The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of January 16 to January 23, 2020
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Winchendon Food Project Meeting Establishes Working Groups

Nearly twenty people braved fresh snow and slippery roads to attend the second community meeting for the Winchendon Food Project, organized by Growing Places of Leominster, at the Town Hall Auditorium at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 16. Attendees included representatives from the Town of Winchendon, local farms, local churches, the Westminster Agricultural Commission and restaurants, along with interested residents.

The meeting began with a review of the project and its history. Daniel Forkner of Growing Places showed some slides with results from the current community survey, which about 150 people have returned so far.

All attendees contributed to a list of valued places or institutions in Winchendon. Mentioned were local farms, including Murdock, Sunset View and Meadcroft Farms, the Winchendon School, the CAC, Old Murdock Senior Center, the Clark Memorial YMCA, Not Just Produced, the American Legion, Broadview, the Winchendon Historical and Cultural Center, Old Centre, Beals Memorial Library, the Winchendon Health Center, the Winchendon Public Schools, local churches including UU Church of Winchendon, United Parish, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Cornerstone and Bethany Bible Chapel, and local community housing including Pearl Drive, Hyde Park and Ipswich.

Asked what made these places valuable and what they gave to Winchendon, attendees listed services, social gathering opportunities, resources, information, referrals, services and education for families, and a central source of communication. Also mentioned were the potential for kitchens, storage areas and prep areas for food, and sites for gardens and growing food.

Attendees separated into four breakout groups for in-depth discussions of topics that will be focused on by four Community CIRCL Groups. Groups will meet to work on Community Engagement and Communication, Cooking and Nutrition, Local Supply resources, and Local Food Access strategies. Ayn Yeagle, Executive Director of Growing Places, announced that dedicated facilitators will be hired to organize CIRCL groups, recruit volunteers and convene meetings. These facilitators will be paid a stipend for a couple of hours a week. They will be a point of contact between the project and Winchendon residents and ideally will live in town and know Winchendon and its residents very well.

The Winchendon Food Project is on track to begin distributing "meal kits," boxes of fresh healthy food ready to prepare, in April or May, on a small scale to start.

The break-out groups had many suggestions and ideas for further action, with goals of getting the word out to Winchendon residents, providing education in nutrition, cooking and healthy eating, inspiring volunteers, and supporting local food producers.

Any Winchendon residents interested in volunteering in any phase of the Winchendon Food Project, including home gardeners, educators and students, are invited to attend meetings. All Winchendon residents are urged to fill out the food access survey if they have not already done so. Notes and slides from today's meeting will be available online.

Visit the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Winchendon page for more information, and links to the food access survey.

Railroad Street Reconstruction Walk-through and Public Hearing Scheduled

There will be a meeting and walking tour of the proposed Railroad Street Reconstruction Project for residents and businesses on Tuesday, January 21 at 2:00 p.m. A walking tour will begin at the intersection of Central Street and Railroad Street, and will walk through the project area up Railroad Street for a couple of blocks.

The public hearing for the project will be held at the Board of Selectman meeting on Monday, February 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Auditorium of Town Hall (109 Front Street). Anyone with comments or concerns about the project is encouraged to attend the hearing. The snow date for the hearing, in case of inclement weather, is Wednesday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m.

The project is contingent on the town receiving Community Development Block Grant monies to cover the costs.

Volunteer for Your Town! Town Committees Seeking to Fill Vacancies

The following town committees have vacant seats waiting for any interested residents to apply.

Communications Committee - 3 vacancies. The Communications Committee is charged with expanding local access programming and communications for the residents of the community.

Conservation Commission 1 vacancy. Works to protect wetlands and local environments.

Cultural Council 12 vacancies. This is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation and funds many community-based projects.

Montachusett Joint Transportation Committee, 1 vacancy. The MJTC works to supply transportation planning for the Montachusett area.

Field Viewer and Fencer Driver, 1 vacancy.

