The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of January 12 to January 19, 2023
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Special Town Election Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Special Town Election to approve the debt exclusion for the upcoming Fire Station Design will be held on Thursday, January 19, at Old Murdock Senior Center, 52 Murdock Ave, Winchendon, second floor, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. This is a follow-up to the Special Town Meeting vote in favor of the debt exclusion. Please take a few minutes out of your day to exercise your rights as a citizen and vote!

Special Town Meeting, Monday, March 13, 2023
7:00 p.m.
Murdock Middle High School Auditorium, 3 Memorial Drive, Winchendon

The Town Manager's office is accepting warrant articles and citizens' petitions through Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 12:00 Noon.

The Special Town Meeting is being called primarily to review and act on any citizen findings on the Community Preservation Act Exploratory Committee (CPAEC).

From the CPAEC:
"The CPAEC recommends the town locally adopt the CPA at the 3% threshold, ensuring the greatest return on our investment. While the match from the state varies from year to year, this would represent a 100% match under current determining metrics and anticipated governing body decisions. We believe that the Town can greatly benefit from this resource in meeting our various community goals. If the Board would be kind enough to accommodate, we ask that the residents of Winchendon be given the opportunity to decide whether to capitalize on this resource via a Special Town Meeting in March of 2023. If the vote passes, the matter will be placed on the Spring 2023 Ballot at the Annual Elections on May 1st."

The Board of Selectmen will be presented with the draft warrant on January 23, 2023 and the Finance Committee will hold the Public Hearing on the Special Town Meeting Warrant on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

What You Need to Know About Next Thursday's Vote on the Fire Station Debt Exclusion

Winchendon voters will go to the polls on Thursday, January 19 to approve a debt exclusion for the town to borrow $618,750 to pay for shovel-ready designs for a new Fire Station. This is a required follow-up ballot vote for the article passed at Fall Special Town Meeting on October 24, 2022. That article, which required a two thirds majority, passed with an 88 percent majority and enthusiastic applause.

A debt exclusion temporarily increases the property tax rate above the limits of Proposition 2-1/2. Unlike an "override," which is a permanent increase, a debt exclusion is removed from the tax rate when the loan is retired. This debt exclusion will represent an increase of 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed value per year. (Multiply your home's assessed value, which is on your tax bill, by .00012 to see how it will impact you. A $280,000 home would see an annual increase of $33.60, or $8.40 per quarterly tax bill.)

The Fire Station project has been on the drawing table since 2019, when voters rejected a proposal for an $11.8 million design. Working intensely with Town Manager Justin Sultzbach, the projected cost of the station has been whittled down to about $8.5 million. "We literally moved broom closets, made hallways six inches narrower to cut costs, but we use the design information and the actual drawings and the conceptual design, to get to the stage where we were able to get a price estimate which was a product almost $4 million less than what the original was," Winchendon Fire Chief Tom Smith said in September. The current ballot vote is only for the final designs, which will be complete and construction-ready.

For a complete review of the debate around the Fire Station project, see the previous Courier coverage:

"Winchendon voters defeat article for expanded fire station" in the October 31-November 7 2019 edition of The Winchendon Courier

"Town Manager Presents Draft Town Meeting Warrant to BOS and FinCom" (Designs for Fire Station Upgrade) in the September 15-22, 2022 edition of The Winchendon Courier

"Winchendon FD Presents Case for Separate Sleeping Quarters for Male and Female Crew" in the September 22-29, 2022 edition of The Winchendon Courier

"Voters Will Face Tough Questions at Fall STM on October 24" (Article 5) in the October 13-20, 2022 edition of The Winchendon Courier

"STM Voters Approve Fire Station Design, Water Main, Shoot Down Town Charter Changes" in the October 27-November 3, 2022 edition of The Winchendon Courier

BOS Vote to Hold Special Town Meeting for Community Preservation Act

At their meeting on Monday, January 9, after a long discussion, the Board of Selectmen voted to convene a Special Town Meeting with one article on the warrant. The article will ask voters to approve placing the Community Preservation Act (CPA) on the ballot for the annual Town Election on May 1.

