The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of July 28 to August 4, 2022
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

DPW Director Updates BOS on Construction and Paving Projects, Utilities

At the Board of Selectmen's meeting on Monday, July 25, Department of Public Works Director Brian Croteau gave a report to the Board on DPW projects around town and how they're progressing.

Light tower for Central Street
This tower o'lights will help keep lower Central Street safe for drivers and pedestrians until new street lamps are operational.
Photo by Inanna Arthen

The Central Street Reconstruction project is going well and is within budget, but will not be finished this year, Mr. Croteau said. The drainage pipes are being finished this week, and the underground electrical conduit is being started. "You'll see a lighting tower in front of the police station which is going to provide lights downtown until we get to the new lights, the pole lamps up," Mr. Croteau explained. "The existing wires were not in any conduit and they were kind of scattered to how they were buried, so we don't want any of their workers getting hurt while installing the new stuff. So we took it offline today. So you will see that lighting tower in use."

Putting in the water and sewer lines, which has been a dramatically visible part of the project for some weeks, "came in a little under budget," Mr. Croteau said, and has been going as was expected. "We're hoping to see pavement the second or third week in August...which will get rid of the mess that's out there now. Then they'll continue to work off the binder, resetting curbs, installing sidewalks and so on and so forth, but it will eliminate the dust that's there now."

The work is ahead of schedule. "Depending on how it hits, and how much sidewalks [are] laid in curbing depends whether or not we put the top coat on this year. We won't let them do any more sidewalks past the end of September due to this area." Mr. Croteau explained that there are sockets in the concrete for the sidewalk surfaces and if those are installed in inclement weather, the surface can detach. "Then we don't have good looking sidewalks. We all spend too much money on this to half-ass it on that, so we want to make sure that it's correct and it looks good."

Moving to the Complete Streets project which will resurface Maple Street from Central Street to Ingleside Drive (where the state road begins, which was already redone), Mr. Croteau said the project went out to bid that day. There's a two-week turnaround on bids. "That'll be a good capper project, and to close off the top of Central Street, to get that moving. We anticipate that being completed before winter, is our goal."

He went on, "Blair Square, outside here, that's moving along. We have a meeting this week with representatives from the State to keep moving that forward and there is going to be some design money that's needed for it. But the project's underway, Mass DOT's [Massachusetts Department of Transportation] accepted it so it'll be almost the same as what Central Street was. So they'll fund the project. That one they'll fund one hundred percent because there's no water or sewer on it. It's straight just to the upgrades and redesign."

The Robbins Road bridge is finished, open to the public and has been completely signed off on by the state.

The town has received a grant to fund the design work on repairs to the bridge in Mill Circle, next to the Whites Mills. "The state was gracious enough, I talked to them on Friday, to assign us the same engineering firm that we used for Robbins Road. We did very well with them. They did a really good job, they kept them within budget and even a little bit under budget. So that was a huge win. So I'm looking forward to working with them on that and get that underway," Mr. Croteau stated. Once the designs are done, the town can apply for $500,000 in funding to complete the work, as it did for the Robbins Road bridge.

Moving to the topic of the management for the town water and wastewater treatment plants, Mr. Croteau told the Board that water had gone out to bid, three firms looked at the plant and only one made a firm bid. "The response I got back from the other two firms was that it wasn't advantageous for them to bid because there was no profit in it, because it's being run efficiently at this time," Mr. Croteau said. Two smaller firms didn't even show up to do a walk-through. Town Manager Justin Sultzbach put in that the town would be meeting with the Joint Water Authority and he anticipates that Ashburnham would like to move forward with their contract. He and Mr. Croteau would bring information back to the Board for them to take a closer look at and decide whether to authorize it. "It's certainly not something we have to rush into immediately," Mr. Sultzbach said.

The request for bids for the wastewater plant management will go out on August 1.

Board Chair Audrey LaBrie asked for clarification about the lighting tower on Central Street--would there be no streetlights at all? Mr. Croteau explained that the old street lights remain operational from Grove Street northward, but the tower will illuminate the lower part of Central Street. In response to Selectman Barbara Anderson, Mr. Croteau said the new "fancy lighting" street lamps were purchased and in a trailer ready to be installed.

