The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of March 16 to March 23, 2023
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Winchendon and Region Slammed by Monster Nor'easter

March Nor-easter

Photo by Keith Kent
March Nor-easter

Photo by Keith Kent

As multiple utility based and assistance services companies flocked to Winchendon to assist National Grid with recovery efforts on Wednesday, March 15, the very next day after a Nor'easter dropped 2 feet of snow on both Toy Town and the region, Northern Tree Service is seen here temporarily using all of Grout Park as a mobile base of operations in between assignment deployments for just some of its many trucks.

Just seven weeks after three snow and ice storms in rapid succession left Winchendon and surrounding towns with thousands of downed trees and branches and several days of power outages, this week a powerful late winter Nor'easter, lasting some 36 hours, brought torrential rain, heavy snow and high winds to Massachusetts, leaving debris and widespread, lengthy power outages in its wake.

North central Massachusetts and the Monadnock region saw some of the highest amounts of snow, with people in Winchendon measuring more than 30 inches in some parts of town. A steady north wind, with gusts up to 40 mph, meant snow was "falling" sideways at times, creating high drifts and deep pockets in north-facing yards and open patches. Most residents saw at least two feet of snow on their roofs, cars and yards. Surrounding towns reported similar amounts of snow, with one resident of neighboring New Ipswich, NH stating she measured 40 inches on her property.

The storm began at around 5:00 p.m.on Monday afternoon with light snow, which had become steadier and heavier by the time Special Town Meeting adjourned around 8:00 p.m. The temperatures remained at or above the freezing mark throughout the storm's duration, and the snow melted on contact at first. By 9:30 p.m., the inches were accumulating. The storm's greatest intensity was forecast to be Tuesday morning. Winchendon Public Schools cancelled school for Tuesday, and Winchendon Town Hall announced that it would be closed for the day on Tuesday.

By 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, about 6 inches of snow was on the ground and snow was falling at an inch per hour or more. Some businesses, such as Not Just Produced on Central Street, closed early, urging their customers to stay safe. Power outages had already begun around town as trees and branches, some probably damaged or weakened by the prior ice storms, broke and fell onto wires all over town. Power went out at the Courier's office on Lakeview Drive at 1:29 p.m. By Tuesday evening, more than 18 inches of snow was on the ground and it was still falling. Almost the entire town of Winchendon was impacted by massive power outages that left whole areas in the dark.

At 6:00 p.m., the town opened a warming center and emergency shelter in the Murdock High School gymnasium. Information went out to residents via a reverse-911 call from Fire Chief Tom Smith and emails. Initially, the warming center was planned to stay open until 11:00 p.m. "At that time the power situation in the community will be reviewed with further decisions made," Chief Smith said. The warming center and shelter stayed open through the night, until 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. Winchendon's Director of Emergency Management, James Abare, reported that six people came to the center during the evening and three of them stayed there overnight.

By Wednesday morning, the snow was down to flurries and the roads were mostly plowed (thanks to the ceaseless labor of the Department of Public Works crews who had been out plowing since Monday night), but the power outages took many more hours to resolve. Not only National Grid trucks, but tree cutting businesses' bucket trucks and Comcast/Xfinity trucks were working everywhere. Utility companies from outside the state sent trucks to the area to assist in repairs. At one point, traffic was detoured around a section of Glenallen Street via roads around Lake Monomonac, to the obvious confusion of some drivers who had no idea where they were being sent.

Winchendon Public Schools cancelled class for the second day in a row, while large areas of the town still lacked electric power. National Grid was officially estimating that power wouldn't be restored for many residents until Thursday, March 16. Fortunately, most Winchendonians saw power restored by the end of Wednesday. With the sun trying to come out and temperatures in the mid-30s, many residents emerged from their homes to begin clearing driveways and sidewalks with shovels and snowblowers. The going was obviously slow, arduous and challenging, as even the biggest snowblowers struggle with high snowbanks and snow this deep.