The Community Preservation Act allows communities to receive matching grants from a state fund when they commit to a 3 percent property tax surcharge dedicated to the CPA program. Of the CPA monies collected, 10 percent must be used for each of the following four categories: housing, recreation, open space conservation and historic preservation. 5 percent must pay for an administrator. The remaining 55 percent may be applied to other community projects. The funds would be applied for and disbursed according to strict CPA guidelines, by an independent citizen-led CPA Committee in the town, and would be subject to a vote at Town Meeting for final approval. CPA funds are not part of a town's operating budget and can be accrued over a period of years to fund larger projects to benefit the town.

Winchendon's Community Preservation Act Exploratory Committee (CPAEC) recommended that Winchendon adopt three exemptions for residents from the 3 percent surcharge. Low income housing and low or moderate income senior housing would be entirely exempt; residents would re-apply each year to qualify. The first $100,000 of a residential property's value would be exempt from the surcharge. Third, the first $100,000 of a commercial or industrial property's value would be exempt from the surcharge.

The Robinson Broadhurst Foundation has agreed to support Winchendon's adoption of the CPA by funding 1 percent of the surcharge, pending an official vote by the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation committee. This would reduce the surcharge for Winchendon taxpayers to 2 percent.

As a quick example, using the 2023 tax rate of $13.40 per $1,000 of assessed value and a hypothetical home in Winchendon assessed at $250,000:

$250,000 - $100,000 = $150,000
$150,000 x 0.0134 x 0.03 = a surcharge of $60.30 per year or $15.08 per quarter
$150,000 x 0.0134 x 0.02 = a surcharge of $40.20 per year or $10.05 per quarter

(Your home's assessed value may be found on your tax bill or in the Assessor's database on the town website.)

The state's fund has three rounds of matching grants. The first round applies to all communities and guarantees matching funds of 20 percent of what the town has collected through surcharges. The second and third rounds are based on a town's population and total property values. Winchendon currently qualifies for all three rounds, potentially giving the town 100 percent matching funds for the amount the town collects from taxpayers. This could fluctuate, as only the first 20 percent is firm. The state monies come from real estate fees and tax stamps paid to the Registry of Deeds.

Town Manager Justin Sultzbach pointed out that every municipality in Massachusetts has been contributing to the state CPA fund through its real estate fees for the last two decades, but only a certain number of them have adopted the Community Preservation Act and begun recovering some of those funds. Some wealthy communities like Cambridge, Lexington and Concord have been taking advantage of the program all along. Winchendon's tiny neighbor, Royalston, has implemented the CPA.

The Board had some questions about whether private individuals could apply for funds and benefit, or whether only the town could use CPA funds to purchase land or do projects. Mr. Sultzbach and CPAEC member Marc Dorwart explained that the regulations are very strict, and any granting of funds goes through a public process including a Town Meeting vote. Land purchased for conservation would be purchased by the town and would need to go into stewardship. This would remain on the deed in perpetuity.

Mr. Sultzbach related a story about a town that agreed to give private owners CPA money to restore the facade of their privately owned but very historically significant house. The house was "a blight" in a meticulously updated town square which the town had spent millions of dollars on improving. In this case, helping the owners improve their property provided a direct and indirect benefit to the town.

Mr. Dorwart explained that "a major use of this thing" by communities has been to acquire land, and preserve open space. Under the CPA laws, if a community purchases property for preservation, and puts down 30 percent, the state will fund the remaining 70 percent of the purchase price.

The CPA has complex rules for documenting and recording all use of funds, and requires that five percent of the funds pay for a part-time professional administrator for the program.

While the Board was in favor of adopting the CPA, the timing of the Special Town Meeting raised concerns. Board Vice-Chair Rick Ward argued that many of the town's senior citizens are not here in the wintertime, and it would be difficult to get a quorum for a one-article warrant. It costs the town approximately $4,000 to hold a Special Town Meeting. This article will affect taxes and people should be able to vote on it. He asked why the CPA couldn't simply be put on the ballot for the annual Town Election and then appear on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.

