City News Round Up for Friday, July 30

Portland-ME , City News

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City News Round Up for Friday, July 30

Please check our agenda center for info on upcoming Committees, Boards, and Commissions meetings. The City Council will hold an emergency meeting via Zoom on Monday, August 2 at 5:00 PM. The next regular meeting will be Monday, August 23

 

City Council to Hold Emergency Meeting Monday, August 2

The City Council will hold an emergency meeting via Zoom on Monday, August 2 at 5:00 PM to discuss an order declaring a limited emergency in order to continue to conduct remote meetings in accordance with State law and its recently adopted Remote Participation Policy until the limited emergency is terminated. This order is primarily being presented to the Council because City Hall and other City buildings will remain closed to the general public at this time due to the rise in COVID cases and variants, and because of the poor ventilation and sizing of Council Chambers and available Committee rooms. 

 

City Hall to Remain Open Only for Limited In-Person Services

City staff had been working on plans to open up City Hall soon to more in-person services, however because of the rise in COVID cases, variants, and updated information from the U.S. CDC and Maine CDC, the City Manager has decided to continue operating in the same manner as the City has done throughout the entire pandemic by offering limited in-person services. This includes appointment only services for the Treasury Department (auto registration, property taxes), and walk-in services via Myrtle Street for the City Clerk and Parking offices (birth/death/marriage certificates, elections and voting, dog licenses, and parking tickets and permits.) Numerous City services are also available online, and all other business and transactions will continue to be conducted by email, virtually, and by appointment. 

 

SURVEY TIME:  City Seeks Public Feedback on Using ARPA Funds

The City is seeking feedback from the public on how to spend the federal recovery funds it is receiving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment is split in two tranches, with the first payment of $23,145,326 received in May 2021 and the second payment of an equal amount scheduled to arrive no sooner than May 2022. The City Council approved the use of $8.5 million as part of the FY22 municipal budget, leaving $14.6 million left to allocate from the first tranche. ARPA funds must be obligated no later than December 31, 2024. Funds must be spent no later than December 31, 2026. The survey is open through September 17 and can be taken by clicking the link in the headline or visiting portland.civilspace.io

 

Deering's Corner Roundabout

The Deering's Corner Roundabout (intersection of Deering Avenue/Brighton Avenue/Falmouth Street) opened to all traffic today, July 30. The temporary traffic signals were turned off, and traffic can continue normally through the roundabout in a counterclockwise direction. All drivers should pay close attention to signage approaching and within the roundabout. Additional work will be forthcoming to finish the project. For more information, click the link in the headline. 

 

City Hosts August 3 Blood Drive

The City is proud to sponsor our next blood drive with the American Red Cross on August 3 at Merrill Auditorium Rehearsal Hall. Sign up using the link above. 

 

Rental Assistance Call to Action

If you’re a renter having trouble paying your rent, utilities, or other housing costs – or if you’re a landlord trying to stay afloat with tenants in this situation – help may be available. State and local programs are distributing billions of dollars in rental assistance to help renters stay housed during the pandemic. Visit the CFPB’s Rental Assistance Finder to find out what this means for you and what you can do. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau site also includes resources to help renters and landlords understand other resources to help navigate various financial hardships related to the pandemic.  

 

Fox Field Futsal Court Ribbon Cutting

The Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department will host a ribbon cutting for the Futsal Court that was recently completed at Fox Field on August 5 from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM. The event will feature remarks from Mayor Snyder, City staff, and community members and a futsal exhibition by local futsal players.

 

Parks & Recreation Updates

  • Park and Play is Back in action at Portland Parks!  This drop-in program is designed for children who like the flexibility to come and go as they wish without being tied to the schedule of a formal summer day camp program. Many of Portland's newest residents are unfamiliar with recreation and playgrounds, which is why this program is a perfect introduction to the concept!
  • Kiwanis, Staples and Hannaford team up to ‘Fill the Bus’ with school supplies for Portland kids most in need! The campaign kicks off at 11 am August 9 at the  Kiwanis Pool on Douglass Street in Portland, and there will be a closing ceremony at the pool on August 14. At the campaign’s conclusion, the gathered supplies will be delivered to Portland Public Schools for distribution.

 

Call for Artists, Bramhall Square

The Portland Public Art committee announces an open call for artists to submit qualifications for a new public artwork commission for the redesigned Bramhall Square Park. Artists with a connection to Maine are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is Friday, August 20 at 5:00 p.m. FMI, go to the Portland Public Art Program page.

 

Planning for One Portland

The final installment of Exploring Portland’s Plan is now available! This six part series focuses on different aspects of the land use code through the lens of Portland’s Plan.

 

Revaluation Notices

You can view your notice online, and schedule an appointment for an appeal. Once all appeals are heard and decided, new property values will be used for the Fiscal Year 2022 tax bills, expected to be mailed in early September. As the overall taxable value of the city has increased approximately 77% due to the revaluation, the tax rate will drop. At the time of our mailing, the estimated FY22 tax rate is $13.49, a decrease of $9.82. However, thanks to additional state revenue sharing and additional school funding, we expect the mil rate to drop even further. 

 

Nomination Papers Available for November 2021 Election

The City Clerk’s Office is reminding Portland residents that nomination papers are available for several seats that are open for the November 2, 2021 Election. The deadline to return is no sooner than August 9, 2021 at 9:00 PM and no later than August 23, 2021 at 4:30 PM. 

 

**Construction Project Updates & Traffic Alerts**

 

Baxter Boulevard

Baxter Boulevard is closed from Payson Park to Vannah Avenue. This first phase of closure is scheduled to last for three months. The closure is necessary for the City to complete work on the Back Cove West Storage Conduit project, one of the City’s latest sewer separation projects to prevent combined sewer overflows from going into Back Cove. Back Cove Trail is open during construction. Ocean Ave is one way until the end of August.

 

Forest Avenue - Unitil

Unitil will be upgrading the gas service at 25 Forest Avenue starting on August 2. 

 

I-295 Repaving Work

Upcoming ramp closures for I-295 Southbound are as follows. All closures will be 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Both ramps will never be closed at the same time.  

 

Sunday – 8/1

  • None

Monday – 8/2

  • Close Exit 9 On/Off

Tuesday – 8/3

  • Close Exit 9 On/Off

Wednesday – 8/4

  • Close Exit 9 On/Off

Thursday – 8/5

  • Close Exit 9 On/Off

 

We’re Hiring! 

We currently have multiple openings at the Jetport, Barron Center, Regional Communications Dispatch Center, Public Works, and Parks & Recreation. Additionally, we are looking for a Development Review Coordinator, an Urban Designer, and a Principal Administrative Officer. For more information, visit www.portlandmaine.gov/jobs.

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