Many surrounding communities along the New Hampshire border were hit just as hard. The town of Ashby declared a state of emergency as the whole town lost power and roads were impassable due to downed trees and some 34 inches of snow. In the town of Dracut, just north of Lowell, the roof of a dairy barn at Shaw Farm collapsed under the weight of heavy wet snow. Thanks to an outpouring of assistance, most of the 86 dairy cows were saved but a few perished.

With some towns in the Berkshires reporting up to 37 inches of snow, the National Weather Service says this is the largest amount of snow reported from a single storm since the Blizzard of '78.

Meteorologists explained that the storm's tremendous power came from a process called "bombogenesis." In bombogenesis, a storm system is able to intensify and develop very rapidly, its barometric pressure plummeting to generate high winds and heavy precipitation so fast, the storm system seems to "explode." As often happens, this week's storm resulted from two energetic systems meeting and merging just south of New England, over warm Gulf Stream water.

For Courier coverage of the previous storms, see "All Winter in a Week...Winchendon Hit by Three Storms in Seven Days" in the January 26-February 2, 2023 edition of The Winchendon Courier

March Nor-easter
Group Team Effort - Seen in this first photo along Glenallen Street at Tolman Road about 6:00 pm on March 15, a National Grid employee along with a subcontracting company confirm on how a locations ongoing electrical recovery efforts are proceeding while also keeping watchful eyes out for traffic at the intersection along the busy thoroughfare.
Photo by Keith Kent
March Nor-easter
High Voltage - High Up! Working extremely carefully with the proper tools of the trade, these highly skilled and trained linemen can be seen working in their bucket at the very top of a utility poll with insulated equipment in their much needed efforts to restore electricity to Winchendon residents, who by time of this photo had been without power some 30 hours due to the powerful Nor'easter striking the region.
Photo by Keith Kent

Winchendon Voters Reject Community Preservation Act at STM

196 Winchendon voters braved the teeth of an oncoming snow storm to attend the unusual extra Special Town Meeting convened on Monday, March 13 at the Murdock Middle High School auditorium. With no worries about a quorum, Town Moderator Coral Grout, who returned to Winchendon from Florida just for this Town Meeting, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. sharp. CART service captioning for the hearing impaired was provided for the meeting by Stefanie Farrell. After all of this, voters rejected the sole reason that the extra Town Meeting was held, the Community Preservation Act.

Voters breezed by the first four of the six warrant articles in twelve minutes flat. A motion to simply pass over Article 1, board and committee reports, passed with 96 percent in favor, 4 percent opposed and no discussion. Article 2, paying prior year's bills totaling $1,394.86 from Free Cash, elicited no discussion and passed with 95 percent in favor and 5 percent opposed. It required a nine-tenths majority to pass.

Article 3, purchasing updated broadcasting equipment at a cost of $40,000 from Free Cash, which amount will be covered by the new Comcast contract, evoked a question. A voter rose to ask how much money is currently in Free Cash, since the Finance Committee did not give a report. Finance Committee Chair Tom Kane said the current amount is approximately $1.3 million. The article passed with 83 percent in favor and 17 percent opposed.

Article 4, amending the town Bylaws to be consistent with changes in the Recreation Commission and Winchendon Community Parks committees, which have all merged into a new, nine-member Parks and Recreation Committee with a part-time salaried Recreation Director, elicited no questions or discussion. Current Recreation Commission Chair Debra Bradley explained that the changes were to "reduce redundancies" and duplicated activities, have a streamlined calendar and enhance promotion. The article passed with 79 percent in favor and 21 percent opposed.

Article 5, which asked voters to take the first step in approving the adoption of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) by Winchendon (step two would be a ballot vote on May 1), was presented by Chair of the Community Preservation Act Exploratory Committee (CPAEC) Dave Romanowski. This article evoked 35 minutes of discussion, with several bursts of applause.

