City News Round Up for Friday, April 30

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City News Round Up for Friday, April 30

 

Please check our agenda center as Committees, Boards & Commissions continue to meet remotely. The City Council meets next on Monday, May 3 at 5:00 PM. 

 

As a reminder, we are only conducting limited in-person transactions at this time. Anyone visiting City Hall will be asked a series of health screening questions and will have to have their temperature taken. Vehicle registrations require an appointment, no walk-ins allowed. Any questions? Please call 207-874-8300 or email info@portlandmaine.gov

 

Thank you for remembering to Stay the Course to help prevent further spread of COVID-19. We encourage you to get vaccinated! All residents ages 16+ are eligible. Check out Maine CDC's COVID-19 Vaccination website to see where you can get vaccinated. Maine DHHS is offering free rides to COVID-19 vaccine clinics. People should call 1-855-608-5172 at least 48 hours before their appointment to reserve a ride. Several sites are now also offering walk-in service. 

 

Community Meeting Re: Relocation of Services to 39 Forest Avenue

City staff will hold a remote community meeting to consider the proposed co-location of key programs from the Social Services and Public Health divisions to a single, centralized location located at 39 Forest Avenue. The meeting is an additional opportunity for HHS staff to present the plan to the community and take public comment. Written comments or questions should be submitted prior to the meeting to ssweb@portlandmaine.gov. For additional information on the proposal, please visit the HHS website

 

Council’s Finance Committee Votes to Recommend Lower FY22 School Budget Increase

The Council’s Finance Committee held a joint City/School budget meeting last night, Thursday, April 29. During the meeting, the Committee voted 3-0 to recommend a $1.48 million reduction in the Portland Board of Education’s (School Board) budget increase request, a 5.1% increase over last year. The recommended budget from the School Board included a requested tax levy increase of $6.24 million, but this amount was amended by the Finance Committee down to $4.76 million to balance the impact to taxpayers during the pandemic and in anticipation of the impending citywide revaluation. The $4.76 million increase will result in a 46 cent increase (just under +4%) to the School portion of the mill rate. The School budget now goes before the full Council for a vote on May 10. 

 

Portland Farmers’ Market Prepares For Temporary Move to Payson Park

Portland’s Parks, Recreation & Facilities Department has been working closely with the Portland Farmers’ Market to find a temporary home while Browntail Moth Caterpillars are most problematic within Deering Oaks Park. Payson Park will serve as the temporary location for the Farmers’ Market, starting on Wednesday, May 19, and concluding on Saturday, June 26, with the Market returning to Deering Oaks on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

 

Absentee Voting Information For June 8 Special Municipal Election

Voters wishing to vote absentee in the June 8 Special Municipal Election for the Charter Commissioners and School Budget Referendum can request their absentee ballot now. The City is now offering a new online request form. For more information, click the headline. 

 

Sundays on the Boulevard

Sundays on the Boulevard will be starting back up this Sunday, May 2nd! Enjoy the car free landscape on Baxter Boulevard every Sunday from 9-4pm until Sunday, October 10. Please note that there will be a change in the SOTB route starting June 6th due to work being done on Baxter Boulevard from Payson Park to Vannah Ave. 

 

Racial Equity Steering Committee Presents Full Report to City Council

The Racial Equity Steering Committee presented its full report to the City Council during the Council's April 26, 2021 meeting. To read the full report, click here.

 

Casco Bay Garage Spring Cleaning Set for May 14

Casco Bay Garage Spring Cleaning is scheduled for the weekend beginning Friday, May 14. This will require all Casco Bay Parking Garage customers to vacate the garage from 8:00 PM Friday, May 14 through 5:00 PM Sunday, May 16

 

ReCode Phase II Kicks Off!

The Department of Planning & Urban Development is pleased to announce that ReCode Phase II is officially underway. Camiros, a consultant with national experience in zoning and land use codes, has been selected to lead this effort. Camiros’s work will begin with a review of the land use code against the goals and policies of Portland’s Plan. The result will be a comprehensive code evaluation, which will provide a road map for future revisions to the land use code. 

 

Find Your Best Route to a Vaccine in Cumberland and York Counties!

An interactive vaccine map is just one more way TransitTogether is supporting community health while people travel where they need to go!

 

Maine also offers free transportation to and from COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Learn more.

