you are either elderly, or among the immuno-compromosed populations, or have pre-existing conditions, you are highly urged to get vaccinated if not as of yet, as you are medically documented as among the high or higher risk populations.

Keith Kent
Board of Health
Town of Winchendon

Road Close Notice

Baldwinville Road between Town Farm Road and Mill Glen Road will be closed to through traffic on Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15 from 9:00 a.m.to 2:00 p.m. A crane will be operating in the roadway at 105 Baldwinville Road. Only local residents will be allowed to enter the closed section of Baldwinville Road. Through traffic will be detoured onto Town Farm and Mill Glen Roads. Drivers should seek alternate routes.

Ice fishing on Lake Dennison
End of season Ice Fishing?
A man prepares and baits his hook for some near end of the season ice fishing enjoyment on the frozen waters of Lake Dennison, during the afternoon of Thursday, March 10. With temps in the high 40's, fishermen around southern New England are taking advantage of their frozen water sport while they can, before the ice begins to melt away forcing them back to either traditional boating or walking the shorelines.
Photo by Keith Kent

Subway October 2021 Sub of the Day

Central Mass Tree

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

Sgt. Nikander and Sheriff Evangelidis
Sgt. Nikander (left) and Sheriff Evangelidis
Photo courtesy of Worcester County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Evangelidis Promotes Winchendon Native to Sergeant

WEST BOYLSTON, MA (March 9, 2022) - Sheriff Evangelidis and the Worcester County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) are proud to announce the promotion of Officer Derek Nikander to the rank of sergeant.

Effective immediately, Sergeant Nikander will begin his supervisory role in the jail's Modular Compound. Nikander started his career with the WCSO in September 2017 and is a member of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).

"Promotions at the Worcester County Sheriff's Office are based on merit," stated Sheriff Evangelidis "Sergeant Nikander's leadership, work ethic, and dedication to duty embodies our department's mission and represents the best in the field of corrections."

Sergeant Nikander graduated from Fitchburg State University and holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

To learn more about the Worcester County Sheriff's Office or about a career in corrections, please visit worcestercountysheriff.com.

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Click Here for Community Directory

Winchendon Businesses, Organizations, Services, and Government

Mask Mandate Lifted for all Town Buildings - Feb. 28, 2022

A message from the Town Manager

Given input provided at the February 14, 2022 Board of Health and Board of Selectmen Meetings, I am happy to announce that we will be lifting the mask requirement in all Town Buildings starting next Monday, February 28th - in line with the Governor's recommendations for Public Schools.

Many factors have contributed to this decision, including the national and local downward trend of infection rates, the widespread availability of vaccines, and increasing efficiency and reliability in home testing. Should these or any other factors change in the future, our policy will be sure to change along with it.

If you have any underlying health concerns or have not been vaccinated, masks indoors are strongly encouraged but not required. Social distancing is also recommended when able to do so.

Justin Sultzbach, Town Manager

Report a Pothole to the DPW

You can report potholes directly to the DPW using this form on the town website:


Sections of Elmwood Road, North Central Street Closed

The unpaved sections of Elmwood Road (between Forristall Road and Glenallen Streets) and North Central Street have been closed to through traffic "indefinitely" due to the extremely poor conditions of the road surfaces after the freezing, thawing and icing weather conditions of the last few weeks. The school bus company will keep parents updated about school bus routes.

The town appears to have notified no one of these closings except the school department, so the Courier is letting our readers know.

Winchendon Town Hall & Transfer Station Now Accepting Credit/Debit Payments

We are excited to announce that the DPW, Treasurer/Collector's Office and the Transfer Station can all now accept in-person credit and debit card payments. This means next time you need to purchase or pay for:

Trash bags
Transfer station stickers
Excise bills
Tax bills
Water & Sewer bills
And more

You can pay with a credit or debit card! (subject to a convenience fee).

Nomination Papers for the Annual Town Election Will be Available January 10

Nomination papers for the Annual Town Election to be held on May 2, 2022 will be available starting Monday, January 10, 2022 at 8:00 a.m.

Nomination papers must be obtained and turned in on or before Monday, March 14 at 5:00 p.m.

Available Terms:

ONE 3-year term for Moderator
TWO 3-year terms for the Board of Selectmen
ONE 3-year term for the School Committee
ONE 2-year unexpired term for the School Committee
ONE 3-Year term for the Board of Health

Senior Center Still Seeking Van Driver

The Town of Winchendon seeks to hire a Van Driver for 25 hours per week, to work out of the Winchendon Senior Center. This person will serve as a Van Driver for transportation of the elderly and/or handicapped residents.

Duties will include (but are not limited to):

  • Driving the elderly to various destinations
  • Assisting clients who use wheelchairs, walkers, and canes
  • Maintaining the vehicle through regular cleaning
  • Maintaining Trip Logs for all activities
A more detailed description is available from the Winchendon Senior Center. Those interested should submit a resume and cover letter to:

Sheila Bettro, Director; Winchendon Senior Center, 52 Murdock Avenue, Winchendon, MA 01475.

Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is hired. The Town of Winchendon is and Equal Opportunity Employer.

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.

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.

Would you like to be notified each week when the new Courier is online?

Send an email to editor@winchendoncourier.net and you'll be added to the email list!

2022 Annual Town Meeting Set for Monday, May 16; Warrant Open

The Winchendon Board of Selectmen have scheduled a Special and Annual Town Meeting for Monday, May 16, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. to be held at Murdock Middle High School, 3 Memorial Drive. The Town Manager's Office is accepting warrant articles now through Monday, April 4, 2022 at 12:00 noon when the warrant will officially close.

If you have any questions on warrant articles or citizen petitions, Please reach out to the Town Manager's office at 978-297-0085 ext. 5

Open Air Burning Season Starts January 15, 2022 and Ends May 1, 2022

Don't miss out on this whimsical time of year where you can spend time in the great outdoors becoming one with nature, all the while freeing your yards of all the unsightly winter debris.

Permits are available for purchase online (that's right you don't even have to leave the house)!

For assistance, the link below provides step-by-step instructions:
2020 Burn Permit Application Made Easy


Step 1: Pay & obtain confirmation number.
Step 2: Apply for the permit using the confirmation number as proof of payment.


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 nroberts@townofwinchendon.com 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).

Toy Town FYIs

2022 Dog Licenses Now Available

2022 dog licenses are now available. You may purchase at the Town Clerk's office using check or cash, or you may purchase through the mail, Town Hall 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 and neutered dogs are $10.00. Non-spayed and non-neutered dogs are $20.00.

Winter Parking Ban Now in Effect

From December 1st through April 15th, it is illegal to park your motor vehicle on the streets of Winchendon between the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. This is to allow the snowplows to do their jobs in case of a snow storm. Violations may incur fees up to $50 and/or a tow.

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 February 28, 2022

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 - 13 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Historical Commission/Historic District - 1 Alternate vacancy
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Planning Board - 1 Alternate vacancy
Recreation Commission - 1 student vacancy

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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