Voter Guy Corbosiero rose first, to ask what the threshold was for "low income" housing that would be exempt from the 3 percent CPA surcharge. Town Manager Justin Sultzbach replied that the income limits were updated annually by Housing and Urban Development (HUD). "I would say it is someone who's determined on the federal level, but in addition, if somebody by example currently qualifies for heating fuel assistance, that you would qualify to be exempt from this as well, because they use the same figure," he said.

Mr. Corbosiero said he was looking for a "hard figure." Board of Selectmen Vice Chair Rick Ward suggested, "Using the figures that were put out by public housing, in Winchendon, a low income person is a person who makes $50,200 a year total income, if it's a two person house, $57,400 is the income, according to the Winchendon Housing Authority."

Voter Rick Lucier rose to cite a news article that said there was no guarantee the town would get 100 percent matching funds, and the amounts could fluctuate. The more towns that adopt the CPA, the smaller the amount of the pot for each.

Voter Beth Hunt rose to say the CPA is "something that I would love to see brought back in the future. I do question it being brought up at this time." She asked about the taxes going up, and the commitment to replacing the water main from Ashburnham, a very large expense.

Mr. Sultzbach explained, "What you're thinking of is a typical tax formula for your real estate bill, that if the value of your property goes down, then typically the tax rate goes up. If the value of your property skyrockets, like you probably saw in the past year, then the tax rate goes down. At the end of the day your tax bill keeps marching forward. That's just the way it works. In this instance, though, where it's not tied to a specific levy limit, if the value of your house doesn't go down, that three percent never shifts." So, if a resident's property value went down, their CPA surcharge would go down, as well.

As far as the water line, Mr. Sultzbach said, there is no way to know now how much the line will really cost and how much can be funded by grants, the state loan, absorbed by the town's operating budget and so on. "In all honesty, if we do a good job, we can bring in a decent amount," he said. Ms. Hunt said again that she just thought it was the wrong time to adopt the CPA, getting applause from the floor.

Voter Tina Santos rose to ask if there was, as she'd heard, an arbitrary maximum on how much the town could receive from the state. "We have quite an amount of capital projects, you know, we have the Town Hall, the roof, we have Murdock Senior Center, we have quite a few other, you know, historical buildings and the CPA would be beneficial," she said. "However, again, I was told that, you know, once we apply for it, we only get a certain amount. And I don't know if that's true or not. So for those that are voting, these buildings and projects are high dollar amounts."

Mr. Sultzbach explained that there is no cap or maximum. The surcharge would raise about $250,000 annually, and at a 100 percent match, the state would give the town another $250,000. He pointed out that the Old Murdock will cost about $5 million to restore. If Winchendon had adopted the CPA when it started up, twenty years ago, the state's matching funds alone would have accrued enough by now to cover the entire cost.

CPAEC member Marc Dorwart, in the middle of a long technical answer to a voter about how the state's reimbursement works and how the money would be disbursed by the town, said, "I think that we need to be upfront and honest about what [the CPA] is. I personally am for it, but not at this time. I've had some change of heart since I initially voted to recommend it. The Town Manager and the State Representative gave a lot of pushback to me on concerns that I had and other committee members had about the adoption process and how the Bylaws [are], and we were told that our concerns have not been brought up in 20 years...then the next day, I went to a meeting with the Finance Committee. And the Chair...had the same exact concerns that I have...that I just, you know, a couple of days prior been told, are not legitimate concerns. So there's a lot of, there's some fishy things that have changed. In my mind, I think we should wait to adopt this."

A voter named Stacey asked why the town couldn't use a GoFundMe or a "timeline fundraiser" to raise money for historical buildings.

After 31 minutes of questions and explanations about various aspects of the CPA, a voter called the question. Moderator Grout asked the Selectmen if they wanted to explain their recommendations, as two of them had voted not to recommend the article.

