LOCAL NEWS - See a mistake or a typo? Please Let us know.
Petersh a.m.: A Place That's a Few Minutes Early - Cemetery Rules - The Link is on our Home Page
Click to See What Happened Today in History | SEND US YOUR NEWS ITEMS - It's Easy. Click here.
Orange, MA Food Pantry
118 East Main Street (across from the Armory)
Open Thursdays 10-3
Evan Manning - coordinator
Salvation Army Athol
Food Pantry 107 Ridge Ave.
Open Tuesday, Friday | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
This food pantry is available twice a month or on an emergency basis.
Please call 978.249.8111 for details.
Take out meal program Tuesday nights.
Just for the Fun of It... click here
Got Something to Say?
Send it here: info@petershamcommon,com
Petershamcommon.com has been putting local Petersham news and information
online since 1996. This website averages 7,500 page views each month - more
This website is NOT an official outlet for town government. It presents
You Can't Beat These Prices
At the Dump
Transfer Station (DUMP) Fees
Calendar of Town Committee Meetings
Free Property Valuation Booklet
The Valuation and Taxes of the Town of Petersham for the Year 2016 booklet is available at the Petersham Town Offices at the Board of Assessors Office, the Selectboard Office and the Petersham Memorial Library during regular business hours. Interested Petersham taxpayers are invited to pick up a free copy.
February Selectboard Office Hours
Monday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sen. Anne Gobi
Rep. Susannah Whipps
Official Town Website -
Committee meeting notices and minutes are posted at www.mytowngovernment.org
If only the river were this blue...
Nichewaug Moves Another Inch Toward Demolition
The Selectboard agreed Sept. 14 to seek bids for demolishing the Nichewaug Inn and Academy buildings and to schedule a December special town meeting to put demolition before voters again. Impetus for the action was prompted in part by a citizen petition signed by 134 residents. The Nichewaug has a Facebook page. Click Here to visit.
Prompted by questions from the audience, board chair Nancy Allen said the town has yet to receive advice from town counsel regarding the proper use of exemptions from the state conflict of interest laws. The law requires that a Rule of Necessity that exempts a board member from conflict concerns be used sparingly and only when an action is legally required as in meeting a contract deadline or paying a due bill.
Allen is an abutter to the Nichewaug property but the board, presently with two members, cannot function if she cannot participate. Coincidentally, both candidates to fill the third board seat, are also legal abutters to the property.
Allen has been working to draw up demolition bid documents in advance of last night's vote. She said the bid documents will first call for total demolition with a second option for demolishing the building except for the former chapel. A garage on the property that stores town-owned antique fire trucks would remain, she said.
LifePath Building Support Network for Seniors
LifePath, a Franklin County not for profit has invited Petersham to join a growing network of communities to survey the needs of seniors and provide services. The agency proposes to work with local age councils and volunteers to determine what is needed in its 30 community service area. Nour Strouch told the Selectboard the agency is creating "age friendly" communities. The grant-funded effort has support from Petersham's age council, which already helps Petersham Partners volunteers provide transportation and other services to seniors. The Selectboard welcomed the idea and will consider joining in.
New Dump Stickers Will Be Green
Current dump stickers expire on Sept. 30. New stickers will be green. They will be available at the town office, Petersham Package Store and at the transfer station later this month. No change in pricing -- two for $25. The Selectboard is ordering an additional roll-off container to handle a surplus of paper refuse.
Center School Students Returned August 30
Some 117 elementary students will be returning to the Center School beginning at 8:15 a.m. Monday August 30. About half are school choice students from other towns.
All will be wearing masks indoors and out/ New principal Aaron O'Connor of Barre said the Petersham students who come to the school on buses will also be masked and bus windows will be open for fresh air. The school ventilation system has been upgraded over the summer, he said.
