The Winchendon Courier
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Week of September 3 to September 10, 2020
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Final Town Budget for FY2021 and Draft Warrant for Annual Town Meeting Presented to Board of Selectmen and FinCom

Three Warrant Articles Related to Mellen Road Spark Debate

After being bumped out of their scheduled meeting time by an emergency School Committee meeting, the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee held a joint meeting on the Town Manager's revised budget for fiscal year 2021 and the draft of the Special and Annual Town Meeting Warrants on Wednesday, September 2. Around 20 members of the public attended the meeting on Zoom.

Town Manager Keith Hickey presented the budget and the draft Warrants, reading them through fairly quickly.

Click here to read the draft Warrants (PDF)

Click here to review the revised Town Budget (PDF)

The Warrant is still subject to adjustments until it is certified and posted with the recommendations of the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee. The Warrants must be posted by September 14 for the September 28 Town Meeting. The Finance Committee will hold a public hearing to review the budget and Warrant articles involving expenditures on Tuesday, September 8, at 7:00 p.m., on Zoom (broadcast live on local access cable channel 8).

Mr. Hickey explained some small amendments he was asking to make in the revised budget as presented. There was no discussion or question about the budget, which was approved by the Board of Selectmen as amended.

Mr. Hickey then went through the Warrant articles, some of which are standard items of business not involving a large expenditure by the town. Some exceptions to this include the following:

  • Article 5 asks for a grant of $25,000 to the Winchendon Community Action Council. This is the same amount they received from the town for FY20.
  • Article 6 is the town budget or General Fund, which comes to a total appropriation of $15,254,265.88. This is an increase of 1.19 percent from FY20.
  • Article 7 asks the town to appropriate $905,848 for direct costs of the Water Department Enterprise Fund for FY2021.
  • Article 6 asks the town to appropriate $1,283,013 for direct costs of the Wastewater Enterprise Fund for FY2021.
  • Article 9 asks the town to appropriate $190,482 for direct costs of the Transfer Station Enterprise Fund for FY2021.
  • Article 10 asks the town to appropriate $13,787,063.32 for the Winchendon Public Schools for FY2021. This represents a level-funded budget for the schools from FY2020.
  • Article 11 asks the town to appropriate $837,901 for its share of the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School budget for FY2021.
  • Article 13 asks the town to appropriate $150,000 to be used, if necessary, for acquiring easements for the Central Street Reconstruction Project.
  • Article 14 asks the town to appropriate $3,762,000 for repairs to the Old Murdock Senior Center.
There are no changes to zoning bylaws being put before voters at Annual Town Meeting. Three articles request that unaccepted roads be accepted as town ways. The first, Article 12, asks voters to approve accepting unaccepted portions of Central Street as a town way. This rectifies an anomaly discovered when plans for the Central Street Reconstruction Project were being prepared. No one is sure how it happened that portions of Central Street were never accepted, but voters are asked to clear this up now. Article 13 deals with the Central Street Reconstruction Project itself, slated to begin work next spring.

Article 22 asks voters to accept Bayberry Circle and Pinewood Drive, part of the Millers Run Subdivision plan laid out in 2004, as town ways.

Article 27 was added to the Warrant by citizen petition. It asks the Town of Winchendon "to officially recognize the section of Mellen Road by prescription beginning at #404, the home of Chris and Donna Nolette and extending northerly to #215, the home of John and Celeste Wehmeyer, for the purpose of maintenance and repair."

Two articles addressing the concerns about Mellen Road appear on the Warrant. Article 15 ask voters to approve $86,165 to revert the unaccepted portion of Mellen Road to a dirt road by grinding down and removing the existing pavement. Article 16, which will be passed over if Article 15 passes, asks voters to approve $4,200 to make temporary repairs to the unaccepted portion of Mellen Road by filling potholes and mending hazardous parts of the pavement. This work would be done before winter weather sets in, in either case.

Selectman Barbara Anderson addressed Article 15, asking whether residents of Mellen Road had been contacted about the plan to revert Mellen Road into a dirt road. Ms. Anderson stated that she had reached out to several residents and they were not interested in this plan.

Several Mellen Road residents were attending the meeting and spoke at length about Article 15. Residents David Watkins and Dominique Muldoon argued that a dirt road would be impossible to maintain and would quickly deteriorate due to the amount of heavy traffic. School buses, logging trucks, heavy equipment going to the state forest (to which Mellen Road provides the only access), trash collection trucks, National Grid trucks and other large vehicles have contributed to the road's current state and would rapidly damage a dirt road. In parts of the year the road would be muddy and rutted. Ms. Muldoon stated that she needs to obtain medical supplies, and has a family member in a wheelchair. Emergency vehicles could find a dirt road impassable in wet weather conditions.

