The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of December 31, 2020 to January 7, 2021
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Community Paradigm Associates Recommends Two Finalists for Interim Town Manager Position

At the Board of Selectmen's meeting on Monday, December 28, Bernard Lynch of Community Paradigm Associates, an organization that assists municipalities in hiring and various business strategies, presented two recommendations from a field of candidates who responded to the job posting for Interim Town Manager. The person hired will take over from Town Manager Keith Hickey who is leaving at the end of January to become Town Administrator in Kingston, Massachusetts. Mr. Lynch stated that they had five finalists and these were the top two candidates in CPA's opinion.

Mr. Lynch did not offer Winchendon voters any details about the candidates, Steve Delaney and Nina Nazarian. However, the Courier discovered some information about each candidate in the public record.

Steven Delaney (LinkedIn profile) is currently the Human Resources Director for the town of Danvers, Massachusetts. He grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts and most of his career has consisted of serving municipalities in the North Shore/Cape Ann area. He began as assistant to the DPW Director for Danvers from 1977 to 1979 and moved up to Acting Town Manager until 1981. He returned to Danvers as the DPW Director of Operations from 1985 to 1988.

From 2003 to 2009 Mr. Delaney served as Town Administrator for Georgetown, Massachusetts. He served as the Town Manager for Wenham, Massachusetts for seven years. He also served as Acting Town Manager in Southbridge, Massachusetts, as well as School Business Manager in Gloucester and Interim School Business Manager in Beverly.

Nina Nazarian (LinkedIn profile) most recently served as the Town Manager for Littleton, Massachusetts, having resigned from that position as of July 31, 2020. She had been there since February, 2019. Ms. Nazarian holds a BA from University of Lowell and a Masters in Public Administration from Suffolk University, and lives in Fitchburg. She is currently doing Project Management for the city of Medford, Massachusetts.

Ms. Nazarian began her career in 2007 as assistant civil engineer in Melrose, Massachusetts. From 2008 to 2012 she served as Project Manager for the Tewksbury, Massachusetts DPW, becoming Acting Town Engineer in 2012. She was the Town Administrator for Tyngsboro, Massachusetts until 2015.

In August of 2015, Ms. Nazarian was one of three finalists for Town Administrator in Princeton, Massachusetts. She was offered the position after another candidate, Michael Splaine, accepted the town's first offer and resigned after three days. In February, 2019, Ms. Nazarian was a finalist for Town Administrator in Littleton, Massachusetts, and was offered the position after another candidate, Steven Sadwick, was offered the job first and declined the town's offer.

In November, 2020, both Mr. Delaney and Ms. Nazarian were finalists for the same position, Interim Town Manager in Wenham, Massachusetts. Ms. Nazarian withdrew herself from consideration before the final interviews.

The Winchendon Board of Selectmen was scheduled to interview Mr. Delaney and Ms. Nazarian via Zoom on Wednesday, December 30. At the December 28 meeting, the Board discussed interview questions for the two candidates with Mr. Lynch.

Winchendon Fire Chief Praises Department in Year-End Report to BOS

At the Board of Selectmen's meeting on Monday, December 28, Tom Smith, Chief of the Winchendon Fire Department, recounted the achievements of the department during the challenging and atypical past year, asserting that the members of the department did an outstanding job.

"A lot of times the numbers don't always point out the challenges behind these," Chief Smith said. "As we know, with the pandemic, these ambulance calls have all basically turned into high priority calls, whether it's a sprained ankle or difficulty breathing, or an actual code. The members have handled this very well with all these calls...they've really gone above and beyond with the performance that they've had this year."

From January 1, 2020 up to that day, there had been 2,002 calls for the Fire Department. 1,493 of these were ambulance calls, 521 were fire-related, and the remainder were requests for services.

The Fire Department brought in significant amounts of money from grants and ambulance revenues to help cover its costs, Chief Smith said. The department was awarded a total of $463,100 in funding through grants written by Chief Smith. These included $423,980 in federal funds for three additional firefighters, $6,250 to pay for a "high tech" gear washer and extractor, $3,965 for children's fire prevention activities (used for activities at Halloween and fire safety information packets distributed through the schools), $2,348 for senior fire safety programs, $2,200 for new iPads for on-site inspections, and $21,857 in federal emergency COVID money for additional high-quality and comprehensive PPE equipment.