Selectman Amy Salter said, "I voted no, throughout the entire process. I just think that we shouldn't be adding a surcharge to real estate taxes at this time with the economy. And so then I'm also concerned for our fire station that we need to refurbish. That's going to be approximately eight million dollars and that's going to be coming up soon. And I think for me, that's a good use of our money and this just isn't a good use of money."

Selectman Barbara Anderson said, "I also voted no, that I would not recommend this article. And I thought that the economy being the way it is, it's a terrible time to be raising taxes on people. I also have a fundamental problem. All property owners pay these fees when they purchase property and you don't really notice it...We all pay into the CPA, fine. The only people who are able to benefit from that fund are the people that voluntarily raise their taxes 3 percent. And that sounds like extortion. I'm not sure why the money from the property owners in town didn't automatically come back to the community to be used for a capital project."

Board of Selectmen Chair Audrey LaBrie, who recommended the article, said, "There is no good time. Honestly. We've had the discussions...It's not a good time. I feel that we cannot stop working to invest in Winchendon regardless of time, and that's why I voted for this. So that it would come before us. I'm a registered voter as well. So that we the people could have a say. There is no good time but we still need to invest." There was applause from the floor in response to her statement.

Mr. Ward said, "I voted for this and I voted for this on financial reasons. Because when I looked at it in a straight financial way, it's a good investment. It's a good return on money. But I also understand that it's up to each voter in this hall to look at your taxes and decide for yourself. Is this a good thing for me right now or is it? And I hope you vote the way you feel tonight."

Following this, Moderator Grout called the vote. The article failed, with 38 percent in favor, 62 percent opposed.

Article 6, the non-binding referendum on Whitney Pond dam, created some confusion for voters, as it shoehorned an either-or question into a yes-no format. The bulk of the discussion consisted of explanations of the dam's history and current status and the estimated costs of the two options. A color handout was given to voters with their warrants illustrating the details.

Voter Mike Evans, a resident of West Street which has chronic water line breaks, rose to say that "I'm all for this dam thing to look pretty and stuff," but he felt there were higher priorities. "Let's get the roads fixed, first of all these leaks in the water system right now. That's what I believe." He received a round of applause.

When the vote was called, it came up as 72 percent in favor of the more expensive option, 28 percent opposed, or in favor of the less expensive option. A voter questioned the vote, saying that it not been explained clearly just what each vote meant. After Mr. Sultzbach clarified, the vote was held a second time. This time the vote was 49 percent in favor of the more expensive option, 51 percent in favor of the less expensive option, giving the town the tiniest of mandates to draw up plans for a less expensive dam repair.

With this, Town Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:05 p.m.

Third Social Issues Panel Explores Mental Health Challenges and Services

Mental Health Issues Panel
From left, moderator Jennifer LaRoche, panelists Kelci Schultz, Madison Eldredge and Ann Berube
Photo by Inanna Arthen

The third Social Issues panel being offered as part of the One Book, One Community Town Wide Read Program sponsored by Beals Memorial Library was presented on Saturday, March 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Bud Fletcher Community Room at the Clark Memorial YMCA. This panel, part of a series of four, focused on Mental Health. The previous two panels have considered domestic violence and Trauma Informed Care.

The panel was moderated by Jennifer LaRoche, Vice President of Acute and Day programs at Clinical and Support Options, Inc. (CSO). Two of the panelists represented the Parent Professional Advocacy League, or PPAL. Ann Berube is the Family Support Specialist for PPAL for the greater Gardner area. Madison Eldredge, who is 14-1/2, is a PPAL Youth Leadership Intern who created Maddie's Book Nook, a mobile children's library for children waiting for services in the hospital emergency room. Panelist Kelci Schultz is a licensed mental health counselor and school adjustment counselor.