The Mellen Road residents stated that they didn't have a chance to discuss the plan to revert Mellen Road to a dirt road when it was presented at a previous Board of Selectmen meeting. As proposed, making Mellen Road an unpaved road would be a step toward accepting the road as a town way so it could be improved with state funding. Mr. Watkins expressed doubt that the road would ever be repaved once it had been reverted to a dirt road. He stated his belief that if the road was reverted to a dirt road it would be accepted as a dirt road by those standards and would never be paved again.

Mr. Watkins stated that when he bought his home, the town had just paved the road per agreement with the developer, and the road was professionally finished and surfaced. Mr. Watkins, Mellen Road resident Marc Dorwart and others asserted that the deeds to their homes, and their attorneys both at closing and currently, explicitly state that their properties are on town-maintained roads, and the purchase of the property was conditional on this being the case.

Mr. Watkins stated that all they were asking of the town was to repair and maintain the road by patching and filling potholes. This is their objective for filing the Citizen's Petition asking voters to affirm that Mellen Road is already a town way "by prescription." This basically means that the road has been treated as a de facto town way for so many years that it must be recognized as such, and duly maintained.

(Concerned citizens who would like to review the state laws about accepting and discontinuing town ways may do so at General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 82.)

Mellen Road resident Bill Shea said, "We don't want a separation from the town. We don't want a battle with the town. We've gotten very heated in these meetings because we believe we're not being heard...we've invested a lot of time, we've invested money, we've done everything we can, to do this the right way...we're imploring, we don't want a beef with the town." He added that the residents have lived in town and paid taxes for twenty years. They're not asking for a completely new, repaved road, only for basic repairs.

Mr. Dorwart stated that the road is excluded from their deeds and does not belong to the homeowners. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts states that the road does not belong to the state and takes no responsibiity for it, although state vehicles use the road regularly.

Mr. Shea asked for Article 15 to be removed, saying, "It's a step backward" for the town and for the road.

Mellen Road resident Frances Cuskey offered a contrasting opinion, arguing that road patches were an inferior solution that would quickly deteriorate and "blow up in one week." She was in favor of reverting the road to an unpaved way.

Board of Selectmen Chair Mike Barbaro said that Article 15 could be passed over at Town Meeting, as it was already on the Warrant.

Al Gallant explained that part of the amount budgeted for reverting the road to dirt would be used for surveying the bounds and other preparations for laying out and accepting the road as a town way.

Ms. Anderson asked if the developer still had a bond on Bayberry Circle, which Article 22 asks voters to approve as a town way. Town Planning Director Tracy Murphy stated that there is, and the town holds the bond until the road is accepted. She explained that the dirt portion of Bayberry Circle is a result of a National Grid utility pole which couldn't be moved so the paving could be completed.

Concerned citizens who would like to read the documentation put together by Mellen Road residents about the history of their situation may review it at History of Mellen Road (PDF).

1868 map of Winchendon showing Mellen, Town Farm and Mill Glen Roads (from
History of the Town of Winchendon by Rev. A.P. Marvin, 1868)

23 Percent of Winchendon Voters Cast Votes in the Primary Election

With mail-in ballots and early voting, 1,615 of Winchendon's 7,041 registered voters cast ballots in the Massachusetts primary elections that concluded at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1.

Twice as many Democratic primary ballots were cast (1,060) as Republican ballots (539). The unofficial results posted by the Town Clerk's office show challenger Joseph P. Kennedy III favored over incumbent Sen. Edward J. Markey by Town Towners for Senator in Congress, 639 to 417. For Representative in Congress, 738 voters in precincts 1A, 2 and 3 voted for Lori Trahan while 192 voters in precinct 1 voted for James P. McGovern. Both incumbents ran unopposed. Challenger Padraic Rafferty, who ran a vigorous postcard campaign against incumbent Paul M. DePalo for Councillor, received only 349 votes to DePalo's 592. State Senator Anne Gobi and State Representative Jon Zlotnik were unopposed and received 937 and 924 votes respectively. For Register of Probate, John B. Dolan III was favored over Kasia Wennerberg by Winchendon voters, 513 to 426.

