UPDATE 1/31/22: Other towns benefitting from the Gardner Purchase of Antigen tests have just been notified today that they can pick up the tests. That is why these towns have not yet announced individual distribution times, because they may not yet even physically have the tests. We will update you as this information becomes available. In the meantime, those eligible today at the PACC are citizens of Gardner, Westminster, and Athol. Gardner apparently took a risk and purchased more tests than needed (because of the 15,000 minimum purchase required) and then contacted certain area towns after the purchase decision was already made in the hope other towns would want some of the tests. One community administrator told me, “we kind of got in on this late – that’s why we don’t have more information, we just got the call to pick up the tests today.”

Watch Mayor’s update on YouTube or on our Mayor’s update page, CLICK HERE.

Increase in State Funding for City and City Schools Projected in Baker 2022 Budget.

Budget Dog Likes This News Story.

In this week’s update, Mayor Nicholson announced that Gardner is expected to get a net increase in both City aid and School aid reflected in the next fiscal year’s budget.

Gardner may receive an increase of over 2 million dollars in Chapter 70 School Aid, $200,000 in City aid, and a $100,000 reduction in state assessment (net city increase $300,000) in the new State budget to be voted on by State Legislature by June 2022

Gardner Relay for Life

relay for life american cancer society

Mayor Nicholson stated that Gardner has a firm commitment from the American Cancer Society:

The Relay for Life will be held in person this year at Mount Wachusett Community College. The Gardner Relay for Life had a recent kickoff meeting in Perry Auditorium. Relay for Life has been an annual Chair City event since 1994.

In Sports

Gardner Cheerleaders

Gardner High School Wildcat Cheerleaders were congratulated for placing 5th overall in National Competition, Dallas Texas.

Soccer Ball

Online signup is going on right now for the Indoor Soccer Clinic to be held by the Gardner Recreation Department.

Critical Blood Shortage

Blood Donation

The Mayor stated that area hospitals and the American Red Cross have a critical shortage of blood. There is an urgent call to donate blood at the Red Cross in Worcester or Keene.

FREE Covid Test Distribution at Gardner MA PACC Mon. Jan. 31.

iHealth Covid 19 antigen rapid test

A large number of Covid 19 rapid antigen tests will be distributed at the Polish American Citizens Club on Monday January 31, 2022: 1-7pm. (Yes, the time is double that reported in the Mayor’s Weekly Update.)

Mayor Nicholson had advised us that the good news regarding increased distribution time reflects an increased amount of available tests. Looking for FREE tests? Report to the PACC, 171 Kendall Pond Rd. W, Gardner MA. between 1-7pm on Monday January 31, 2022. Directions, CLICK HERE.

Citizens of Gardner, Westminster, and Athol can go to the PACC, others at locations announced by the individual communities who also participated in the group purchasing effort. Proof of residence will be required.

The event will be drive-up. Up to 4 kits will be given to each vehicle. There are 2 tests per kit. The goal of the event is to alleviate some of the testing burden being felt by other agencies including Heywood Hospital.

Regarding Storm of Saturday January 29, 2022

The Gardner MA Mayor suggested citizens sign up for Code Red to get parking ban advisories. For those needing sand and salt, it is available at DPW, just bring a bucket.

Dog License Delay

Nicholson announced that even though dog licenses were ordered in November, they still have not arrived. Citizens can apply for a 2022 license, but your check can’t be cashed until the City can give you the actual license. Meanwhile, the City Council will take up a proposal at its February 7, 2022 meeting specifying that dog licenses will be free for residents over 70. No word on what would happen if dog was over 70.