Mr. Sultzbach explained that the Special Town Meeting vote was authorizing the CPA to appear on the Town Election ballot. "But I think another component...was concerns that this topic could potentially get buried or lost in a larger meeting. And I think the intention, at least from where I sat was that it would provide Winchendon residents an opportunity to come out and discuss this topic. It's not going to get slipped in between a giant annual budget and five other things that might be going on [at Annual Town Meeting]."

Mr. Dorwart continued, "There's two options on how you can present this to the public. You can just do a petition [to] get it put on the ballot immediately, where we can go through the requesting that it'd be put on the ballot, in which case you're using that forum to advertise and educate the public about it and you're drawing much more attention to it and it's been a successful way that other towns have gotten it done. Like Justin said, there's not enough days to do what you were talking about. Because it's 35 or 40 days between the Town Meeting and the ballot. So if you go past that timeframe, then you can't put it on the ballot anymore."

"You would call a special ballot vote, and you'd be paying for that," Mr. Sultzbach said.

There was also a question of the warrant for Annual Town Meeting being long since closed by the time of the annual Town Election. Mr. Sultzbach added that an extra town election and an extra Special Town Meeting are budgeted for every year, precisely for situations like this.

Mr. Dorwart stated that the CPA rules specify that a petition or request to put the CPA on the ballot must be at least 35 days before a town or city election.

In reponse to Mr. Ward's concerns about "snowbirds" being out of town and not able to vote, Mr. Dorwart said, "There's a lot of citizens that are ignored by other logistics of this focus on just one voter group as a deciding factor, it just seems unequal and capricious. We're not voting on the issue, we're voting on whether to put the issue up to the people." Town Meeting has to decide to put the question on the ballot "because for some reason or another, the state decided that that's a hoop you have to go through in order to get this thing passed," he said.

The Board agreed that theoretically, there could be other articles on the March 13 warrant, should any be submitted by the deadline. That might help attract a quorum, Selectman Barbara Anderson suggested.

The Board voted 4-1 to hold a Special Town Meeting on Monday, March 19, with Mr. Ward voting no. The warrant will be open from Thursday, January 12 until noon on Thursday, January 19. Citizens who would like to place an article on the March 13 warrant should contact the Town Manager's office.

(For the CPAEC's full recommendation, see "Community Preservation Act Exploratory Committee Gives Recommendations" in the January 5-12 edition of The Winchendon Courier. For complete information about the Community Preservation Act, see the website of the Community Preservation Coalition.)

Town Manager Updates BOS on Old Murdock Repairs

At their meeting on January 9, the Board of Selectmen heard an update from Town Manager Justin Sultzbach about the work completed at the Old Murdock Senior Center and the timeline for work going forward.

Mr. Sultzbach explained that a qualified contractor, Quality Restoration, Inc, had come in $16,000 under the estimate of $40,000 for the temporary repair work. "They did a pretty clean job, as you can see, it secures everything, any falling debris, and it also keeps the moisture out throughout the winter which is the whole goal," he said.

"Beyond that I just wanted to give the public an update in terms of a timeline for the next year or so, because I think a lot of people are kind of curious where we're at with that," Mr. Sultzbach continued. "So unfortunately, it wasn't a matter of receiving the funding back at the Annual Town Meeting in 2021 and then just going right to work. We had to secure an Operations Project Manager (OPN) because of the value of the contract by Mass General Law. After that we went through a process to secure a designer architect," Russo Barr Associates Inc.

"What we're looking at for a timeline is with our allowable budget of one and a half million dollars, the OPN fee, the architect, Phase One, Two and Three, as well as emergency repairs that we just did, we should have about a million dollars left in hand for construction costs," Mr. Sultzbach predicted. "So we're going to be doing the design throughout this winter. It's going to be going out to bid as early as March. And then based on the contractors' availability, they could start pretty much as early as April, but no later than June. That's something we're gonna have in the RFP, so you're gonna see that building dressed with scaffolding, masons up there, as well as roofers working on the slate roof this summer, that is going to happen.

"From there, the next step would be identifying how much Phase Two is going to cost and then securing that at the Special Town Meeting coming up in the fall. If that is appropriated, and that work is complete, I would say going down would probably follow the same pattern of being designed for the winter, carried on in summer. And then once again, we'd come back for a third tranche, depending on what Phase Three would look like and then the Old Murdock will be complete. So it's probably like a three year project."