In the Republican primary, Winchendon voters preferred Shiva Ayyadurai for Senator in Congress over Kevin J. O'Connor, 268 to 265. The only Republican candidate for Representative in Congress, Tracy Lyn Lovvorn, received 124 votes with 397 ballots left blank. Stephen R. Hall ran unopposed for Senator in General Court; Bruce K. Chester ran unopposed for Representative in General Court; incumbent Stephanie K. Fattman ran unopposed for Register of Probate.

There were no candidates on either the Green-Rainbow Party ballot or the Libertarian Party ballot. A handful of Winchendon voters chose those ballots to make write-in votes.

Statewide, for Senator in Congress, Sen. Edward Markey received 55.4 percent of the Democratic vote over Joseph P. Kennedy III's 44.6 percent, while Kevin O'Connor received 60.2 percent of the Republican vote over Shiva Ayyadurai with 39.8 percent. Sen. Markey and Mr. O'Connor will face off in the November general election.

Mail-in ballots contributed to the unusually large voter turnout for a state primary election. 804 Toy Town voters cast mail-in ballots, with an additional 46 absentee ballots received by mail. 128 residents voted at Town Hall during the early voting period, while 637 Winchendon voters went to the polls in Old Murdock on Tuesday.

Winchendon Fire Department Receives EMS Service Organization Award

On September 1, the Winchendon Fire Department was honored to receive the EMS Service Organization of 2020 for the Central Massachusetts Region from the Central Massachusetts Emergency Medical Systems Corporation. Chief Thomas Smith writes, "The award stemmed from the exemplary patient care conducted during an ice rescue where a neighboring responder taking part in the training suffered a cardiac event. With everyone’s efforts this responder not only lived to talk about it but has also returned to work in public safety, Throughout 2020 our responders have faced pandemics, fire station inadequacies, injuries and many other challenges. I am proud to say none of these have stopped our department from performing the care our citizens and visitors deserve."

Central Mass Tree

More BoS Meeting Minutes Released

The Winchendon Board of Selectmen have released more minutes of past meetings, mostly executive sessions. Concerned citizens may review the minutes at the following links:

Monday, August 17, 2020 (PDF)

Monday, July 13 (PDF)

Monday, January 9, 2017 Executive Session (Redacted) (PDF)

Monday, May 22, 2017 Executive Session (PDF)

Monday, June 12, 2017 Executive Session (PDF)

Monday, February 12, 2017, Executive Session (PDF)

Monday, February 26, 2018 Executive Session (Redacted) (PDF)

Monday, July 2, 2018 Rxecutive Session (PDF)

Monday, February 11, 2019 Executive Session (PDF)

Monday, February 25, 2019 Executive Session (PDF)

Monday, March 11, 2019 Executive Session (PDF)

DPW Paving Roads For Next Several Weeks

On August 19, the Winchendon Department of Public Works began paving work on River Street, Hale Street and Kemp Street. The DPW advises residents to expect delays, take alternate routes if possible and use caution when passing through areas of road work. Officers will be on scene to help facilitate traffic.

At the end of August, paving will commence on Brown Street and Monadnock Avenue. All paving should be finished in approximately three weeks.

FinCom Hearing on ATM Warrant
September 8

The Winchendon Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, September 8 at 7:00 p.m. to review the proposed warrant articles for the Special and Annual Town Meetings scheduled for September 28. The public is invited to attend remotely via Zoom.

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Gov. Baker Urges Residents to Avoid Large Gatherings as Rate of New COVID Cases Holds Steady in MA

On Thursday, September 3, Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker urged high-risk residents of the state to avoid large gatherings of any kind to prevent spreading or being infected by the SARS-2-COV virus. Recent "super-spreader" gatherings include an August 7 wedding in Maine which has infected 144 people and resulted in two deaths so far.

Gov. Baker said that the virus "wants...familiarization, close contact, hugging, singing — joy to some extent," and that contact tracing has shown that close gatherings are "by far the single biggest issue" in the failure of COVID transmissions to slow down in the state. He acknowledged that Bay Staters are weary of social distancing, wearing masks and staying home, but these measures are still essential.

Massachusetts' unemployment rate remains the highest in the nation, with two local regions--greater Worcester (14.9 percent) and Leominster-Gardner (17.8 percent)--reporting unemployment rates in the top 22 out of 389 regions nationwide.

