The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of January 2 to January 9, 2020
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Winchendon Spared the Worst of Forecast Ice Storm

Toy Town residents, First Responders and road crews, still recovering from the historic snowstorm four weeks ago, stocked up and braced themselves for a forecast ice storm beginning Sunday night and continuing through Tuesday morning. Although some weathercasters predicted as much as an inch of ice accumulation, "impassable roads and widespread power outages" for the Monadnock region, the storm produced less ice and more mixed precipitation than expected.

Local gas stations were busy on Sunday as residents filled their cars' gas tanks and bought fuel for snowblowers and generators. The DPW prepared for a lengthy ice storm, while the Winchendon Fire Department advised residents to be ready for power outages. The Winchendon CAC closed on Monday, and some local businesses closed early. Old Murdock Senior Center was open but did not serve lunch or make transportation runs.

The storm brought some icing, but more sleet and snow fell than freezing rain. Winchendon had about two to three inches of accumulated sleet, ice and snow by the end of the storm. Trees were heavily coated with ice and snow, but damage was minimal. The police department received a few calls about downed trees on wires. National Grid reported only one localized power outage in Winchendon and far fewer outages around the region than expected. Most of these were around Worcester, Quabbin and the Berkshires.

By Tuesday morning the precipitation had ended, although skies remained overcast and temperatures low. It was a far cry from the ice storm of December, 2008, which resulted in severe widespread damage to trees, homes and power lines, and power outages lasting for days and in a few cases, weeks. Since this storm fell during the holiday week when schools were on break, it created less disruption than it might have.

Although the ice and frozen snow accumulation are much less than a typical snow storm, residents should be aware that slabs of ice and breaking branches may still pose a hazard. In Burlington, a family was injured on Thursday when ice blew off the top of a box truck in front of them and smashed through the windshield of their pickup truck. In Westminster, a single downed tree limb left several hundred residents without power. Winchendon resident Dan Sweeney provided photographic evidence of the damage even a small tree limb can do. Police strongly urge residents to clear all ice and snow from their vehicles, even if it doesn't look like a large amount.

Ice storm damage to car
Dan Sweeney advises "be careful of falling branches of ice." (photo credit: Dan Sweeney)

Winchendon Food Project Community Meeting Rescheduled to January 16

The Winchendon Food Project community meeting scheduled for December 16 has been rescheduled for Thursday, January 16, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., in the Town Hall 2nd Floor Auditorium. All interested Toy Town residents are invited to attend. Please RSVP to, or call 978-598-3723 ext. 3, so the facilitators will know how many people to expect.

The Winchendon Food Project is taking concrete action with defined goals to bring fresh, healthy food to Winchendon residents. The "hub and spoke" model of food distribution will essentially create a "food store" which will sell both fresh food and Community Supported Agriculture Meal Kits. The Meal Kits will be filled not only with fresh food from local producers, but additional ingredients and instructions needed to prepare meals with the food. Also in the works are cooking and nutrition classes and information about healthy lifestyle choices.

Meetings have been held in the conference room at the Clark Memorial YMCA but have outgrown that space. Many volunteers and organizers are needed to help implement the Winchendon Food Project's far-reaching plans.

If you'd like to read the notes from the November 17 meeting, they are available online: November 17 Meeting Notes (PDF)

An important part of the Food Project is collecting solid information about community needs. If you live or work in Winchendon, please fill out the newest Food Survey. You can download a paper copy or fill it out online.

Downloadable paper survey (PDF)

Online survey



Winchendon American Legion
295 School Street

February 20, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
February 22, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Attendance is required on BOTH dates.

Registration is Required. Register online at Course ID: 4478.

This course is provided through the coordinated efforts of the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the Winchendon American Legion.

BOAT MASSACHUSETTS is offered to the public at no charge. The primary purpose of BOAT MASSACHUSETTS is to foster safe boat operation through increased awareness of required safety equipment, safe boating practices and legal responsibilities.

Youth 12 through 15 years of age who successfully complete the course will be issued a Safety Certificate allowing them to operate a motorboat without adult supervision, as required by state law. This course will also satisfy the state requirements for personal watercraft users who are 16 or 17 years of age. All graduates will be issued a Safety Certificate. Taking the class as a family is encouraged and has proven to be highly rewarding. *Students must be at least 12 years of age. Class is limited to 70 persons.

Toy Town FYIs

Town of Winchendon
Office of the Town Clerk
Nomination Papers for Annual Town Election
May 4, 2020

Nomination papers will be available Monday, January 13 2020 at 8:00 a.m.
Nomination papers must be obtained and turned in on or before Monday, March 16, 2020 by 6:00 p.m.
Available terms:
ONE 3-year term for the Board of Selectmen
TWO 3-year terms for the School Committee
ONE 2-year unexpired term for the School Committee
TWO 2-year terms for the Board of Health.

2020 dog licenses are now available in the Town Clerk's office (in Town Hall, 109 Front Street), online (click here), or by mail. You must provide a valid, up-to-date rabies certificate.

Effective December 1

Winter Parking Ban
Town of Winchendon Bylaw
SECTION 7.18; WINTER BAN Parking is prohibited on all public ways between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., annually from December 1st through April 15th. In addition, any vehicle, other than one acting in an emergency, parked, day or night, on any street in the Town, so as to interfere with the work of removing or plowing snow, removing ice, or sanding the street may be removed or towed away under the authority, discretion and direction of the Chief of Police or the Chief’s designee. The registered owner of a motor vehicle which is removed pursuant to this bylaw shall be fully responsible for all charges and expenses incurred for the removal and storage of said motor vehicle.

As of Thursday, December 5, the Winchendon Fire Department will no longer be performing inspections at residences with excessive amounts of snow preventing access to the property. If a residence is found to be inaccessible the inspection will not be performed and an additional re-inspection fee will be charged.

The Winchendon Fire Department urges residents to take all safety precautions with candles and generators.

  • Generators should always be used outside, never in your home, garage or basement. Carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible and can reach lethal levels even if you don't smell exhaust or fumes. If you have a permanent emergency generator professionally installed, make sure its ventilation is clear of snow or other obstructions.
  • Candles should never be left unattended, and must always be at least a foot away from anything else flammable--including other candles.

Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home

Clark YMCA

CENSUS 2020 is coming, we need your participation!

CENSUS 2020 is coming! Your participation is important because your answers make a vital difference. When you respond to a survey or census, you are helping your community and the nation. Your answers, combined with others, become the statistics that businesses, governments and people like you use to make informed decisions about education, emergency preparedness, employment, international trade, health, housing, and other important topics.

More information can be found at:

The US Census Bureau is hiring thousands of people for the 2020 Survey. For more information go to:

Narcan Training at the Winchendon CAC

Beginning in January, the first Tuesday of the month the Winchendon CAC will be offering Narcan Training in affiliation with the Worcester Aids Project. You will learn to administer Narcan and receive a Narcan dispenser. Class space is limited--pre-registration is required. Please come into the office or call 978-297-1667 to register. The first class will be held on Tuesday, January 7. The Winchendon CAC is located at 273 Central St., Winchendon.

Clear Those Fire Hydrants!

If there's a fire hydrant near your's the fire hydrant the Fire Department will need if your house is on fire. With that in mind, help keep hydrants clear of snow and accessible this winter, for everyone's safety!

Hydrants should be completely clear of snow and ice, with an open area of three feet on all sides and clear open access from the street. It's a little extra work, but if the hydrant is needed, every second counts!

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