"I think the overall effect of a lot of those little things make a big difference in how the town looks and how people perceive the town," Ms. LaBrie said. "That's good to hear."

Ms. Anderson asked why the lines for sewer, water and drainage were all installed one after the other on Central Street, rather than at the same time. Mr. Croteau explained that "you always start at the deepest utility." The deepest lines are sewer, then water mains, and finally drainage. "They start at the bottom and work their way up," Mr. Croteau said. Had the lines all been done at once, "we would have had a trench that was eight to ten feet wide open at one time," which would have created "conflicts."

In addition, Mr. Croteau explained, "There was a lot of ledge out there. In front of the RHI Building the ledge was six inches, eight inches below the pavement and they had to go down six to eight feet." The water line was increased from 10 inches to 12 inches (in diameter), and it has to be placed deep enough to prevent freezing in the winter. When the old line was put in, the current crew discovered that "they actually blasted for it, there was blasting wire in the ledge when we were hammering it up." Ms. LaBrie said she was told they had uncovered parts of the old railroad signaling system from when the railroad line ran by Belletetes.

Selectman Amy Salter asked whether any adjustments would be made in Railroad Street. Mr. Croteau said they had made an adjustment last week, widening the lane by two feet, which made "a vast difference." The surface was final-coated on Thursday. Ms. Salter predicted that the parking "would be a nightmare" because drivers were backing out of the angled parking spaces without looking behind them. She added that Karen Brooks had said one of the Brooks Automotive tow trucks was not able to make the turn onto Railroad Street. "I received that phone call," Mr. Croteau said.

Mr. Croteau went on to the pavement plan update. Costs are going up for diesel and oil, he said, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sets the rates for paving. The town received "a little bit of extra money" this year. The DPW wanted to repave High Street from the bridge to Old Centre, because "it's falling apart rapidly" and they've had to repair plows damaged on the road. Ash Street, Teel Road from Cross Street to 140 and then on the other side, Mellen Road and Russell Farm Roads, "those roads are completely regound," he said. "Those roads are built the way they should be built, not just with an overlay."

Milling will begin on Maple Street on Wednesday, July 27. "They're gonna bring the height of Maple Street down, then they're gonna come in, they're gonna put a leveler on it, and then the Complete Street project is going to do all their work, and then late fall we'll come in and we'll top it and do it right so that's going to allow the curbing and everything to be done correctly, so it's locked in, so we don't have issues of it breaking later on."

Jackson Avenue "which is a mess from Central Street to the corner" will be milled and leveled.

Teel Road will be topped from Cross Road to 140; there's not enough funding to do Teel Road from 140 to Bemis Road. "So that's going to remain a leveler goal for this year. It's in a lot better shape than it was, we had some divots that were two feet deep in some areas, those are all addressed. It's a less traveled road."

The cost of the final coat for Mellen Road is $41,000 so that will be done. Russell Farm Road will be allowed to "move around" for five years or so and then will be topped.

Summer and Grove Streets will need to wait until Central Street is finished, probably the next paving season, to avoid an uneven "lip" of pavement at the junction of the roads. Jackson Avenue will be done in full.

"Just to give you an idea, if we were to finish the paving for what we couldn't afford...we're looking at $222,000. That's because the price, our current contracts are for $69.50 a ton installed, and the one I paid last month, we're paying $93 in place because of the surcharges for oil and diesel fuel," Mr. Croteau said. This represents an increase of nearly 34 percent. Mr. Croteau said other municipalities are seeing comparable increases.

"I wanted to give you guys a brief overview," Mr. Croteau wrapped up. "We're gonna be making a mess again this week and disrupting traffic more than we do already. So we wanted to put it out there because we're trying to do roads...but we just have a lot of work going on."

Plead the 5th Will Shake up GAR Park on Friday, July 29

Templeton-based rock and roll cover band Plead the 5th will perform at the G.A.R. Park on Friday, July 29, as part of the Winchendon Recreation Commission's Friday Night Concert Series. With a program of numbers ranging from the 70s through today, listeners will recognize songs made famous by such varied artists as Guns & Roses, Poison, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Motley Crew, Ozzy, Priest, ZZ Top and more.