Mr. Sultzbach emphasized, "So we're committed to going through the design-bid-build process, which historically we hadn't been doing in recent memory in town, which put us in the unfortunate position of having to repeatedly go back to the taxpayers asking for more money for projects, which we will not be doing any more." The town will have a definitive cost in hand before going before voters to approve funding.

Passing of the Torch as K-9 Clyde Passes, K-9 Blitz Makes the Grade

K-9 Clyde
K-9 Clyde at his retirement ceremony with Board of Selectmen Chair Audrey LaBrie and his handler, Officer Wironen
Photo copyright ©Town of Winchendon
K-9 Blitz
K-9 Blitz posing after achieving his certification at NESPAC training school.
Photo copyright ©Winchendon Police Dept

The Winchendon Police Department was sad to announce that retired K-9 Clyde passed away on January 5, 2023.

"Clyde served the Winchendon community dutifully for seven years alongside his partner Officer James Wironen," the PD posted on Facebook. "Clyde served with selfless enthusiasm whenever called upon; assisting in drug raids, criminal apprehensions, and tracking lost citizens. We owe him a debt of gratitude and will always remember the example he set for the Winchendon Police K9 program. Thank you for your loyal service Clyde. May you rest in peace, you've earned it."

"I think people particularly appreciate the notion of 'man's best friend' being a part of the police force. The public was grateful that Clyde bore responsibility of providing a watchful eye over the town and his fellow officers on the department," Winchendon Police Chief Dan Wolski told the Gardner News. "It was reassuring for the people to know that the department's chances of apprehending a dangerous criminal, or finding a lost person, was increased as a result of having Clyde."

Clyde had been honored with a proclamation and a plush dog bed by the Board of Selectmen on August 15, 2022, when he retired. He was a beloved presence in town, appearing for demos at Fall Fest, Summer Solstice Fair, and other events.

For the last two years of his service, Clyde battled lymphoma, which sidelined him for periods of time. A true fighter, he returned to active duty repeatedly after treatment. Businesses, organizations and citizens donated money and held fundraisers to help pay for his chemotherapy.

With some big pawprints to fill, new K-9 officer Blitz and his handler, Officer Wironen, received their New England State Police Administrators Conference (NESPAC) certification on January 10. The 560-hour patrol school course included tracking/trailing, obedience, criminal apprehension and evidence recovery. The Massachusetts State Police K-9 unit and its trainers instructed the class and the Rhode Island State Police K-9 unit evaluated the teams.

We look forward to seeing K-9 Blitz show off his skills at Solstice Fair this June!

Scenes from downtown Winchendon
The holidays may be over, but festive displays are still brightening Toy Town's winter nights. The gazebo at G.A.R. Park by Old Murdock continues to be radiant with warm colors, inviting passers-by to take a (chilly) seat.
Photo by Keith Kent
Scenes from downtown Winchendon
Still in full holiday display, the Orange Whitney House at 122 Pleasant Street represents some of the very best in Toy Town winter seasonal themes, tastefully mixed with its Colonial design architecture. Its blue glow can be seen as far away as the YMCA track off of Central Street.
Photo by Keith Kent

Winchendon Awarded ~$500K Federal Grant

As our team races to repair aging infrastructure all over town, we remain committed to finding ways to help our residents pay for this considerable expense. To echo our Board of Selectmen - we can't fund these projects simply by raising taxes or water rates alone.

I am happy to announce that of the 37 communities in the MA Congressional 3rd District, we were one of ten to receive funding as part of the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act. We are appreciative of Congresswoman Lori Trahan's commitment to see this initiative through as part of her Community Project efforts!

This nearly half-million dollar appropriation will replace 900 feet of century-old water line north of Central Street, and will tie directly into the full re-construction of Downtown Winchendon that we carried out over this summer. As always, we are proud to bring these resources home to the people and businesses of Winchendon. From Washington D.C. to Toy Town!