Recreation Commission has vacancies for 1 regular member and 2 student members. They plan the concert series at the GAR Park gazebo and holiday events.

Winchendon Community Park Committee (formerly the Ingleside Utilization Committee), 4 vacancies.

Zoning Board of Appeals has vacancies for 2 alternates.

If you're interested, contact the Town Manager's office at

Winchendon Receiving More Money from State

Town Manager Keith Hickey had some good financial news at the January 13 Board of Selectmen Meeting.

The Town of Winchendon has received $45,816 additional appropriation in Chapter 90 state funding for road maintenance. This represents an additional 10 percent added to Winchendon's Chapter 90 funding and will be used for road repairs this spring.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has included $200,000 in its supplemental budget for additional improvements to the Whitney Pond Dam in Winchendon. The supplemental budget is on Governor Baker's desk awaiting his signature.

Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home

Clark YMCA Children's Center has been named

Coral Grout has presented the Wendell P. Clark Memorial YMCA a donation of $50,000 in memory of Charles and Rachel Grout for their generosity and commitment to Winchendon and the Wendell P. Clark Memorial YMCA.

Recently, Coral Grout presented the check and toured the YMCA’s new facilities. The Wendell P. Clark Memorial YMCA has a rich history of over 65 years of serving the Town of Winchendon and surrounding communities.

The Wendell P. Clark Memorial YMCA recently completed a two-phase capital campaign entitled Promise for Tomorrow to improve, expand and renovate the current building. Phase two of the capital campaign includes building a new youth and community building which will expand programming options for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The new building is 13,600 square feet which includes a state-of-the-art gymnastics center, afterschool program rooms and a community conference room. The new space allows the YMCA increased capacity and eliminates waiting lists of students wishing to participate in gymnastics and after school programming which is essential for working families.

Michael Quinn, Executive Director of the Clark YMCA, stated, “We are grateful for the support of members of the community such as Coral Grout. It gives us great pride to provide quality programs and services to the community and to make these programs accessible to all families regardless of their financial means. This is made possible through the many generous volunteers and contributors such as the Grout family, who make the Clark YMCA everything it is to so many.”

Because of the Grout family’s recent contribution and the many years of sponsoring the Grout family Golf Tournament to support the Clark YMCA’s annual campaign, the children’s wing of the new youth and community building will be named the Charles and Rachel Grout Children’s Center.

Clark Children's Center naming

Register to Vote Now for 2020 elections

The last day to register to vote in the March primary elections is Wednesday, February 12. The Town Clerk's office will be open until 8:00 p.m. The last day to register to vote for the annual Town Election will be Tuesday, April 14; the Town Clerk's office will be open until 8:00 p.m. The Town Clerk's office is located in Town Hall, 109 Front St.

Early voting has not been scheduled for the September primaries, but there will be two weeks of early voting before the Presidential election in November.

Early Voting for Presidential Primary Scheduled in Winchendon

The Massachusetts Presidential Primary election will be held on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Early voting for Winchendon residents who wish to participate will be conducted at the Winchendon Town Hall, 109 Front Street, 4th floor conference room at the following times:

Monday, February 24 - 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 25 - 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 26 - 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 27 - 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Toy Town FYIs

Be sure to complete, sign, and return your Town Census form in the enclosed envelope to the Town Clerk's office as soon as possible. Keeping your census up-to-date ensures your voter status remains active. If you don't receive a census form, you may request a form from the Town Clerk's office, located in Town Hall at 109 Front St.

Outdoor burning season begins on January 15 and runs until May 1. A permit for outdoor burning is required; you can purchase your permit online following the instructions in the link below:
2020 Burn Permit Application Made Easy (Google Doc)

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.

Holiday Hours for Monday, January 20
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Town Hall: CLOSED
Old Murdock Senior Center: CLOSED
Winchendon Public Schools: No Classes
Beals Memorial Library: CLOSED
Winchendon CAC: CLOSED

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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