Lead guitarist Michael Maillet and drummer Brock Dunham sing backup vocals for lead vocalist Mike Culver, with Bill Phaneuf on rhythm guitar and UNO on bass guitar.

Michael Maillet told the Courier, "All of us are 30 year plus musicians that wanted to eventually make it big in the music industry, but here we all are playing music together in a cover band, which is just as good! We've been together for about a year now," during which time the band has played at Wachusett Brewyard in Westminster, the Polish-American Citizen's Club (PACC) Car Show in Gardner two weeks ago and the Ashburnham Turnpike Rod and Gun Club. They have many more shows to come this year, Mr. Maillet said.

He went on, "A couple of us have played at the Winchendon Rod and Gun in the past with other projects, but this will be the first time in Winchendon with this project. We're a good time rock n roll band looking to make the crowd shake their asses!"

So don't sit still during this one! The concert begins at 6:00 p.m. and runs to about 8:00 p.m., and is free and open to all. Bring a lawn chair or blanket--or your dancing shoes! The G.A.R. Park is located at Grove Street and Murdock Avenue, next to the Old Murdock Senior Center.

Follow Plead the 5th's appearances on their Facebook page,

Town Manager Talks to BOS About Town Hall Personnel Plans

In his report to the Board of Selectmen on Monday, July 25, Town Manager Justin Sultzbach touched on several topics related to personnel, both existing and to be hired.

Mr. Sultzbach stated that he has procured services from a firm to do a DiSC Assessment for Town Hall employees. Mr. Sultzbach described the assessment as "a way to measure an individual's skill set and get an idea for their strengths and weaknesses, and then as an organization allows us to compare that data and to see how we can more efficiently and effectively work to serve this community." He told the Board that the assessments will be ongoing over the next several months and that he would share the results with the Selectmen. "I think it will provide some good insight in terms of the existing professional assets that we have in Town Hall," he said.

The DiSC assessment is a personality test which focuses on traits in interpersonal relationships--the acronym stands for the traits of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. It is based on the 1928 emotional and behavioral theories of psychologist William Moulton Marston. It has become a popular tool in the corporate and non-profit world to predict job performance, analyze diverse working and interaction styles, and/or to group staff into harmonious working teams. Like all such personality tests, it has mixed reviews.

Mr. Sultzbach went on to say that there was one applicant for the part-time Recreation Coordinator position, and he would be scheduling an interview next week.

"We had a Treasurer lined up and we cannot come to terms so we're back to square one on that one," Mr. Sultzbach said. The position has been relisted, including on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job-search platforms "to try to maybe reach pockets where we haven't reached before." He told the Board that they may have to reconsider the salary offered, which would impact salaries above it.

Mr. Sultzbach said the situation "echoed a sentiment that I've been describing, that there's an extremely limited pool, especially on the financial side, for talent, for municipalities anyway. There's been a massive retirement over the past decade and there hasn't nearly been enough people to get into that line of work to make up for it."

He continued, "Something that we'll probably jump into a little bit more the next meeting, I intend to put it on the agenda, is kicking the tires on potentially having a consultant firm do a review of all of our positions in Town Hall and trying to do a salary survey and see where we stand with other communities. The Treasurer isn't the only role that we've been struggling with." In three months there has been a very sparse response to the position of Planning and Development Director vacated by Tracy Murphy. "Once again, usually it's lower wage is an indicator of limited results." He promised to bring more information to the Board about the cost estimates for a consulting service. With more concrete information about comparative salaries, Mr. Sultzbach said, "maybe we can discuss it and regroup."

Along with the Treasurer/Collector and Director of Development positions, applications are being accepted for the full-time position of Executive Assistant to the Town Manager. Anyone interested in applying for these positions can access full information at

Progress Creeping Ahead on Distressed Properties

Town Manager Justin Sultzbach updated the Board of Selectmen on several properties of concern in town at the BOS meeting on Monday, July 25.

Mr. Sultzbach reported that he met with representatives from Woburn-based Russo Barr Associates, the firm which will be doing the design for the restoration work on the Old Murdock Senior Center. They toured the building, where "it was about 100 degrees up in the bell tower, no exaggeration." However, Mr. Sultzbach said Russo Barr is "very excited to work on this project. And it's nice to see when there's a firm that you can tell they're [excited] to work on a building because they're so impressed by it, and that is definitely an impressive building."