Thank you for your support,
Justin Sultzbach

WFD Responded to Nearly 2,500 Calls in 2022

Throughout 2022, the Winchendon Fire Department responded to 2,408 calls for emergency service. These calls included structure fires, ambulance calls, HazMat incidents, motor vehicle accidents and many other types of emergencies. This is an increase of 239 calls over the 2,169 calls in 2021. In addition to these calls, the department conducted numerous trainings to ensure members were as skilled as possible. Also not counted in these numbers were the hundreds of inspections that were conducted throughout the year to make sure the community was a safe place to live in. At this time, the Winchendon Fire Department would like to thank the community for their support throughout 2022 and we wish everyone a safe and prosperous 2023.

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Central Mass Tree

Is your New Year's Resolution to get a new job? Be sure to check out our Classified and Employment Ads on the Events Page!

Scenes from downtown Winchendon
As part of the state-mandated features of the Central Street Reconstruction Project, all parking on the south side of Central Street is now eliminated to allow for a bike path. These 24 signs on the new street lamp posts running from Dunkin Donuts to CVS emphasize the point.
Photo by Keith Kent

Clark Memorial Jan 2023

Subway November 2022 Catering deals

Click Here for Community Directory

Winchendon Businesses, Organizations, Services, and Government

Interested in Learning to Live Off the Land?

The Winchendon Recreation Commission is running a survey to gauge interest in classes about wilderness survival and living off the land. Fill out the survey to let them know what you'd like to see offered for classes!

Click here to take survey

Tax Classification Informational Packet

For those who watched the tax classification hearing and would like to review the informational packet about the proposed tax rates, the packet is available on the town website at this link: (PDF).

Winchendon Recreation Commission Asks You...

What musicians and bands would you like to see play at the Winchendon Community Park amphitheater in 2023? Fill out the Google Form or call the office at 978-297-5410 and let them know!

Click here for Google Form

Letter to the Editor

Viral COVID-19 "Surge" continues, regionally & commonwealth

The local regional ten town area of both Winchendon and its surrounding municipalities of North Worcester County, have continued like much of the Commonwealth to experience a high viral surge as 9 of our 10 local towns within two towns of Toy Town are now at or well in to double digit infection status for the 2nd week in a row. Our nearby 10 town area average in just the last several weeks has now increased over 100 percent from 7.57% just last December 22, to 16.2 percent positivity as of the newest Massachusetts Department of Public Health report released Thursday, January 12, 2023.

With only 2 area communities seeing a relief in viral rates, 8 area municipalities increased with 7 of those realizing moderate to large increases in SARS-CoV-2 positivity under the newer dominate XBB.1.5 viral strain of Omicron. Commonwealth wide, the 14 day average has risen from the last reports 11.94 to this week's 13.23% positivity, and the Commonwealth 7 day average currently registers at 12.25 percent positivity.

Locally our numbers register as the following. The only two towns to show a decrease were Hubbardston to the south of Gardner, dropping from 13.43 to 10.17% positivity, and the Town of Athol with some 12,000 residents, lowering just slightly from 8.23 to 8.10% COVID-19 positivity, based on 431 molecular tests, again the highest amount of testing in our immediate area both by total amount and by population.

Those all again on the rise were Winchendon with 10,500 residents, increasing from 10.42 to 12.40% positivity, and the City of Gardner to its south with 21,000 residents increasing 12.85 to 18.25% positivity, a 30 percent increase. In the towns of the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District, Ashburnham increased from 11.76% to 13.40% positivity, and its fellow member town, Westminster, increased from 12.32% up to 17.21%, a 28% increase. To Ashburnham's east, Ashby increased from 11.76%, 14.55% positivity, and not in this area, but in Ashby's school district, Townsend, increased from 16.03 to 17.31%. In the local towns of the Narragansett Regional School District to Winchendon's south, Templeton with nearly 8,200 residents now registers at 15.44% positivity, and its partnering district town, Phillipston, increased from 18.18%, to a now higher 23.81% viral positivity. Lastly in our immediate area, Royalston to Winchendon's western border and part of the Athol Royalston Regional School District surged from 25%, to a now higher 28.51% positivity. Again, none of these numbers for public health purposes reported by the Mass DPH include any government provided or store purchased home antigen testing kits.