Both panelists and audience members spoke in very personal terms about their direct experiences with mental health challenges. Ms. Berube said that everyone in PPAL has raised a child who had to deal with mental health issues. PPAL offers trainings, peer support, grandparent groups, and juvenile justice support--how to navigate the system when a child ends up in custody.

Ms. Schultz spoke of how hard it can be to intervene with young people because they don't see that anything is wrong. COVID greatly increased mental health issues among children. These manifest differently at different ages. Little kids might have tantrums, older ones "act out" by lying or stealing. Children might self-isolate and refuse to leave their rooms. Anxiety and depression have increased a lot because of COVID.

Ms. Schultz pointed out that more activities and opportunities for community involvement exist for youth and teens than for the 6 to 12 year old age group. Much more is needed for the elementary school cohort.

Everyone agreed that finding services is very difficult. Ms. Berube said "the system is reactive"--you have to prove that someone is a danger to themselves or others. Families have to know how to advocate tirelessly, and face "a long hard fight" to get their loved one help.

Questions from audience members evoked discussions of how to find therapists for children, how to reduce the "stigma" attached to mental health issues, and how to get help for someone who doesn't want help. Pastor J Lillie from Cornerstone Church, and several members of the church, spoke about the importance of faith for those dealing with mental health issues.

Audience members were invited to donate a book to Maddie's Book Nook for Children's Mental Health Week, which is the first week in May.

About 25 people attended the panel. Vegan and gluten-free refreshments from the Winchendon-based Piping Plover Baking Company were provided.

The panel series focuses on topics that affect our community and that are present in the chosen book for the town-wide read, Hey, Kiddo, by best-selling author Jarrett J. Krosoczka. One Book One Community's goal is to connect Winchendon residents through a shared reading experience, discussion, and community collaboration.The fourth and final panel in the series will be held on Saturday, April 15 and will be on the topic of Substance Abuse. Copies of the book are available to borrow from the Beals Memorial Library.

Hawk over Summer Drive

Photo by Keith Kent
Hawk over Summer Drive

Photo by Keith Kent

Skillful Landing! This fully grown or mature hawk seen here perched high a top this Summer Drive utility poll bordering one side of the Clark YMCA outdoor track on Sunday, March 12, swooped in low below before rising up to summit of the poll executing a perfect landing between its power lines with ease, spending several minutes scanning the adjacent areas near Whitney Pond Dam on the ground most likely looking for small prey.

Writing Contests at the Beals Memorial Library

Can you tell a story in 500 words or less? Are you a young poet looking to share your work? Then send in a submission to the Beals Memorial Library for the Beals Prize for Flash Fiction or for the Beals Young Adult Prize for Poetry! The library has extended submission deadlines for both contests, so there is still time to enter!

The Beals Memorial Library is looking to showcase the writing talents of our community through these fun writing competitions. The Beals Prize for Flash Fiction is a fun, short fiction contest, open to participants in four age brackets: Children Grades 3 - 5, Children Grades 6 - 8, Teens Grades 9 - 12, and Adults Ages 18 and Over. All participants must either live or attend school in Winchendon and may enter only one previously unpublished story consisting of 500 words or less.

The submission deadline has been extended to Saturday, April 15. The top three finalists in each category will be selected to read their story at the awards ceremony, to be held on Wednesday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top winners in each category! Submissions must be sent to Please include your name, age or grade, and home address with your entry. Microsoft Word documents are preferred.

The Beals Young Adult Prize for Poetry is a fun poetry contest open to teens grades 9 - 12 who live or go to school in Winchendon. Your poem must be on the theme of journeys, the interpretation of which is left up to you. Only one poem may be submitted per entrant and it must be an original, unpublished work.

The submission deadline has been extended to Friday, April 21 and all entries must be sent by email to Microsoft Word documents are preferred. Ten finalists will be chosen to compete for the prize money on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Both contests are brought to you with federal funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Visit the library's website at or call 978-297-0300 for more information.

