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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
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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...
Voters Approve Study of Dropping Out of Union With Orange Elementary Schools
Town meeting voters approved a study of making the Center School independent - possibly dropping out of a years-long consolidation with K-6 schools in Orange. The citizen petition is a non-binding resolution. The local school committee voted on June 14 to support launching the study.
Voters also approved a bylaw change that drops "selectmen" from town documents in favor of the non-gender "selectboard." Two board members are women. Selectboard chair Nancy Allen said many towns across the state are making the change. The socially distanced meet also approved spending for new playground equipment at Center School and one new truck each for the fire and highway departments
Before the meeting voters received a letter signed by "The Concerned Parents of the Petersham Center School" asserting that control of the school has more disadvantages than advantages. "For example, finances are managed by Orange with little or no input from the Petersham Center School administration, staff or town leaving the decisions being made by people who are not in the building seeing what our children or teachers need."
The letter said all elementary students in Orange got new Chromebook computers during the Covid pandemic so they could study remotely, but, "...there were no available funds to purchase new ones for every student in Petersham."
"As parents, we have seen our children try to work through a pandemic with broken computers that were vital in their education. A few new computers were able to be purchased for Petersham while Orange students all received new computers."
The letter urged voters to attend town meeting at 7 p.m. June 21 in Town Hall. More than 100 voters attended.
The Friday Market Is Back. 3-6 p.m. Every Friday
The Marchers Will March on the 4th of July
The Fourth of July parade will step off at noon on July 4 and traverse the Old Maid's Mile as usual. The Selectboard made the announcement on July 15 and said Kay Berry of North Main Street will help organize the event.
The annual parade began more than a decade ago when West Street resident Beth Cummings gathered a group of neighbors for a walk around the square. It continued when Beth passed and the late former Selectman Rik Marsh took over.
The Petersham Brass Band, school children, veterans and fire trucks participate as well as local floats. In past years there has been a country music band. The Lions hot dog truck has been on hand.
The Council on Aging plans to present the Boston Post gold cane to the town's oldest resident on parade day. More details as available.
$4.8 Million Budget Heads for June 21 Town Meeting
The Finance Committee approved and Selectmen will present a $4,770,314 Fiscal 2022 town budget to voters at the June 21 town meeting. Most town departments can expect level funding but three local school systems will see a 7.6 percent jump in funding for their programs.
Total local education spending is proposed at $2,569,940 with $2,038,350 for Center School and a local appropriation of $862,683 for Mahar Regional, according to Selectmen. No discussion made reference to a projected property tax rate for the year ahead.
Last year the town reduced quorum requirements for the annual meeting to one percent -- or 10 of 989 voters for the Covid emergency. Selectmen voted to increase that to three percent as Covid restrictions are easing. Attendance at last year's meeting was between 50 and 60 voters.
May 17 Town Election Results
Becky Legare was elected as a write-in candidate to fill Rik Marsh's vacant seat on the Selectboard with 98 votes. Incumbent Selectman Henry Woolsey was unopposed and re-elected with 108 votes Jamie Hatch was elected to fill Dana Kennan's seat on the Board of Assessors with 109 votes.
Twelve percent or 120 of the town's 989 registered voters cast ballots. Complete results here.
Dogs, Cats and a Wandering Horse
04/01Continue to assist resident with search for lost dog from 3/30. Dog located at 5p, owner to bring to vet to be checked out.
04/02 @12:30p Resident call regarding stray cat, possibly feral, hanging out in barn. Offered use of trap, resident will monitor for 1-2 days and if cat remains will set trap.
04/07@8a Resident call regarding bear that tore down feeder while they were watching. Suggestions given.