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The Assessors are required to assess all properties uniformly at its fair cash value (the amount a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller, neither party under compulsion to buy or sell). The assessed values represent full and fair cash value of the property on January 1 and reflect the prior calendar year’s market sales (i.e. Fiscal Year 2018 assessment date is January 1, 2017, reflecting calendar year 2016 market sales). Assessors sometimes review and/or use sales transactions during the third prior calendar year to estimate the value of property on the assessment date. In addition, may also include review of current calendar year sales, primarily for trending. There are many factors that affect the value of land and buildings. All properties do not change in value to exactly the same degree. Many factors influence values. Among the numerous factors to be considered are location, condition, size, quality, number of baths, finished basement, garages, additions, traffic and utilities, square feet, etc. Furthermore, changes in market value are not always reflected evenly across property classes. It is common that different types of property (single-family and multi-family) as well as styles (ranch and colonial) do not appreciate or depreciate at the same rate. Factors that cause an increase in value include structural changes (rehabilitation), upgraded facilities, neighborhood or location factors, and market factors (housing demand). Factors that cause a decrease in value include fire damage, vandalism, outdated facilities, neighborhood or location factors, and market factors (decrease in housing demand). The percentage change in each property owner’s assessed value will differ according to structure, location characteristics, and size in the general real estate market. There is no uniform increase or decrease factor because each property is affected differently by the above stated factors.
A Revaluation is done every five years, with an Interim Adjustment done each of the four years in between, in each of the 351 municipalities in Massachusetts to reflect the fluctuating forces in the real estate market.
If you believe your property is incorrectly assessed, not assessed fairly in comparison to other properties or not classified correctly, you have the right to file for an abatement. There is only one time each year to file for Abatement Application with the Assessors; no later than the due date of the first Actual tax payment for fiscal year, usually February 1st. All tax bills
Municipal aggregation is the process by which a municipality (meaning a town or city) purchases electricity in bulk from a competitive supplier on behalf of the residents and businesses within the community.
Customer participation is voluntary. The municipality will provide customers an opportunity to opt-out of participating in a municipal aggregation program. Customers who do not opt out will be automatically enrolled in the aggregation program, but may opt out at any time after that. If you choose to opt out, visit www.colonialpowergroup.com/gardner/ and click the opt-out button, then fill out and submit the Opt-Out Form. You may also call Constellation at (844) 857-0465 and ask to remain on National Grid Basic Service
If you are currently receiving your electricity supply from the default National Grid Basic Service, you do not need to do anything. You will be automatically enrolled in the program.
No, there is no contract to sign. The program is designed to be as easy as possible for participants. Accounts are automatically enrolled as long as they are currently receiving Basic Service supply from National Grid.
Yes, you may continue to participate in National Grid’s budget billing payment plan while participating in the program.
No, delivery rates do not change based on participation in a municipal aggregation program. Utility delivery rates are regulated by the state and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
If you choose not to participate in the program at any time after the initial enrollment, you can still opt-out with NO PENALTY CHARGE. It may take a couple of billing cycles before you are back on National Grid’s Basic Service. You may submit an opt-out form online OR call Constellation at 844-857-0465 and ask to be placed on National Grid’s Basic Service. If you decide to OPT-IN, you may submit an opt-in form online OR call Constellation at 844-857-0465. ENROLLMENT CAN TAKE UP TO TWO BILLING CYCLES BEFORE TAKING EFFECT.
Yes, once you opt out of the program you will be able to re-enroll at the market rate at that time.
The Community Choice Power Supply Program is a Municipal Aggregation Program which allows local government to combine the purchasing power of its residents to achieve savings on electricity costs. In doing so, it creates competition among Competitive Suppliers which helps ensure aggressive rates. Consumers are no longer “stuck” with the cost and fluctuation of Basic Service rates because the Program offers them another option.
Having a solar system does not preclude you from participating. If an account holder is receiving any supply from the local utility, they are able to participate in the aggregation program and continue to receive net metering credits from the utility.
You will still be eligible to take advantage of all Mass Save energy efficiency program offerings and incentives. It is not dependent on which supplier you use because the energy efficiency charges that fund the Mass Save program are part of the Delivery Services section of your National Grid bill, not the Supply Services section.
Third party suppliers are currently very active within the Commonwealth. This is due to the recent significant increases in electricity rates for all utilities within Massachusetts. We strongly advise any household or business to read the complete contract fine print and have a clear understanding of any termination penalties along with rate details before agreeing to purchase electricity from a third party supplier.
All service and billing questions will continue to be directed to National Grid.
Gardner will be joining over 60 Massachusetts municipalities, including Winchendon, Orange, and Lunenburg, to take advantage of the state law that allows this type of municipal aggregation. View a list of them on them here.
Rabies is a disease affecting all mammals, including man, caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system, including the brain. Symptoms may include unexplained aggression, impaired locomotion, varying degrees of paralysis, and extreme depression or viciousness. After the onset of symptoms, terminal paralysis and death are imminent.