The Winchendon Redevelopment Authority is debating whether to rehab the two-family residential building at 11 Beech Street themselves (as had been the stated plan) or sell it as is to a buyer that will do the renovations "with certain limitations and contingencies" on the sale. Mr. Sultzbach said, "my that the second we sell it, we lose control of the quality of what that building ends up looking like and we lose control over the timeline. So I don't want them to sell to somebody who's gonna come in and do it cheap, and it's gonna sit like that for fifty years, or come in and then sit on it for five years just rotting into the pond. So those are some things that we're trying to iron out, and still looking to move forward and hopefully have it set and done within a year."

Mr. Sultzbach and Nicole Roberts from the Planning and Development Office met with Bull Spit Brewing's Jim Hunt for a walk through of 4 Summer Drive. The building interior has been completely gutted out down to the structural elements, Mr. Sultzbach said. "I can tell you that over the past year, the inside, it's night and day in terms of what used to be there," he told the Board, and site cleanup and remediation is under way. Work on the exterior is expected to begin before this winter.

Finally, Mr. Sultzbach discussed the ongoing plans for a Dollar Tree store to move into the former IGA space in Central Plaza, as previously announced. (Dollar Tree is the parent company that bought out Family Dollar in 2014, and is gradually phasing out the Family Dollar brand name.) Dollar Tree will be paying for a complete new roof to be put on the building, rather than simply patches or repairs, as well as making some improvements to the front facade. Mr. Sultzbach acknowledged that many people would like to see a grocery store in that space, "but at least it's going to be open, and another resource for the community, and they'll be actively paying taxes" and won't just be a vacant space in the middle of downtown.

As far as brand new construction, the amphitheatre foundation has been poured in Winchendon Community Park, and Walgreens is scheduled to break ground on its new Central Street building (next to The Chapel Downtown, in the space where the Pop Up Bull Yard set up last summer) within the coming month.

Winchendon Community Park Amphitheatre Taking Form

Winchendon Community Park Amphitheatre work progresses
The parking lot taking shape.
Photo by Inanna Arthen
Winchendon Community Park Amphitheatre work progresses
Sample of the modular stonework which will front the terraces for audiences
Photo by Inanna Arthen
Winchendon Community Park Amphitheatre work progresses
The amphitheatre foundation rises!
Photo by Inanna Arthen
Winchendon Community Park Amphitheatre work progresses
Another view of the amphitheatre foundation and parts of the steps which will be next to the terraces.
Photo by Inanna Arthen

Winchendon Lions Club Bestows and Receives Awards

Winchendon Lions Club installations
Lions President Joni LaPlante holds up the Best Medium Club Award
Photo by Mark Ladanno
Winchendon Lions Club installations
Joni LaPlante, President (left), presents Curt Fitzmaurice with the Lion of the Year Award, assisted by Past District Governor Rick Braks (right).
Photo by Mark Ladanno
Winchendon Lions Club installations
Lion Dee Holt (right) receives the Melvin Jones Fellowship award, presented by PDG Rick Braks
Photo by Mark Ladanno
Winchendon Lions Club installations
Dave Walsh (left) receives the Melvin Jones Fellowship award, presented by PDG Rick Braks
Photo by Mark Ladanno

At their annual banquet on July 5 at the Harbour Restaurant, the Winchendon Lions Club presented several members with awards, and was honored with an award itself. The club was named Best Medium Club of 2021-2022 by Lions International District 33A, which comprises 46 clubs in Massachusetts.

Curt Fitzmaurice was named Lion of the Year.

Lions Dee Holt and Dave Walsh received the Melvin Jones Fellowships, one of the highest awards given by the Lions. It was created in memory of Melvin Jones (1879-1961), who founded and organized the Lions Clubs in 1917, 105 years ago. The organization became Lions International in 1920, with headquarters in Chicago, IL.

Money raised from clubs for the awards supports LCIF, the Lions Club International Fund, which helps people after major catastrophes and disasters throughout the world. The Lions motto is, "Where there is a need, there's a Lion."