Winchendon Public Schools are still on track to begin classes on September 14. But in a last minute upset, Murdock High School will be doing only remote learning, with no in person hybrid model classes, due to insufficient numbers of teachers to teach both the hybrid and the remote model. All students, grades K-12, will be on a remote learning plan only until October 19 while the HVAC systems are upgraded in all school buildings to meet recommended ventilation standards for COVID. (see "Changes in School Reopening Plans Announced in Emergency School Committee Meeting")

Most Toy Town businesses are open, with safety protocols requiring masks, distancing, and caps on the number of people in a space. The Senior Center, Beals Memorial Library and Town Hall remain closed to the public.

Winchendon reported one new case of COVID-19 this week. The total number of cases in Winchendon is 92. As of September 1, in the last 14 days 410 people have been tested in Winchendon with 2 positive tests returned. (See updated town-by-town reports from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, including an interactive map, here.)

The MA Department of Public Health announced that as of Thursday, September 3, there have been 119,138 confirmed cases in Massachusetts (1,688 more than the previous week), with 8,853 fatalities (78 in the previous week).

Massachusetts is requiring visitors from every state except Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Colorado to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Massachusetts, unless they have had a negative COVID test in the past 72 hours. Rhode Island has been added to the quarantine list due to an increase in cases in that state. The negative test or quarantine rule will apply to college and university students returning to Massachusetts campuses. Some colleges will be holding classes entirely online, but others will be welcoming students for in-person classes and student housing.

For full details and updates on Massachusetts state-wide COVID-19 news and restrictions, see There is a new state webpage on stopping COVID, You Have the Power to Save a Life. The Montachusett Public Health Network COVID-19 Hotline number, answering questions about the COVID-19 situation, is 1-844-968-3323.

In the meantime, modified Phase 3 guidelines continue to be in effect, as follows:

All residents are required to wear face masks when in proximity to other people, in private or public settings, indoors and outdoors, and maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people. Those at high risk should continue taking additional precautions to avoid infection by the virus. Face coverings must be worn by everyone over the age of 2 years who does not have a legitimate health exemption from wearing a mask. A fine of $500 may be imposed on persons not wearing masks when and where required.

Outdoor gatherings in a single space are limited to a maximum number of 50 persons. Any gathering, indoors or outdoors, where the space does not allow individuals to maintain six feet of social distance will be in violation of the rules, regardless of the number of persons present. This rule applies to programs, celebrations, social outings and "any other events that bring people together." It does not set limits on outdoor public spaces, political rallies or religious activities.

In any gathering of more than ten people who don't all live in the same household, every person over the age of 2 is required to wear a face covering. This applies to all venues and locations, public and private. Persons may be fined for not wearing a mask where required.

Alcoholic beverages may only be served in restaurants when accompanied by food prepared on site (not packaged snacks). Food must be ordered at the same time as an alcoholic beverage.

Retail stores may open with a maximum number of eight customers, or 40 percent of the building's occupancy limit, allowed inside at one time. Shoppers should wear face masks and maintain a six-foot distance from one another and from store employees. Fitting rooms are open by appointment. No sampling of personal products such as cosmetics will be allowed.

Restaurants will be open for indoor and outdoor dining, with tables six feet apart or separated by solid barriers. Parties will be capped at six persons, and menus must be disposable or electronic. Tables and chairs must be sanitized after each party leaves, and tables will have no place settings; tableware must be rolled or packaged. Employees must wear face masks, and diners should wear masks except when they are seated at the table. Self-serve stations are closed, no condiments will be left on tables, and no bar seating is allowed.

Hotels, inns, and other lodgings may open to general guests. Function rooms will remain closed, and all movable items (pens, directories, and so on) must be removed from rooms.

Day camps may open with safety guidelines, including temperature checks for children and staff, face masks, and a size limit of 10 campers on groups. Overnight camps may not open until Phase 4.

Libraries may open to patrons, with restrictions to be announced. Close-contact services such as nail salons, massage therapy, makeup salons, personal training, tattoo and piercing parlors, hair removal services, and tanning salons may open, with rules about sanitizing equipment and surfaces between clients. Funeral homes, warehouses, distribution centers, golf facilities, outdoor recreational facilities including pools, playgrounds and spray decks, and outdoor historical sites and spaces may open.

As of August 11, these rules may be enforced with a fine of up to $500 per violation, which may be imposed by the Department of Public Health, local boards of health, State Police and municipal police departments.

For complete details, see the overview on the website. Download the complete, 29-page report at Reopening Massachusetts (PDF).

Below is an updated list of the COVID-19 arrangements made by town community services, centers, organizations and businesses, as far as the Courier was able to determine as of Thursday, September 3. Changes have been happening very quickly and without notice, so call or check the websites or Facebook pages of a business or organization for the most up to date information. (Winchendon businesses or organizations who would like to be added to this list, or change their information, should email with details.)