There are several strains of the virus that are carried by different species of animals. A “strain” of rabies is a form of the virus that is primarily carried by a specific species of animal, known as the dominant reservoir species. Although a strain is specific to a particular species, other mammals are susceptible to that strain as well. When an animal other than the normal host species contracts the virus, it is called a spillover. In the case of the raccoon strain, which has been affecting the New England area since September of 1992, the most common spillover animals have included skunks, cats, woodchucks, and foxes. The fact that spillover occurs is cause for some concern.
Most commonly, rabies is transmitted by means of a bite wound. The virus is present in the saliva of the infected animal and is transmitted to the victim that is bitten. Occasionally rabies is transmitted by other forms of exposure such as contact between saliva of an infected animal and broken skin, open wounds or contact between infected saliva and mucous membranes (such as mouth or eyes).
Preschool: All Special Education preschool students are eligible for bus transportation. Peer Model preschool students are not eligible for bus transportation.
Kindergarten: All children in kindergarten are eligible for bus transportation.
Grades 1-5: All children in grades one through five who reside more than one (1) mile from the school which they are entitled to attend are eligible for bus transportation.
Grade 6-8: All children in grade six - eight who reside more than one and one-half (1.5) miles from the school to which they are assigned are eligible for bus transportation.
Grades 9-12: The Gardner Public School Department does not currently provide yellow school bus transportation for students in these grades. However, MART (Montachusett Area Regional Transportation) provides two types of buses students may ride to school:
Subscription Service: This subscription service is available through the MART office on 555 Main Street in Gardner. MART offers special vans for door-to-door pick-up and drop-off of students. For more information, please call MART at 978-632-7373.
Fixed Route Service: Students may utilize MART buses that provide transportation to Gardner residents (adults and children). This MART service follows a fixed route around the City of Gardner, with several stops for the convenience of riders. Please click here to contact MART for the list of routes and times.
No, school transportation is provided through a contract with First Student Transportation.
Please see route listing by school. Please note that Special Education preschool student transportation is arranged through the Special Education office. Parents will be notified by mail regarding pick-up and drop-off times. Kindergarten routes, usually close to your home, are developed annually. Because of safety concerns for your children, we do not publish these routes since they may contain specific addresses of youngsters. The Waterford Street School Principal will send this information directly to parents in the mail.
Pick-up and drop-off times should not vary to any great extent on a normal basis. Circumstances beyond our control could make the bus late occasionally. Vehicle break downs, impassable roads, emergencies, or drivers becoming ill are just a few reasons that could make the bus late. We will always make sure a bus will be at your stop. If the wait is longer than fifteen minutes, please contact your child's school.
Under certain circumstances, students who are not eligible may ride the bus on a space available basis. Please note that buses are generally used to full capacity. If you would like to apply for a bus pass, please contact your school's main office for an application. The cost of the pass is $100.00 for the year.
School bus stops are placed in central locations to shorten route length and times. Transportation personnel make every effort to see that these stops are safe and are within appropriate walking distances.
If a child's home address meets the eligibility requirements for transportation and the daycare address is on an existing route, the child may travel from daycare to school and school to daycare. However, there must be an available seat on the bus. Such an arrangement must take place on a regular basis. Safety concerns preclude us from transporting a child to several different locations during the week.
Over time many calculations have been done to measure distances from school to address points. We're happy to check or re-check a specific address. Please contact the Business Administrator at 978-632-1000 to arrange for this measurement. The Business Administrator, in conjunction with the Gardner Police Department, will check the distance along with any safety concerns.
Eligible students may be dropped off at a different location only with written permission of a parent or guardian. Parents should present a note to the school principal when this becomes necessary.
Buses are utilized on a "tiered" basis, meaning that buses drop off children at one school, then may proceed to another school or schools. If you happen to see a bus between these various drop-off times, it may appear that it's not being used to full capacity.
Drivers inspect the interior of the bus after each route. Drivers are instructed to keep all found articles of unknown origin on board the bus at least one day. Articles may be claimed directly from the driver or you may contact First Student at 978-630-3860.
Seat belts on school buses are not required equipment. School buses utilize the "compartmentalization" concept to insure student safety. Since the mid-70's the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that this approach to student safety is the most practical for school buses. Compartmentalization is an arrangement whereby seats are placed close together to absorb the energy of a child's body thrown against it. Additional padding, higher seat backs, frame construction, and anchoring requirements make compartmentalization the accepted industry standard.
Efforts are currently underway to revisit the seat belt issue on a national scale. Testing is currently being done to determine what the next generation of child restraints for school buses might be.
Under certain circumstances, seat belts are utilized in Special Education vehicles.
Please call the school principal.
Please call the Special Education Department at 978-630-4076. They will contact the vendor to arrange for special needs transportation. Also, please call the Special Education Department for any changes (for example, child is sick and won't be attending, change in pick-up or drop-off location, change in personnel authorized to meet the student, etc.).
Yes, all drivers are required to maintain in good standing a commercial driver's license (CDL) with school bus endorsement.