The Winchendon Lions Club will resume meetings in September. Their website is

Beals Prize for Poetry Call for Entries Extended to August 6

The Beals Memorial Library in Winchendon, Massachusetts seeks entries into the third annual Beals Prize for Poetry. Ten finalists will be chosen by the judges to read their work at the awards presentation on Thursday, September 1, 2022. Prize money of $150, $75 and $50 will be awarded to the top three competition finalists. Submissions for the contest are now being accepted through Sunday, August 6.

Entrants may submit only one, original and unpublished poem. Submissions must be emailed to (Word docs preferred). Notification of receipt of entry will be via return email, and competition finalists will be notified on or before August 19th.

The Beals Prize for Poetry is funded in part by the Winchendon Cultural Council and by the Friends of the Beals Memorial Library. Call the Library at 978-297-0300 or go to for more information.

Vacancy Open on the Capital Planning Committee

The Capital Planning Committee is charged with the following: considers requests for major equipment purchases and other capital projects and makes recommendations to the town manager and the town meeting.

This position is appointed by the Town Moderator, Coral Grout. Apply in writing to the Town Manager office Attention:Tamarah at Letters of interest will be accepted until July 23, 2022 at the end of business.

Subway June 2022 New Steak Teriyaki Sub

Central Mass Tree

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

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

Flip Your Fins for Summer Fun at the Winchendon Library

Join the Beals Memorial Library in Winchendon this week as they wrap up their Summer Reading Club with a few final, exciting programs. For six weeks this summer, the library has been entertaining patrons young and old with some sea-sational ocean-themed events and activities. Here's what's happening this week:

On Tuesday, August 2, at 1:00 p.m., hoist the colors and get ready to rock the boat with the Toe Jam Pirate Show! Dance piratey jigs with the Toe Jam crew. Come and see cuttlefish cuddle, porpoises find their purposes, and live mermaids dressed up before your eyes. All landlubbers are invited! This program is funded in part by the Friends of the Beals Memorial Library.

On Wednesday, August 3, at 6:30 p.m., Explore the Ocean Worlds of Our Solar System with the Aldrich Astronomical Society. Are there oceans on other worlds? Learn about what astronomers and scientists are discovering about sources of water on worlds and moons beyond Earth. Enjoy some celestial sea sights with a night sky viewing if weather permits. This program is funded by the Winchendon Cultural Council.

Both events are family-friendly and free to attend for guests of all ages.

For landlubbers signed up for the Summer Reading Club, this is the final week to finish off your reading log. Bring it in before the library closes at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 5, to get the last of your treasure!

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

The Toe Jam Pirate Show
Hop on board for the Toe Jam Pirate Show at the Beals Memorial Library on Tuesday, August 2, at 1:00 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Beals Memorial Library

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Letter to the Editor

Winchendon and area viral average slowly continues to climb with flu like symptoms

The Town of Winchendon has finished out the 2022 "Month of July", with a steady weekly viral average increase due to the contagious Omicron BA.5 and BA.4 viral sub-variants and their "Flu like symptoms" significantly increasing in testing positivity. Over the month of July, 2022, as reported every Thursday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Winchendon has tested over it's 4 reporting periods on July 7, at 2.78%, July 14, at 3.02%, July 21, at 5.18%, and now in it's last July reporting period, finished out the month on Thursday, July 28, registering at 6.21%.

Our "Ten Town Area" which also began the month of July, at a viral testing average of 2.42% as of the Thursday, July 7, Mass D.P.H. Report, also ends the months as of Thursday, July 28, registering at 5.89% positivity, while the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in that same time frame has also increased from 6.04 to 8.13% viral positivity.

Locally finishing out the "Month of July" in 2022 along with Winchendon in its area, Ashburnham increased from 5.45 to 5.84%, Ashby decreased from 10.45 to 8.00%, Westminster decreased from 7.95 to 5.66%, the City of Gardner with 21,000 residents increased from 5.32 to 6.17 percent in a near parallel of Winchendon, Templeton jumped from 3.90 to 6.40%, Phillipston dropped significantly from 10.34 to 3.77%, Royalston increased from 6.12 to 6.82%, the Town of Athol with 11,500 residents lowered from 4.00 to 3.54%, and Hubbardston increased from 3.55 to 6.52% positivity.