Winchendon Public Schools
School will begin on September 14, with all students on the remote learning plan. Murdock High School students will be on the remote learning plan for the entire school year (or until further notice). All elementary and middle school students will be on the remote learning plan until October 19, when hybrid plan students may return to school buildings for in-person classes. The school situation remains "fluid" and subject to changes, depending on guidelines from the state and whether COVID-19 cases surge or decrease.

Town Hall
During Phase 3, Town Hall remains closed to the public. Most staff will continue to work from home, but are responding to emails and phone calls (expect a delay). Most bills can be paid and applications submitted online, and payments can be dropped off in the dropbox by the Front Street entrance to the building. Board and committee meetings are rescheduled or meeting virtually (see individual pages for each Board or committee on the town website).

The transfer station is OPEN for regular extended hours (see "Toy Town FYIs, below). Residents using the transfer station should complete their visit quickly and maintain a six-foot distance from each other and from attendants.

Winchendon Fall Fest, originally scheduled for Saturday, October 10, has been cancelled.

The Police Station and Fire Station are fully staffed but closed to walk-in visits by the general public. Call 911 for emergencies only and the business numbers for general questions and calls (Police: 978-297-1212; Fire: 978-297-2324). See each department's Facebook page for ongoing updates and information.

Old Murdock Senior Center
Closed to the public. Seniors may sign up for a grocery shopping trip on September 8th or September 29th--the van is limited to four persons each trip. There will be a pasta and sausage drive-through lunch on September 16, and Outdoor Bingo on September 30, weather permitting. Staff are at work and continue to deliver lunches to seniors, as well as bags of groceries. The Center is also delivering loaner books and jigsaw puzzles to seniors. Essential transportation offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact them if you're a senior and need groceries or medications. See their Facebook page for updates. 978-297-3155.

The Annual Wellness Day event scheduled for October has been cancelled.

Beals Memorial Library
Interlibrary Loan is now available. Copying and Fax service is available: make an appointment for dropping off and picking up materials. Payment due at drop-off (b/w copies $0.10 per side, color copies $0.25 per side, faxes $1.00 per page).
Building remains closed to the public, all programs, events and meetings suspended until further notice. Library materials may be borrowed via pickup in the library lobby or curbside. Patrons can reserve items over the phone (978-297-0300), by email or online. Pickup will be by appointment. Patrons must be wearing masks to enter the side door lobby, one at a time. Only physical items owned by Beals Memorial Library are available until further notice (no interlibrary loans). You can borrow library e-resources through the Beals website. (If you have a library card, you can use the Libby app to borrow ebooks via your cell phone.) Library materials can be returned in the outside drop box. Overdue fines are waived for the time being. Check the Beals Facebook page for video book readings by Library Director Manuel King.

Used book and media sale on Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:00 p.m. by appointment. Books and magazines by free donation, puzzles for $5, DVDs, music, video games and audio books $1. All proceeds go to future library programs and events. Call for an appointment.

The 2020 Toy Town Tree Festival will be run as an online virtual event. Watch the library Facebook page for updates.

BealsCon, originally scheduled for May 16, has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 5, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It will be held at the library as a scaled-back event.

Clark Memorial YMCA
Open under Phase 3 guidelines. Exercise classes have resumed in the gym (please bring your own water bottle and mat). Gymnastics and swim lessons will not resume until a later date. For full details and the new handbook for members, see their Facebook page or website.

Full day child care for school age children starting September 14, 6:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m., $150 per week. Call 978-297-9622 or email Kyle Scrivines at with questions.

The Clark is hiring; see listing on "Your Town" page, with employment ads.

Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC)

Produce Market each Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Accepting SNAP/HIP and cash payment, open to all.

Tutoring/mentoring program for WPS students in conjunction with The Winchendon School. Limited space, call 978-297-1667 to get on the list.

NEW HOURS. CLOSED MONDAYS. Open Friday 8:00-3:00 with pantry 9:00-1:00. Public is allowed inside the building by appointment, three appointments per 30 minutes. NO ADMITTANCE WITHOUT MASK AND HANDS SANITIZED IN AND OUT WITH PROVIDED SANITIZER. CAC Haven of Hope is open to provide services during business hours, including showers, laundry, pre-made meals and relaxation area. Summer clothes donations are being accepted, and are available to those in need. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and information, or call 978-297-1667.
Collecting donations of school supplies, with specific items sought each week. This week, notebooks, pen and pencils. Dropoff box by the CAC door for donations. See their Facebook page for more details.
The CAC is participating in the International Overdose Awareness Day on Monday, August 31. See their Facebook page for more information.