Yes, by law it is required on a semi-annual basis that all students be instructed in the proper way to evacuate a school bus in an emergency situation. Drills are performed on each route in the early fall and late spring of each school year. Drivers are trained in the proper use of emergency exits and procedures.
Bags are sold at Hannaford Bros Supermarket, Aubuchon Hardware, Price Chopper and City Hall. They come in rolls of ten bags for $35.00. Individual bags are available at City Hall in the Board of Health Office, Room 29, and the Collector’s Office in Room 118.
As time allows, Waste Management or the Board of Health may inspect and sticker toters that are not compliant with City code. If you have a sticker on your toter, it has a few words to explain it. REMEMBER: You are allowed 1 48 gallon toter of trash to be picked up each week. The toter cannot be overfilled- no trash or any part of a bag can extend beyond the top rim of your toter or it won’t be picked up. Trash must fit completely within your toter. The toters have an attached cover on hinges and you must close the cover to put it at curbside. If the cover will not close and there is trash above the rim of your toter, your trash may not be collected. Unlimited extra trash may be placed in yellow Gardner Pay As You Throw (PAYT) bags. Items refused for collection for violations of these rules must be brought back from the curb within 24 hours.
There is no limit to how many containers or bags of yard waste you can put out. Grass clippings and leaves may be placed in paper yard waste bags or loose in open barrels or open cardboard boxes. Sticks less than 2 inches thick and 3 feet long may be place out in bundles. Yard waste may not include large amounts rocks, gravel, sod or dirt. All bundles and containers must weigh less than 50 pounds each.
The first full week of every month from April - Oct. In November it is the first and third week of the month. January the first week for Christmas tree collection.
Call the Board of Health at (978) 630-4023 by the next morning to report a missed pickup.
Please remember that trash toters, recycle toters and yard waste containers must be placed at the curb for collection no later than 7am on your collection day. Trash or recycle toters that are overstuffed in any manner will not be emptied. Lids must be completely closed. If your toter has been reported as overstuffed or open by Waste Management, they are unable to retrieve your toter until your next regular trash day.
Trash may be placed out for collection after 5 pm on the night before your trash day and no laterthan 7 am on trash day. Please make sure that your lid is completely closed and no items are outside of the toter. Late put-outs could result in your trash getting missed. Empty trash andrecycling toters must be brought back from the curb within 24 hours of collection.
Since we don’t have any routes on Mondays, Monday holidays no longer affect trash collection schedules. When a holiday falls on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, that day's collection and all remaining collections for the week will be delayed one day. Friday's collection will be on Saturday.
All types of dry, uncontaminated, non-glossy paper, cardboard, plastic containers, rinsedbottles and cans. Labels on bottles & cans do not have to be removed; neck rings on bottles donot have to be removed. Food containers should be rinsed free of food & drink residue. Windows on envelopes and food boxes (pasta boxes forexample) do not have to be removed.
Keep plastic bags out of household recycling. Maybe you’ve been putting your recyclables in plastic bags for years, but plastic bags, plastic wrap and other stretchable plastic cannot be recycled curbside. In fact, plastic bags are the #1 cause of ruined recyclables. Do not bag your recyclables, place them loose in your toter. At the recycling sorting facility, plastic bags get caught in the machinery, causing work stoppage and worker injuries. However, plastic bags and wrap are collected at many grocery stores. Next time you head to the supermarket, bring along your plastic bags and put them in their labeled recycling bin!
Stick to the list and only place approved recyclable items in recycling bins or carts. As a rule of thumb, remember: bottles, cans, jars, jugs, and paper. It’s easier than ever to get it right when you use the Smart Recycling Guide, which lists items accepted for recycling in every Massachusetts community.If it’s not on the list, check for separate drop-off locations by using our Recyclopedia app. Check out https://recyclesmartma.org/ for the most current recycling information!
No, styrofoam and plastic bags are not recycled at curbside.
Yes, all water that passes through your meter will be billed to you for both water consumption and sewer use. If an irrigation system is installed, a second meter can be installed in the home to accurately measure the water used by the irrigation system. Doing this will allow the billing staff to deduct the irrigation water from your sewer charges. All water that is used is billed at the applicable water rate. A second meter is installed by the owner at their cost, but inspected and approved by the Water/Sewer Department. A licensed Plumber must obtain a permit and perform the installation.
Yes, all water that passes through your meter will be billed to you for both water consumption and sewer use. In order to receive a credit for the sewer charges when filling your pool you must first review the “Pool Fill Policy & Sewer Credit Information“ form and complete the “Pool Credit Application”. Click here for the Policy and Application.
If you notice a strange smell or color to your water that does not clear up you should contact the Water/Sewer Department.
If you have a backup of sewage you should immediately contact the Water/Sewer Department. We will assess if there is a problem with the sewer main in the street and correct it if one is present. If the problem is in your individual sewer service (from the main to the house) you will be responsible to hire a qualified contractor to remedy the problem.
If you lose water pressure or lose water entirely you should immediately contact the Water/Sewer Department.