A $2,500 grant from the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation paid for scene safety radios for firefighters. Chief Smith stated that one of the major reasons for firefighter injuries and fatalities is communications failure at the scene.

The department took in $496,275 in ambulance revenues in the first eleven months of 2020, with additional Medicare Supplemental payments of $44,660.

Altogether, the Fire Department raised $1,004,035 during 2020 via grants and ambulance billing. This almost doubles the appropriated FY2021 budget for the Fire Department and Ambulance, as passed at Annual Town Meeting on September 28, 2020, of $1,298,943.88.

Funding from the CARES Act allowed the department to add another person on shift throughout the pandemic, so two full ambulance crews are ready to "go out the door" at all times. Chief Smith explained that he has also reorganized staffing of shifts as the extra challenges of the pandemic revealed weak points.

A new ambulance has been ordered, with delivery expected around mid-March. Engine 3 needs replacement, and this has been submitted to the Capital Planning Committee. Currently one ambulance is being repaired and an ambulance loaned by another town is being used temporarily.

Chief Smith said that the fire station building committee will be meeting after the first of the year to develop a proposal to bring before voters in a warrant article at the 2021 Annual Town Meeting.

"Over this past year, especially with the pandemic, the shortcomings at the fire station have overwhelmingly been pointed out to me as Chief, as well as to the members," Chief Smith explained. "Having such a small station with minimal areas, no [decontamination] areas, none of that stuff, having to basically [decontaminate] in the truck bays, it's really been pointed out. We've been fortunate...hopefully as a committee we'll work together and either find some alternate funding sources to lessen the load on the town, or we will also see what we can do to make the building accommodating for the community."

The Board of Selectmen thanked Chief Smith for his comprehensive year-end report.

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home


MAY 3, 2021

Nomination papers will be available Monday, January 11, 2021 at 8:00am.
Nomination papers must be obtained and turned in on or before Monday, March 15, 2021 by 5:00pm

Available Terms:
TWO – 3-year terms for the Board of Selectmen
TWO – 3-year terms for the School Committee
TWO – 3-Year terms for the Board of Health
ONE - 5-Year term for Housing Authority

Emergency Repairs to Begin on Old Murdock Clock Tower

At the Board of Selectmen's September 28 meeting, Town Manager Keith Hickey told the Board that he has authorized $98,000 in emergency expenditures to make temporary repairs to the Old Murdock Senior Center clock tower, which is shedding large numbers of bricks from its facade into the parking lot.

"I spoke to the contractor today, they hope to have somebody in town next week starting to wrap the tower with plastic wrap. They hope to be done sometime mid- to end of January," Mr. Hickey said, adding, "I'm working on a grant to assist with repairs to the senior center, the grant will be funded by the Mass Historical Commission, it is a competitive grant but hopefully we'll be lucky enough to be able to tap into some of those funds."

New Automative Business to Open At Ash and Spring Streets

The property at 133-131 Spring Street, at the junction of Spring, Ash and Water Streets, will be the home for a new small business this spring. FMJ Motors, LLC, owned by Fernando Antonio Florian of Fitchburg, went before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special permit on November 18, presented a site plan to the Planning Board on December 15 and was granted a business license by the Board of Selectmen on December 28. The business will operate as FMJ Auto Services.

The property, a long narrow spit coming to a point, has been occupied by automotive businesses for decades, at least three of them within the memories of neighboring residents. A small building with two garage bays and an office occupies the site. Mr. Florian has put up some privacy fencing and plans to add more.

Mr. Florian will be applying for a Class II Dealer's License allowing him to hold 6 to 8 vehicles at a time on the site. He will be purchasing vehicles at auction, repairing them and selling them. The site plan includes six parking spaces for vehicles on sale, two spaces and a handicap-accessible space for customers, and an enclosed storage area in the back. Access to the front lot and storage area will be primarily from Spring Street.

Mr. Florian's advisor, Harold Matteo, told the Board of Selectmen that the primary repair work will be done on vehicles for sale, but the business will do auto repairs for the public if they are asked. The primary focus of the business will be used automobile sales.

At the ZBA meeting, concerns were raised about large car-carrying trucks blocking the public ways, and vehicles being dropped off outside of business hours (these having been issues with the former Jeep dealership at the junction of Gardner Road and Spring Street). Mr. Florian assured the Board that these will not be concerns, and that the volume of business will be small.