Also locally in the North Quabbin Region to our west, Orange to the west of Athol currently registers down slightly from 14.55 to 11.98 or 12%, Erving also along Route 2 increased to 15.00% positivity, Greenfield with 18,000 residents registers at 8.91%, the small town of New Salem is now up to 35% positivity, and Petersham registers at 23.08. To the east of Gardner and the Chair City, Fitchburg with 42,000 residents has now surged 13.98 to 16.75% viral positivity based on 824 molecular tests, and Leominster with nearly 44,000 residents now shows 11.92%. In our largest municipalities, Boston increased from 11.61 to 13.44%, Worcester from also 11.61 to 12.50%, and Springfield from 13.34 to 14.35% positivity.

The Town of Winchendon Board of Health, continues to offer "Free I-Health Labs COVID-19 Home Antigen Test Kits" in its town hall office during normal hours of operation. The BOH continues to recommend vaccination only for those who are healthy enough to do so, especially if one has either pre-existing conditions or is immunocompromised. If considering any vaccination, please have that conversation with your primary health care physician, or medically qualified professional.

To view the Commonwealth COVID-19 dashboard, please click on the following link:

Keith Kent
Chair, Board of Health

FY 23 Senior Tax Work-Off Applications Now Available!

Once again this year, we are pleased to announce the Senior Work-Off program was approved at our Annual Town Meeting. 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.

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.

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Nomination Papers for Annual Town Election Available January 9

Nomination papers for the annual Town Election, to be held May 1, 2023, will be available at the Town Clerk's office in Town Hall starting at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 9. Nomination papers must be turned in to the Town Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 13. At least 35 signatures of registered Winchendon voters must be validated for the nomination papers to be certified. Prospective candidates are advised to get more than 35 signatures in case any signatures cannot be confirmed.

The following seats are available:

One 3-year term for the Board of Selectmen
Two 3-year terms for the School Committee
Two 3-year terms for the Board of Health
One 5-year term for the Housing Authority

Beals Memorial Library Operations Moved to Ground Floor

Library operations at Beals Memorial Library have been moved to the ground floor for the duration of the Infrastucture Project. It's the room to the right as you enter, across from the elevator, which formerly held the Friends' Book Sale (on hiatus until the Infrastructure Project is complete). For more information, see

The library announced, "Library operations have been moved to the ground floor until further notice. We have most of our collection, a public computer, printing/copying, and comfy seating. We are open during normal library hours, and we can't wait to see everyone!"

Click here to read the Fact Sheet (PDF) about the Phase 2 Infrastructure Project.

Beals library ground floor setupPhoto copyright © Beals Memorial Library

Winchendon Community Park Committee Has Vacant Seats to Fill

The Winchendon Community Park Committee is seeking volunteers to serve on the committee. Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month for about an hour. This committee merges the former Winchendon Community Park Infrastructure committee and Winchendon Community Park Program committee, and discusses everything from ongoing projects and maintenance to program ideas and upcoming events. Anyone interested in joining should email a letter of interest to Tiffany Newton at

The Winchendon Community Park is located on Ingleside Drive, off of Maple Street, and is the location of the Winchendon Community Park Performing Arts Amphitheater now under construction and due to open in June, 2023. The park includes walking trails, a soccer field and recreational opportunities, to which a Disc Golf course will be added soon, and is open to the public at no charge.

Toy Town FYIs

The final, official results of Winchendon's Midterm Election on November 8, 2022 may be viewed at: State Election 11.8.2022 OFFICIAL RESULTS.

Transfer Station Winter Hours

The Transfer Station has returned to its regular hours:
Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 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

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.

2023 Dog Licenses Now Available

2023 Dog licenses are now available on-line, in person, mail, or dropbox. Spayed and Neutered are $10, Non-spayed and Non-Neutered are $20. Please provide a valid rabies certificate with payment. If purchasing on-line, please email rabies certificate to
After May 1, a $20 late fee will be assessed.
After June 1, an additional $50 failure to license fee will be assessed.

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. Click the link below for information and sign-up.

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.

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).

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.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of January 9, 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 citizen vacancy
Cultural Council - 13 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Master Plan Implementation Committee - 1 vacancy
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Recreation Commission - 2 vacancies
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).