 

City Launches Food Composting Pilot Program

We kicked off a year-long food composting pilot program, which will provide residents with five convenient locations to drop off food scraps. The compost drop off sites are accessible 24/7 and are located at the North Street Community Garden, Boyd Street Community Garden, Clark Street Community Garden, Libbytown Community Garden, and at Riverside Recycling Facility (available only during facility operating hours.)

 

Konbit Sante: Cap-Haitien Health Partnership

Join us at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, for the first in a series of webinars celebrating Konbit Sante's 20th anniversary. "Looking Back: Konbit Sante's Early Years" will feature key members of Konbit Sante's early days as they reflect on the organization's founding, its mission, and the successes and challenges of those defining years, as well as the development of the City of Portland, Maine Sister City relationship with Cap-Haitien. No registration is required; simply click on this link.

 

Portland Artists Brighten Downtown Street Closures

We joined forces with Creative Portland to beautify the recently installed street closure barricades on several streets downtown. Creative Portland hired five local artists to add creative and friendly arts messaging on the barricades, which not only brightens the safety features, but helps further the City’s COVID-19 public health messaging. 

 

Portland Land Bank Commission Conserves Open Space on Rand Road

The Portland Land Bank Commission announced the acquisition by the City of Portland of a 27-acre forested parcel along Rand Road near outer Congress Street, from the Avangrid Foundation. This land has been a high priority open space parcel for several years due to its adjacency to existing conservation land, its network of trails and its natural and recreational values. With this addition, the City has added protection to its largest remaining undeveloped area around the headwaters of the Fore River.

 

New Street Sweeping Web App

Street sweepers are currently making the rounds! To see where the street sweepers have been and to see when they are coming to your neighborhood, please click here to view our new web app. Please make sure to adhere to the daytime and overnight street maintenance regulation signs, if your neighborhood has them. If your neighborhood does not, we appreciate your help in not parking on the street overnight if you don’t need to.

 

Last Week for the Annual Spring Curbside Collection of Leaf Bags

This is the last week for our annual spring curbside collection of leaf bags/yard waste, which started Monday, April 26, and continues through Friday, May 7. The leaves must be in large, paper biodegradable leaf bags. We can not accept the clear compostable bags. Place the biodegradable leaf bags curbside on your normal trash day during the above dates and City crews will take care of the rest! 

 

 Current Survey Opportunities on Civil Space

Civil Space is our new digital town hall, the City's new hub to share, discuss, inform, and collaborate on creating sustainable solutions for important issues, challenges, and opportunities in our community. Visit portland.civilspace.io today. 

 

Make Sure Your Vehicle is Registered! Appointments Necessary

Make sure your car is registered on time! Our Treasury office is currently booking appointments roughly three weeks out. Don’t wait until it is too late. In-person service is by appointment only, please click here to book your appointment, or call 207-874-8491. If you are re-registering your vehicle with no changes to your previous registration, please use the State’s Rapid Renewal system. 

 

Parks Commission Greenspace Gathering 2021

The Portland Parks Commission invites you to join us on May 6 at 5:30 pm for our annual Greenspace Gathering as we discuss how to run effective partnerships between the City and Parks Friends Groups to maintain and improve upon Portland's open spaces. The Greenspace Gathering will be held via ZOOM on May 6th from 5:30-7:30pm. FMI:  click the link in the headline.

Want to hear more Parks & Recreation news, sign up for their Monthly Newsletter.



Traffic Alert: I-295 Exit 7 Ramp Closures

Construction work for the City’s sewer separation project is affecting access to I-295’s Exit 7 (Franklin St). Currently, all on and off ramps are closed. Please seek alternate routes.

 

Additional information I-295 Southbound:

  • Exit 9 On (Veranda Street) and Off (Baxter Boulevard) will be closed Monday night, May 3, from 9pm to 6am. 
  • Exit 8 Off (Washington Ave) will be closed Tuesday night, May 4, from 9pm to 6am.



Traffic Alert: Oak Street

Unitil will be working on Oak Street, from Congress to Shepley Street beginning on Monday May 3 through Friday May 7. This block of road will be closed to traffic from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm each day.

 

We’re Hiring! 

We currently have multiple openings at the Jetport, Barron Center, Public Works, and Parks & Recreation. For more information, visit www.portlandmaine.gov/jobs.

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