Two abuttors came before the ZBA hearing to address some concerns. Chris Bernasconi of 21 Ash Street expressed concerns about past businesses being messy and leaving the property looking "like a junkyard." He stated that one previous business owner threatened him when he attempted to discuss the appearance of the property. He told Mr. Florian that he is pleased with the fence and the tidiness of the property so far, and he hopes the fence will be extended and the business kept neat. Mr. Florian assured him that it will, and that the fence will be extended as soon as the ground is not frozen.

Rick McComsey of 29 Ash Street expressed concerns about traffic, saying that he's seen traffic at the intersection greatly increase in the last two years. Students from the Winchendon School walk down Ash Street and through the intersection, and traffic both on foot and vehicular frequently cut across those corner properties. Mr. Florian stated that he wants to put up a post and chain barrier around the boundaries of the front "point" to prevent cars and people from cutting across it. Mr. McComsey also expressed concern that cars parked in the front lot will obscure sight lines for people turning onto Spring Street.

The ZBA issued a special permit with conditions including, "No external lighting shall be permitted to bleed beyond the immediate building area," and designating the hours of operation to be 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday and closed on Sunday. The Board of Selectmen approved the business license unanimously.

133 Spring Street
The property at 131-133 Spring Street

Subway Catering for Holidays ad

Central Mass Tree

COVID Numbers Continue to Rise as Vaccinations Begin Across Massachusetts

In his briefing on Tuesday, December 30, Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker described the plans for vaccinating residents in the state which are now being implemented. All residents of two large long term care facilities who wanted vaccinations have now received them. Teams will be visiting long term care facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the state during the coming weeks. (Broadview Assisted Living in Winchendon did not respond to an inquiry from the Courier as to when they expect their residents to be offered COVID vaccinations.)

Gov. Baker expressed continued frustration during his briefing, at one point slamming his hands on the podium as he spoke of 2020 "finally" being over. He continues to beg Massachuetts residents to comply with restrictions, not travel and not gather together for mask-less celebrations over New Year's.

Winchendon's official case count is now 300 (that's total confirmed cases since March). This is an increase of 26 cases from the previous week. As of December 29, 881 tests had been done in Winchendon in the previous 14 days, and 51 tests returned a positive result. This raises Winchendon's two-week percent positivity to 5.79 percent, slightly up from 5.49 percent the previous week. Winchendon still appears as red (high risk) on the color-coded list of Massachusetts towns. Surrounding towns that are also still coded red include Gardner, Fitchburg, Westminster, Templeton, Athol, Orange and Ashburnham.

The MA Department of Public Health announced that as of Thursday, December 31, there have been 359,445 confirmed cases in Massachusetts (31,138 in the previous week), with 12,157 fatalities (451 in the previous week). New cases continue to surge across the state, with deaths and hospitalizations also increasing, although much more slowly.

Complete Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report, Thursday, December 31 (PDF, 92 pages)

Under the tightened rules that took effect on December 26, maximum allowed occupancy for theatres, businesses, retail stores and other commercial spaces is reduced from 50 percent of maximum capacity to 25 percent. Movie theatres are limited to 25 percent of capacity, up to and no more than 50 persons, total. Indoor and outdoor events are limited to 10 persons indoors or 25 persons outdoors. Outdoor performance venues are limited to 25 percent of capacity, up to and not exceeding 25 persons. Places of worship are limited to 25 percent of building capacity (staff and workers are not counted). Restaurants are limited to 25 percent of seating capacity (staff and workers are not counted).

Gatherings in homes and on private property are limited to 10 persons indoors, 25 persons outdoors.

Complete list of New Occupancy Limits

Step 1 restrictions of Level 3 of the re-opening plan, as announced the previous week, became effective on Sunday, December 13 and remain in effect until further notice.

The new Step 1 restrictions require indoor theatres and performance venues (but not movie theatres) and "higher contact indoor recreation businesses, which include trampolines, laser tag, obstacle courses [and] roller skating" to close until further notice. Other businesses and venues, including gyms, libraries, museums, retail and office spaces, and places of worship, can stay open, but with maximum occupancy reduced from 50 percent to 40 percent. Outdoor theatres and performance venues are limited to 25 percent capacity, with a flat maximum of 50 people.

Restaurants may continue indoor dining. However, diners are required to wear face masks at all times except when actually eating and drinking. Parties may not remain at a table for more than 90 minutes, and are limited to 6 persons. Musical performances in restaurants are not allowed. Mall food court seating will be closed. People are strongly encouraged to eat only with members of their own households.