Winchendon American Legion Post 193
Outside Pavilion is open on weekends, Friday and Saturday. The monthly spaghetti dinner fundraiser is starting again as of July 9. See their Facebook page for updates.

Winchendon History and Cultural Center
Seppie's Ice Cream Parlor remains closed until further notice. Thursday Nights on the Porch resumed as of July 9, and the museums will be open to visitors. Some fall activities are being planned including an escape room and a spooky tour of the Old Centre burial ground. See their Facebook page for updates and details. 978-297-2142.

The Dance Center
Studios re-open for in-person dance classes on September 14. Online virtual dance classes and activities continue. See their Facebook page for more information. 978-297-5678.


Carriage House Restaurant
Open for indoor dining starting June 24. See their Facebook page for menus, hours and specials. 978-297-1089.

Christo's Place
Open for take-out only. Note temporary new hours: Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. & Fri-Sat-Sun 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Pay-by-phone, curbside pickup and free delivery available. Continuing to offer free bagged lunches to Winchendon public schools students who qualify for free or reduced school lunch--message them on Facebook in the morning to reserve a lunch. Christo's family and staff ask that as few people as possible come inside the store to pick up orders, to help keep everyone safer. Hiring delivery drivers, apply in person. 978-297-1142.

C & S Pizza
Open for take-out only. 978-297-2202.

Dunkin Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only. Lobby was closed temporarily for extra cleaning and sanitizing.

Friends Garden
OPEN for take-out only as of May 1. 978-297-2277, 978-297-2278.

Gabby's Pizza
Back open for take-out only. Check their Facebook page for updates. New temporary hours, Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Occasionally close earlier. Offering "make your own pizza" kits: pound of fresh dough, pound of cheese and 1 oz of sauce, enjoy baking pizza with your kids! Note: customers MUST wear a mask to come inside to pick up orders. 978-297-3909.

The Glen Caffe
Open for dine-in and take-out as of Thursday, July 9, Thurs-Sat 4:00-8:00 p.m. 978-297-0800. Still preparing take-out meals for sale at Not Just Produced, 290 Central St.

Gourmet Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only. No refills of reusable cups for sanitary reasons. You can call ahead with your order and it will be ready to pick up. 978-297-9700

The Harbour Sports Bar
Indoor seating for meals. Outdoor meals will be served Wed-Sat, 4:00-8:00 p.m. Check their Facebook page for hours, menus and updates. Will be closed on July 4th. Customers are encouraged to order online at 978-297-2133

Hometown Cafe
Limited indoor dining as of June 22. Outdoor seating for meals as of June 8. Menu, including daily specials, posted on their Facebook page. Customers are asked to wear masks when picking up orders, and to call in orders ahead if possible. 978-297-2233.

Lickity Splitz
Limited indoor seating, two tables available. See their Facebook page for menus, hours and information. Now open seven days a week.978-297-1777.

Little Anthony's & Little Lizzie's
Outdoor dining in pavilion area as of June 10, full menu and beverages. No indoor seating yet. Open for take-out, pickup at Little Lizzie's ice cream window. Menu and online ordering may be done here. Beer and wine available for take-out. Local delivery available. Local ice cream now available. 978-297-2669, 978-297-1880.

Murdock Farm and Dairy Bar
Open for the season. Daily 1:00-9:00 p.m. Check their Facebook page for specials and updates. (Please keep your dog leashed so it won't chase the free-range chickens!)

Ruschioni's Cruisin' 12 Diner
CLOSED September 7 through September 11, reopening Saturday, September 12. Outdoor seating, limited indoor dining. Parties cannot be seated until everyone is present, due to space limitations. Customers are asked to respect protocols for sanitizing tables and keeping distance. Open for take-out. Will have some outside tables available. See their Facebook page for daily menus and specials. Grocery food (cheese, butter, bread, etc) available to order, cash only, delivery available. List with prices on their Facebook page. 978-616-8956.

Open for take-out only, see Facebook page for hours, weekly specials and ordering information. 978-297-0011.

Zoe's Restaurant and Pizzeria
Dining with outdoor seating. Open for take-out and delivery. Also offering take-out for beer and wine. See their Facebook page for menus and specials. Order on Wednesday and get a trivia question to answer! Hiring server/bartender, apply in person. 978-297-5200.