Ice fishing at Dennison
Home away from home! There is ice fishing, and then there is ice fishing like a seasoned veteran as this group did on the frozen waters of Lake Dennison recently with a large custom tent as their portable Fish-house or Shanty, which also displayed the American Flag and more.
Photo by Keith Kent
Ice fishing at Dennison
Enough to drill? While some bodies of water which have a higher flow rate in town such as Whitney Pond and the Millers River are currently not safe to walk on, Lake Dennison which is more of a stationary body of water, was actually thick enough to drill, as it took this sportsman a witnessed several seconds to "Bust through" making it thick enough to walk on during the recent weekend of March 9 - 12.
Photo by Keith Kent

Late season Ice Fishing - Enjoying the weekend of Friday, March 10, through Sunday, March 12, Lake Dennison on its picturesque frozen waters was a busy place with ice fishing, as well as those walking its snowy roads and paths before a large winters storm settled in just a few days later mainly on Tuesday, March 14.

Join the CHNA9 Charette, "Planning for a Healthier North Central Mass"

Saturday, March 18
10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Clark Memorial YMCA
155 Central St., Winchendon

What's your vision for a healthy local community? Join us to plan the collective actions that will make that vision a reality!

The North Central Mass Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is designed to be a bridge between the most pressing needs in the community and a vision of a thriving North Central region where everyone feels safe, valued, and connected.

Over a delicious brunch, we'll explore what makes a healthy community, what we love most about our community, and what you and our neighbors need to be able to fully access opportunities to learn, work, play, and lead fulfilling lives. You'll talk, move, eat, and get to know other changemakers.

The CHIP is a living thing, made of residents like us who represent the full diversity of North Central Mass and who share the power and responsibility to create the community they dream of Brunch and childcare will be provided. Please contact to request interpretation, transportation, or other accommodations.

Register at this link:

Can't make it? Look for other dates and times at

School District to Hold Budget Hearing on March 27

The Winchendon School Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed FY 2024 budget on Monday March 27, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. in the Winchendon Town Hall auditorium located at 109 Front Street, 2nd floor. This notice is published consistent with Section 38N of Chapter 71 of Mass. General Laws.

On Thursday March 23, 2023, the proposed FY 2024 budget will be available for viewing at the Superintendent's Office, 175 Grove Street, Winchendon, MA between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

All interested persons shall be given the opportunity to be heard for or against the whole or any part of the proposed budget.

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

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!

Subway November 2022 Catering deals

Central Mass Tree

Click Here for Community Directory

Winchendon Businesses, Organizations, Services, and Government

Vendors Wanted for the Spring Fling Vendor Fair

Memorial & Toy Town PTO is looking for vendors for the Spring Fling Vendor Fair, which will be held on Saturday, April 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Memorial Elementary School Gym. Spaces are $30 for "first come, first served" or $40 for a preferred space. Vendors must bring their own table and set-up. Pre-registration required by April 14. Set-up will open at 8:00 a.m.

Vendors are asked to donate one item for a raffle. All proceeds go to Memorial & Toy Town PTO.

To register for a spot, or for more information, contact the PTO at

Volunteers Needed for the Sunshine Café!

The Youth Changemakers Sunshine Café is seeking youth (age 14-18) volunteers to help staff and run the Café, and adults to help supervise during open hours. All adults must be CORI checked by the CAC prior to volunteering. ServSafe® certification for adults is not necessary but a huge plus! Also needed are volunteers who can help cook and bake pastries for the Café to sell (all food preparation takes place in a certified commercial kitchen with ServSafe® supervision).

The Café is open on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.. It is located in the Winchendon CAC upper level, 273 Central Street.

If you'd like to help the Café prosper and grow, fill out the volunteer signup form below.