Gov. Baker stresses the vital importance of wearing masks and face coverings at all times, in public or private, whenever people are not alone or in the sole company of their immediate household members. Employees must wear face masks at work except in individual work spaces or alone, and communal break rooms should be closed or limited. Persons using gyms must wear face masks at all times, even while exercising.

Further Revised Order Regulating Gatherings in the Commonwealth" (PDF)

Order Returning All Municipalities to Phase III, Step I COVID-19 Safety Rules (PDF)

The restrictions which were implemented on November 6 in Massachusetts remain in effect until further notice.

Almost all businesses and public venues must cease operation by 9:30 p.m. All citizens are on a "stay at home advisory" between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. except for work, school, or essential errands such as buying food or medication. This is an advisory, not a formal curfew.

Face masks are required for anyone over the age of 5 in any public setting, indoors or outdoors, whether they are maintaining a six-foot distance or not. Anyone who steps outside their home anywhere must be wearing a mask. (Winchendon Town Manager Keith Hickey states that the Winchendon police will stop persons out in public without masks.)

The most drastic of the new rules addresses the problem of new COVID clusters originating in social gatherings at private homes, where people often feel they don't need to maintain social distancing or wear masks. Occupancy limits for gatherings in private homes have been reduced to 10 people indoors, 25 people outside, masks must be worn (unless everyone present lives together in that household) and gatherings must end by 9:30 p.m.

As with existing rules, fines of up to $500 may be imposed for failure to comply with these new protocols. Full details are available in the following documents:

Governor's Order Requiring Early Closing of Businesses and Gatherings (PDF)

Revised Governor's Order Required Face Coverings (PDF)

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 any gathering of more than ten people who don't all live in the same household, every person over the age of 5 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 ten persons, and menus are preferably disposable or electronic. Laminated plastic menues must be sanitized after each use. 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.

Libraries may open to patrons, with no more than forty percent of maximum capacity. 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.

All states except Hawaii are now considered "high risk states." Travelers from those states, or Massachusetts residents who visit those states and return, must quarantine for 14 days after they arrive in Massachusetts unless they had a negative COVID test result 72 hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts. Same-day travel for "certain critical life activities" such as grocery shopping, medical appointments or picking up prescriptions are exempted from this rule (so Winchendon and Rindge NH residents, for example, may cross the border to each other's towns for these purposes). For a complete explanation, see Guidance for Travelers arriving in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, "Commissioner Designated Exceptions."

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 Winchendon community services, centers, organizations and businesses, as far as the Courier was able to determine as of Thursday, December 31. 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
No classes from Wednesday, December 23 until Sunday, January 3. Classes resume on Monday, January 4. Remote classes began on September 14 for all students grades K-12. Murdock High School students will be on the remote learning plan until further notice, possibly returning to classrooms on January 4. All elementary and middle school students will be on the remote learning plan until at least November 2. Hybrid plan students are now slated to return to classrooms on a four-phase staggered schedule from November 2 to January 4, as work on the building HVAC and ventilation systems is completed. 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 for general business, except for some Boards and committees that have resumed in-person meetings which the public may attend (masks are required). 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. See agendas for Board and Committee meetings for detailed information on whether meetings will be in person or held remotely via Zoom, and how to attend.

The transfer station will be CLOSED on Friday, January 1, and OPEN on Saturday, January 2 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Residents using the transfer station should complete their visit quickly and maintain a six-foot distance from each other and from attendants.

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. 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.

Beals Memorial Library
Closed on January 1 and January 2. See their Facebook page for hours over the holidays and snow closings. 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. The library is waiting for air quality tests and approval from the state and there is a long backlog of libraries and public buildings ahead of them. 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 has been rescheduled to June, 2022 as it appears uncertain that the pandemic will subside enough in 2021 for an event of this kind.

Clark Memorial YMCA
See their Facebook page for hours over the holidays. Open under Phase 3 guidelines. Exercise classes have resumed in the gym (please bring your own water bottle and mat). 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.

Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC)
Construction has begun on the new walk-in food storage area.
Produce Market each Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Accepting SNAP/HIP and cash payment, open to all.
The CAC frequently has excess food at the end of the week and puts out last minute calls asking people to come get food--watch their Facebook page, especially Thursday and Friday.
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. Accepting donations, see new guidelines. See their Facebook page for hours, updates and information, or call 978-297-1667.