In larger cities, Boston remained virtually the same at just over 8 percent positivity, Worcester only increased from 6.20 to 6.30 percent, and Springfield increased from 9.80 to 10.41%. Of note the entire 15 city and town area around Springfield, is currently a high cluster, with many towns at 9, 10, and ever over 11 percent positivity. Locally to our near east, the City of Fitchburg is testing at 7.66 percent up from 5.67% just a week prior based on 1,370 tests, and Leominster is registering at 7.42% positivity, up from 5.48% in the same time frame, based on 1,544 tests.

Massachusetts at this time, also now documents 5.43 Million of it's 6.9 Million residents at fully vaccinated, with 90 percent of it's commonwealth residents receiving at least one dose of a vaccination, verses a 79 percent current national average.

In closing, the Town of Winchendon Board of Health continues to recommend vaccinations for those healthy enough to do so, especially if one has pre-existing conditions or is immunocompromised. Please continue to wash your hand regularly, cough in to your sleeve, do not rub your eyes or nose with your fingers, and use hand sanitizer when at all possible if washing your hands in not an option. These simply measures go a long ways to not only keeping your own person healthy, but aiding the health of those around you.

Keith Kent
Board of Health
Town of Winchendon

Transfer Station Summer Hours

Beginning June 2, the Transfer Station hours are:
Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.

653 River Street
Sticker price: $70
Pay-As-You-Throw bags required

Senior Center Seeking Food Donations

We've been so successful we need your help. We love helping our seniors, so now our Food Pantry is running low. If you can do it, we'd love your help replenishing it with such commodities as: Hormel 'Compleats' meals; Chef Boyardee ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs, etc; applesauce; canned vegetables; juice boxes; Ensure; spaghetti sauce; Cookies; Crackers; small (individual) packages of cereal, etc. And anything you think would help. Thank you very much! Bring donations to the Old Murdock Senior Center, 52 Murdock Ave., Winchendon.

Winchendon Farmers Market Accepting Applications for 2022 Vendors

The Winchendon Farmers Market is accepting applications for vendors for the 2022 season. You can download the form at Winchendon Farmers Market Application (PDF), fill it out and mail the form with the table fee to the address on the form, or drop it in the dropbox at Town Hall. The market days and times for 2022 are Thursdays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more information, see

Report a Pothole to the DPW

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

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).

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.

Help the Town of Winchendon Update its Housing Production Plan by Sharing Your Input

The Town of Winchendon has requested assistance from the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) to update its Housing Production Plan (HPP). The purpose of the HPP is to develop a proactive strategy for planning and developing affordable housing consistent with the state's Chapter 40B statute and regulation. The HPP is required to include a comprehensive housing needs assessment, a list of affordable housing goals, and an implementation plan to realize the goals.

This survey has been developed to assist with the housing needs assessment and solicit public input to be included in the HPP. We appreciate your opinions and want to assure you that all answers are anonymous. In addition to the survey, MRPC will be collecting and analyzing demographic, housing, and income data to determine needs of the population of Winchendon. Results of the data analysis and survey will be presented at a Planning Board meeting in the fall where goals and objectives will be discussed.

Please see link below to complete. Thank you for your participation!

Toy Town FYIs

2022 Street Lists Available

The 2022 Town of Winchendon Street List of Residents is now available at the Town Clerk's office in Town Hall, 109 Front Street. Cost is $8.00 each, $5.00 for seniors.

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.

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.

United Way Day of Caring September 16

Local non-profit agencies should start planning potential projects now for the United Way's 27th annual "Day of Caring" event on Friday, September 16, 2022. Agency project registration opens on June 13. To register, visit

Qualifying agencies have teams of volunteers assigned to their site to assist with various projects. For updates and further information, see

Town Committee Vacancies
as of July 25, 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
Community Preservation Act Exploratory Committee - 1 vacancy
Conservation Commission - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 13 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Library Trustee - 1 vacancy
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Zoning Board of Appeals - 2 alternate member 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).

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 aides, cable station operator, Bike Path clean up, painting, light outdoor work and classroom volunteers. Click here for more information and a downloadable application.

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