Beals Young Adult Prize for Poetry

Submission Deadline: Friday, April 21, 2023
Prize Money: $100 First / $50 Second / $25 Third

Competition Rules:

  • The contest is for teens in grades 9 - 12 who live or go to school in Winchendon, Massachusetts
  • Your poem must be on the theme of journeys, the interpretation of which is left up to you
  • Only one poem may be submitted
  • Only original, unpublished poems will be accepted submissions must be emailed to: (Word documents preferred)
  • Notification of receipt will be via return email
  • Ten finalists will be chosen to compete for the prize money on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

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

Get Your Burn Permits at WFD Before You Burn!

Just a reminder that burn season runs Jan 15-May 1. If you haven't purchased your burn permit yet, there's still time! Go to:

REMEMBER - There's 2 parts to the application. STEP 1 is payment. Write down the confirmation number. You'll need it. STEP 2 is the application. Fill it out, and and put the confirmation# in the payment section. Each time you wish to burn, call 978-297-6346 to initiate the permit for that day.

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.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of February 27, 2023

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 - 2 vacancies
Community Preservation Act Exploratory Committee - 1 citizen vacancy
Cultural Council - 14 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Master Plan Implementation 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).

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Town Seeks Volunteer to Fill Vacancy on Board of Health

The Town of Winchendon Board of Health is seeking a qualified resident to volunteer to complete a vacant position. The Board of Health's mission is to 'promote and protect public health in Winchendon. The Board of Health's main focus is on prevention by routine inspections, investigating complaints, plan reviews and education. The Board of Health is also responsible for interpreting and enforcing the provisions of the State Public Health Code, State Sanitary Code, State and Local Environmental Code.

The Board of Health meets on the First Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Town Hall

This position is a joint appointment by the Board of Selectmen and Board of Health. The term of this position is through the annual Town Election in April, 2024. If you are interested in the position, please send a letter of interest to Mary Calandrella, Please respond no later than March 22, 2023 by Noon.

Town Residents Needed for Fire Station Design Working Group

The Board of Selectmen has established a "Fire Station Design Working Group." This 5 person advisory group will be made up of 1 member of the Board of Selectmen, 1 member of the Finance Committee, 1 member of the Winchendon Fire Department, and 2 Citizen seats.

The town is seeking two residents with public construction or other applicable background to help shape the Fire Station Design project. Please send in a letter of interest by March 20, 2023 to Mary Calandrella in the Town Manager's office: .

Time to Sign Up for Youth Baseball and Softball!

Spring is around the corner, and youth baseball & softball registration is now open! Click the link below to go to the registration page.

If you have questions, contact the following:

For Baseball: Kevin Southwell, 603-209-1603 or

For Softball: Randy Tenney, 978-895-3334 or

Beals Prize for Flash Fiction

Submission Deadline: Saturday, April 15, 2023
Cash prizes for the top winners in each age group

Open To:

Children Grades 3 - 5
Children Grades 6 - 8
Teens Grades 9 - 12
Adults Ages 18+

Competition Rules:

  • Participants may enter only one previously unpublished story.
  • The contest is for anyone who lives or go to school in Winchendon, Massachusetts
  • The top 3 finalists in each category will be selected to read their story at the awards ceremony on May 17 at 6:30 PM.
  • Submissions must be sent to Please include you name, age or grade, and home address with your entry.

Winchendon Farmer's Market Accepting 2023 Vendor Applications

The Winchendon Farmer's Market, which is organized by the Winchendon Agricultural Commission, is accepting applications for vendors for the 2023 season. "This is a producer only market. We know that there are many small farmers, gardeners and handcrafters who would love to show off your hard work."

The Farmer's Market sets up at the corner of Pleasant and Front Streets across from Town Hall, 109 Front Street. Hours are Thursdays, 4:00-7:00 p.m. and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

A space is $20 for the entire season, or $5 for just one day. Vendors must supply all their own tables and set-up.

Download the application at If you have questions, contact the Winchendon Agricultural Commission.

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!"

Beals library ground floor setupPhoto copyright © Beals Memorial Library

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.