Beaman's Bait Shop
OPEN. Ring for admittance.

Belletetes Winchendon
Open to customers but asks that you place orders for curbside pickup, or delivery, if at all possible. The new email address for ordering is Reduced hours, closed Sundays. For details, see the most recent customer update (March 27) on their Facebook page.

Cumberland Farms


Deedee's Treasures
Store closed to walk-in customers for health reasons. Can arrange purchase and pickup of fabric by appointment. Customers are asked to wear masks and maintain distancing during appointments. Call 978-413-0415. See their Facebook page for further updates, including new stock and announcements.

Family Dollar

Horse & Buggy Feeds
CLOSED on Monday, September 7. Garden plants, supplies. See their Facebook page for news and specials. Only eight customers inside at a time, customers are asked to maintain social distancing.

Not Just Produced
New and additional inventory. Deli is now open. Locally grown produce and beef, local cheese. Hosting the Winchendon Mobile Market on Fridays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Packaged meals ready-to-go prepared by the Glen Caffe. Organic produce from Charlie's Redhouse Farm.Only ten customers can be inside the store at one time. 978-413-8518. Call and order ahead for curbside pickup.

Pattie's Jewelry
Store open to the public, with limits on number of people inside at one time. See their Facebook page for daily specials and information. Hand delivery of local purchases, layaway available. 978-297-3536.

The Perennial Patch
Open for the season. 978-297-0604.

Powell Stone and Gravel
Buildings closed to public. Open for phone orders with curbside pickup or delivery. Order by phone, email or text. See complete information here (PDF). 978-297-5600.

Reflections Country Collections
Say they're opening soon, "watch for the flag." Watch their page for updates. 978-297-2411.


Robin's Retro Dolls
Re-opening for appointments starting August 7. PM Robin for an appointment. Store currently closed to customers but Robin is buying and selling dolls by appointment, mail order, and on eBay. Contact her at 978-912-1688 with inquiries. If you have a doll to sell, text a photo to 978-912-1688 and she'll get back to you. Watch her Facebook page for updates.

Smith's Country Cheese
OPEN. Call for curbside pickup. 978-939-5738. (Please note that the CheeseFest and CheeseChase events planned for May 17 have been postponed to a later date TBD.)

Sunset View Farm
Open for the season. Corn is in, peaches, blueberries, raspberries. Only one family in the stand at a time, please wear face masks. 978-297-2305. See their Facebook page for hours and updates.

To Each His Own Design
Store is open to customers. Taking orders by phone or over the internet, delivering. See their Facebook page for news and specials. 978-297-3959.

Toy Town Treasures
Open with Phase 3 precautions. No more than eight customers inside at one time, face masks required. Closed on July 4th. See their Facebook page for updates and specials.

Winchendon Furniture
Winchendon and Keene showrooms now open. Customers asked to wear face masks. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the store. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and specials. 978-297-0131.


Athol Savings Bank
Building closed to walk-in customers. Open for drive-through, ATM, online banking and by appointment for in-person services. See their Facebook page for updates, including current hours. 978-249-3200.

Brooks Automotive
Open for Inspection stickers during business hours, no appointment needed. Open for repairs and towing services. Call or check their Facebook page for updates and hours. 978-297-2561.

Clifford P. Beauvais Insurance Agency
Open Mon-Thur 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Fri 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For emergencies outside these hours, email If possible, call or email before coming to the office. Must wear a face mask to come inside. 978-297-0472.

LaPoint Law Office
Office is closed to the public, but attorneys are responding to queries and serving existing clients. Contact them at 978-297-2390, 978-297-3673, or by fax at 978-616-8491, or by email at:,, or See their Facebook page for more information.

Tip Top Nails
Open as of June 22. 978-297-0400.

Toy Town Barber Shop
Open with precautions as of Tuesday, May 26. Customers are asked to wear masks and stay six feet apart while waiting. Advance appointments preferred. Call Sharon Esper at 603-554-2402 (cell) or 978-297-7354 (shop) to make an appointment.


The Chapel, The Chapel Downtown
Holding worship services in the chapel. Attendance limited, all attendees must follow guidelines. Services will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. See their Facebook page or website for more information.

Cornerstone Church
In-person Sunday worship services with a limit of 65 attendees. Online services will continue to be offered. Holding virtual prayer meetings online. See their Facebook page for more information.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
Open for mass at 6:30 p.m. Services will return to normal schedule with guidelines in place. Attendance will be limited and all attendees must wear masks. See the church Facebook page for more information. Contact the office at, Fr. Henry at, or call 978-297-0280.