Winchendon American Legion Post 193
Building closed until further notice, due to COVID restrictions. See post on their Facebook page.

Winchendon History and Cultural Center
Seppie's Ice Cream Parlor remains closed until further notice. See their Facebook page for updates about future events. 978-297-2142.

The Dance Center
Studios open for in-person dance classes. Online virtual dance classes and activities continue. Winter break December 22-January 3. See their Facebook page for more information. 978-297-5678.


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

Christo's Place
URGENTLY SEEKING delivery drivers, apply in person. 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. 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. 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
Closed for the holiday until Thursday, January 7. Open for dine-in and take-out, 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 Tues-Sat, 4:00-8:00 p.m. Check their Facebook page for hours, menus and updates. Customers are encouraged to order online at 978-297-2133

Hometown Cafe
Open New Year's Day 6:00am-noon. 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

Little Anthony's & Little Lizzie's
Open for indoor dining. 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

Ruschioni's Cruisin' 12 Diner
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
Closed New Year's Day. 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.

Cumberland Farms


Family Dollar

Horse & Buggy Feeds
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. 978-297-2518.

Mystical Magical Marketplace
Open Thurs-Sat, looking for vendors. Classes beginning soon. 978-297-9790.

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. New phone number: 978-297-7142. 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
CLOSED 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
Closed for holidays, will post when re-opening. See their Facebook page for hours and updates. 978-297-2411.

Robin's Retro Dolls
Will be open Saturdays until Christmas. 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.

Sunset View Farm

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. See their Facebook page for updates and specials. 978-297-4474.


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
Branch lobbies closed to customers as of November 20, due to COVID surge. Open for drive-through, ATM, online banking and by appointment for in-person services. See their Facebook page for updates, including current hours. All branches will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 26-27. 978-249-3200.

Brooks Automotive
See their Facebook page for holiday hours. 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. NOTE: some posts on this Facebook page contain false information and/or are shared from unreliable sources.

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.

Children's Religious Education classes will be resuming soon.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon
Our Neighbor's Kitchen suppers are being distributed as “drive-through/take-out" from the church circular driveway every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. until further notice. AA Meeting has resumed on Monday nights at 7:45 p.m. in the church parish hall. "Black Friday" Spirit of Christmas Toy Drive on Friday, November 27. Holiday Bazaar and cookie sale on Saturday, December 5. For more information about these and other events, visit their Facebook page or website:

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. Sunday School has resumed--pre-register on the church website. Zoom meetings and at-home study materials are also both available for Sunday School.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of December 28

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
Conservation Commission - 1 vacancy
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 9 vacancies
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, 1 student vacancy
Redevelopment Authority - 1 vacancy
Toy Town Community Partnership - 3 vacancies
Zoning Board of Appeals - 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)

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?

Charter Bylaw Review Committee Open to Suggestions from Residents

In compliance with the Town Charter, Section 7.6, the Town Moderator has established a Charter Bylaw Review Committee. This committee will be meeting in the coming months to recommend changes to the current Charter and Bylaw. The final product will be presented at Town Meeting for approval.

All public suggestions for changes are welcome. For those who would like to submit input, please email Please cite the relevant Bylaw Section with the suggested change in your email to the committee.

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.

Toy Town FYIs

Be sure to clear snow away from all heating system vents around your home, and around fire hydrants nearby. Minutes can be wasted if responding fire trucks must search for and dig out the nearest fire hydrant! Snow covered vents can result in carbon monoxide buildup or fires. Be safe!

2021 Dog Licenses are now available. You may purchase through the mail, drop box, or online through the Town Clerk's page. The licenses will be mailed to you. Please be sure to provide a valid rabies certificate. Spayed & Neutered dogs are $10 and Non-Spayed & Non-Neutered dogs are $20

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.

Please Do Not Flush Sanitizing Wipes Down the Toilet
Wipes Clog Pipes!

The Department of Public Works is asking all users of the public sewer system to please be careful not to flush santizing wipes down the toilet. These wipes collect in the pumps and destroy them, causing the Town to be forced to replace two pumps just in the last month alone. If a pump at the wastewater treatment plant were to burn out from wipe accumulation, it would cost the Town $30,000 to replace it. Please throw these wipes into your rubbish instead.

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.

The 2019 Annual Town Report may be downloaded as a PDF from the town website. Printed copies are available at Town Hall (call the Town Clerk's office and arrange a time for one to be brought out for you).

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