A Bad Day for a Moose, a
Motorcycle and a Big Turkey
08/01 @9p dispatch call regarding loose sheep, attempted to reach out to possible owner with no response, update provided to dispatch with plan included
@9:15p contact made with friend of possible owner, to area, animals safely moved to property of owner and secured at 9:45p
08/03 several calls from resident regarding barking dog
08/04 @9:15a call to report lost dog, postings placed on FB and lost dog groups
08/08 @5p caller states beaver causing a flooding condition on road, laws regarding trapping reviewed with homeowner and options given
08/09 @7a LM with highway regarding the issue with beaver causing flooding on road
@9a resident of abutting town called with a request to post lost cat on PAWS FB page, post provided
08/10 @4-6p Pet Safety and Pet Medical Emergency program presented at Athol Library
08/12 @4p and 5p calls from PPD regarding retiles belonging to another party left at the home of town resident, options given, PPD to follow up along with other matters
08/13 @5p lost dog out of Athol sighted in Petersham, to area to set humane trap and satellite camera at location seen
@5:45p resident call regarding deceased bat found in home, contact made with Wachusett AH with plan to have bat dropped off at hospital for submission to State lab for testing
08/14 @6a call from Athol owner of lost dog with a sighting near trap made by a Petersham resident, suggestions given to owner to follow if they are able to go to the area
@8a lost dog safely secured
08/15 @9:30a resident reports found dog that is being held at their home, possible owner contacted, to area to retrieve dog (dog safe)
08/16 @4p FU call with PPD regarding reptiles
@4:15p call from resident regarding loose dog (possible other animal) near 122, to area
@4:45p call from out of town resident regarding porcupine in Petersham barn that has not moved X24 hours, options given, caller will proceed with option
@5:45p resident call for lost dog, FB postings and alerts published, to area to search, feeding station with cell and satellite cameras set
@7p call placed to abutting town PDs regarding lost dog from earlier
08/17 @6a follow up calls to local PDs regarding lost dog, dispatch confirmed a dog was picked up in Phillipston the prior night, spoke with ACO, spoke with owners, dog picked up in from Phillipston ACO
@7a trap set for feral cat staying in local barn
@9:30a cat in trap, transported to animal shelter
@12p call to State lab regarding status of bat submitted in the evening of 8/13. Bat tested negative for rabies, resident who was out of state at the time was notified of result
@8:15p resident call about barking dog, to follow up with possible owner and provide update to caller
08/18 @7a feral cat transported to Second Chance Animal Hospital for exam, neutering, and vaccinations
@8:45a call from motorist stating they picked up a running dog off route 122, met motorist at shelter, dog placed in shelter. No microchip or other form of identification found, local ACOs contacted, Athol ACO gave a possible phone number for a likely owner, contact made with owner and arrangements made for pickup of dog
@10:30a Dog in shelter picked up by owner
@4:15p to Second Chance to pick up feral cat and transported back to Petersham
08/19 @11a barking dog complaint, action taken
@9p call from motorist regarding large bird near Harvard Forest that appears to have been hit by car, to area to remove large deceased turkey
08/28 @12p call from town resident that they had just picked up a friendly dog on route 32, no owner appeared to be in area, met resident at the shelter for transfer. Dog scanned, microchip traced to owner, dog reunited with owner (who was out looking for dog)
@3p Odd acting porcupine on route 32 moved off road by PPD, told officer on duty the area would be checked in an hour or so to be sure the animal had moved
@8:15p call from resident travelling back into town on route 32 and stopped for an injured moose, resident pulled vehicle over stated they will stay on scene, calls placed to State Police and EMS (individual calling believes there is an injured motorcyclist off the road) and Environmental Police (they informed someone would be sent to access moose)
Note, when caller stated the nearest house they could see, it was determined the accident occurred in Athol.
We'll Be Doubling Down at the Dump
Selectboard voted August 24 to add a weekday and three dump hours at the transfer station. Which weekday will be decided later. There will be no change to Saturday hours and no change to the drive up traffic pattern. Under discussion: a dumpster to isolate clean tin cans and an additional container for paper and cardboard.
The board announced a special election on November 15 to elect a new member to replace Henry Woolsey who has resigned. He will keep his seat as a member of the Conservation Commission.
Candidates for the seat can take out nomination papers starting August 30 from town clerk Diana Cooley and return them by September 27. Signatures of 20 registered voters are required. Last day for new voters to register to vote is October 26.
The board noted receipt of $376,632 in federal American Recovery Act funding and began ticking off a list of ways to spend it. Fire station renovations to include a washing station for safety gear top the list.
There will be a household hazardous waste day on September 25.
Center School Requires Masking Indoors
The Center School committee voted 2 to 1 August 18 to have students and staff wear masks indoor but not on the outdoor playground. That vote differs from a Board of Health guideline to wear masks indoors and outdoors except where outdoor social distancing is possible and came amid questions about whether state or local rules come first.
Aaron O'Connor of Barre was named interim principal with a review of the appointment in one year. He will oversee the start of this school year.
Members are seeking community comment on their study of whether to withdraw from a current regional system and become an independent school. They promised an interim report in January.
Petersham's Covid Vaccination Report from the State
A study of Petersham's Covid 19 vaccination statistics shows that a local vaccination clinic and individual actions have reached all of the town's seniors. Two Pfizer clinics were held at the Center School and residents could get vaccinated in Rutland as well.
· Some 83% of individuals age 75 plus and 100% of individuals age 65-74 in Petersham have received the vaccine.