Our Neighbor's Kitchen community suppers have resumed as take-out meals on first and third Thursdays of the month. Backpack program for students aged Pre-K though high school every Thursday 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the parking lot, no one turned away. Accepting donations of clean, good condition clothing, shoes, linens, blankets, accessories through October 22, drop-off container in church parking lot.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon
Our Neighbor's Kitchen suppers will be distributed as "take-out" from the church circular driveway in May. AA Meeting has resumed on Monday nights at 7:45 p.m. in the church parish hall. Contact the church via Facebook message with any questions.

United Parish of Winchendon
In-person worship services resuming Sunday, June 28. Pre-registration required; check their Facebook page for registration form and further updates. Sunday worship being streamed online, see their Facebook page for information, as well as for daily videos, Bible readings and prayers.

Town [Still] Seeks Volunteers for Town Committees and Boards

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 Commission - 3 vacancies
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 10 vacancies (can have up to 19 members)
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Library Trustees - 1 vacancy
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Recreation Commission - 1 regular vacancy, 2 student vacancies
Toy Town Community Partnership - 2 vacancies
Winchendon Community Park Committee (formerly the Ingleside Utilization Committee) - 5 vacancies (can have up to 15 members)
Zoning Board of Appeals - 1 regular vacancy, 2 alternates 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.

A complete description of each committee's responsibilities, updated for July, 2020, may be found here (PDF).

Winchendon CVS One of 21 COVID-19 Test Locations in Massachusetts

Beginning Friday, May 22, the Winchendon CVS will be offering COVID-19 tests to residents who meet CDC criteria for testing and age requirements. The tests will use a self-swab system, and residents must register for an appointment in advance and drive to the drive-through window to be tested. No tests will be administered on a walk-in basis for safety reasons. The CVS store is located at 301 Central Street.

Patients should make an appointment at, and bring the appointment confirmation, proof of identity and date of birth, and an insurance card with them. Most patients will not have any out-of-pocket costs, as health insurance will cover the test, but patients can check with their insurer to confirm that the test is covered.

This test is for active COVID-19 infections. It is not an antibody test to discern a past infection.

Full details are on the CVS website.

CVS plans to open 1,000 test sites across the country.

Make DIY Cloth Face Masks

Many people are sewing cloth face masks for themselves and for health care workers. There is even a Facebook group supporting this effort, Mask Makers.

There are a number of patterns available on the Internet. The Courier is sharing the PDF pattern below, which includes templates and clear, photograph-illustrated sewing directions, for the convenience of our readers. The pattern is being distributed by Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, NH and may be copied and shared freely.

The CDC has issued a nationwide advisory asking people to wear face masks at all times when out in public. COVID-19 is spread primarily through the air, and infected persons are the most contagious before they have any symptoms. It's estimated that as many as 50 percent of infected persons may never show symptoms or get sick, but still are able to infect others. Wearing face masks will significantly reduce the chances of infected people spreading the virus.

Face Mask Pattern and Directions (PDF)

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.

Do You Have a Garden in Winchendon?

You can help the Winchendon HEAL Project bring affordable, whole food back to town by telling us about your garden! Fill out this online survey:

What is the HEAL Winchendon Food Project?

Toy Town FYIs

Special and Annual Town Meeting Scheduled for Monday, September 28, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Murdock Middle High School Gymnasium
3 Memorial Drive
Face masks/coverings REQUIRED
Social Distancing Guidelines will be adhered to

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.

The 2020 Town Street List is now available at Town Hall. Printed copies may be purchased for $8.00 ($5.00 for seniors). Call the Town Clerk's office at 978-297-2766 and one will be brought outside for you. The complete list may be downloaded as a PDF, here.

There will be a $20 late fee for unlicensed dogs beginning July 15.

The 2019 Annual Town Report may be downloaded as a PDF from the town website. Printed copies are available at Town Hall, and will be distributed at Annual Town Meeting as usual, when Town Meeting takes place (still to be determined).

Transfer Station Open Extended Hours

From June 1st to October 1st, the transfer station will be open as follows:

Thursday - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Water Conservation Restrictions in Place

Beginning on May 1st and ending October 1st, the Town will be under a mandatory even / odd water conservation schedule.

Outdoor watering by water users with odd numbered addresses is restricted to odd numbered days. Outdoor watering by water users with even numbered addresses is restricted to even numbered days. Watering is only permitted from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Please direct any questions to the DPW at 978-297-0170.

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