City News Round Up for Friday, March 5

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City News Round Up for Friday, March 5

 

Please check our agenda center as Committees, Boards & Commissions continue to meet remotely. The City Council meets next on Monday, March 8 at 5:00 PM for a virtual workshop on the Revaluation Project. 

 

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. And thanks for remembering to Stay the Course to help prevent further spread of COVID-19. 

 

Governor Mills announced the Moving Maine Forward plan today with new information regarding travel and reopening policies. 

 

Real Estate Taxes Due Friday, March 19

To check amounts due or to find your bill, please go to https://selfservice.portlandmaine.gov/css/

If you have any questions, please email treasury@portlandmaine.gov or call 207-874-8490.

 

Portland Senior Tax Equity Program Applications Now Available 

The Portland Senior Tax Equity Program (PSTEP) is a local program that provides tax relief to low-income seniors in Portland by providing property tax or rent rebates for qualified applicants. The application period for the City of Portland program runs from January 29, 2021 and June 30, 2021. Find out more about the program, including the application, by clicking the link above. 

 

Council Accepts $125,000 in Donations For City Parks at March 1 Meeting

The City Council accepted $125,000 in private donations for parks projects, including $85,000 to expand a skateboard park in Libbytown, $20,000 to begin a summer youth service program and $20,000 to expand a small boat launch at East End Beach.

 

Join the Portland Youth Corps This Summer

Are you a 14 to 17-year-old Portland resident looking for something to do this summer?! Join the Portland Youth Corps! Spend your summer getting paid to volunteer in the parks of Portland, learning about the environment, and making new friends! FMI

 

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



TRAFFIC ALERT:  Exit 7 Ramp Closures Begin March 15

The City’s Back Cove South Storage Facility project is entering its next phase of work, which is to connect the existing utilities (new or replaced) within the intersection of Marginal Way and Franklin Street to the new storage tanks under the Preble Street playing fields. As a result, there will be an approximate eight week period of alternating closures to the on and off ramps of the I-295 Exit 7 interchange beginning March 15. The City will be placing variable message boards with the latest ramp closure information in the vicinity of the work. The ramp closures will vary during the eight week timeframe so motorists should pay attention to the message boards or make plans to seek alternate routes during this time. 

 

City Council Workshop  - Revaluation

City Assessor Christopher Huff will host a workshop for City Council on the on-going property revaluation project on Monday, March 8th at 5 PM. The presentation will focus on the need for the revaluation, a project update and the upcoming schedule for implementation. The revaluation project launched in February 2019 and after a delay brought upon by the COVID pandemic, is set to adjust new property values for the FY22 tax cycle. 

 

City Details Outdoor Dining & Retail Program for 2021-2022 Season

In order to continue helping local businesses through the pandemic, the City is updating its outdoor dining and retail permitting program, which will be in effect from April 2021 to April 2022. The program allows retailers and restaurants to apply to expand into public spaces, including closed streets, parklets, the public right-of-way, and parks. In addition, they may apply to extend their use of private space into the winter season. Similar to the 2020-2021 program, the City’s goal is to help small businesses operate successfully, safely, and in compliance with social distancing guidelines. The program covers the entire city and not just the downtown area. 

 

Independent Firm Begins Solicitation of Public Information Related to June Protest

The firm hired to conduct an internal affairs investigation related to the Portland Police Department’s response to a protest held in June 2020 is now soliciting feedback from the public as part of an effort to provide additional avenues of information gathering. Members of the public may submit information in a variety of ways, including anonymously. The goal of the investigation is to ensure the integrity of the Department was maintained throughout its response to the protest. Click the link in the headline to find out how to submit feedback. 

 

MaineHousing Emergency Rent Relief Program

The MaineHousing Emergency Rent Relief Program opened March 1. Maine has $200 million in rent relief funds from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program will provide rental and utility relief payments to help eligible renters maintain housing stability. Maine’s Community Action Agencies will review applications, check eligibility, and process payments for eligible expenses on behalf of households.

 

Renters interested in applying can do so directly on the MaineHousing website, which will include an “Apply Now” button when the program opens. In the meantime, several additional program details are available. 

 

Share Your Thoughts on Our Five Year Community Development Plan

The Housing and Community Development Division has launched a survey to get feedback on the needs, goals, and priorities of the city. The purpose of this survey is to help write the Five-Year Consolidated Plan that is submitted to the Federal Government. The plan allows the City to continue to receive federal grant funding. Currently, the City receives about $3 million annually. This survey will be open until the end of May. Click the link in the headline to access the survey. 

 

COVID-19 Vaccinations Available at Portland Expo

A community vaccination site at the James A. Banks Portland Expo opened March 2. Northern Light Mercy Hospital is operating the clinic. Those who are eligible and interested in a vaccine appointment can register here: covid.northernlighthealth.org

 

Northern Light Mercy is also looking for volunteers to help run the Portland Expo vaccination clinic. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to sign up.

 

City Seeks Applicants for Vacancies on Several Boards & Committees

The City Clerk is seeking applications for several vacancies on various boards and committees. Information is available on the City’s website or by calling 207-874-8677. Deadline for submission is March 12, 2021. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to Nominating Committee Chair, c/o City Clerk, 389 Congress Street, Portland ME 04101 or klj@portlandmaine.gov. Applicants will be contacted for interviews.

 

Brighton Avenue Multimodal Corridor Meeting March 11

You are invited to a meeting to discuss the future of Brighton Avenue from Rand Road to Dartmouth Street on Thursday, March 11th at 6:30 PM.  We welcome your input! You can join the meeting by accessing the Zoom Webinar links: 

https://zoom.us/j/92356110675?pwd=cFF4blRzajRwaHVHZ1VxL0kyK3h4QT09

Passcode: 710851  

 

Concepts for Brighton Avenue are available to look at here:

http://portofportlandmaine.org/2707/Brighton-Avenue-Multi-Modal-Project

 

In addition, an online survey is now available at https://forms.gle/55wi34wuv5Z1ffAP7.

 

TRAFFIC ALERT:  Veranda Street Bridge

The Maine Department of Transportation is beginning construction work on the replacement of the Veranda Street Bridge in Portland. The bridge carries I-295 over Veranda Street. The structure is 60 years old and needs to be replaced. This project also involves a reconfiguration of the roadways beneath the bridge to improve mobility and safety. Crews will begin mobilizing equipment and doing utility work during the week of March 8th. There will be minimal traffic impacts on Veranda Street and no traffic impacts on the interstate at this time.

 

Traffic Alert: Preble Street Sewer Work

Sewer installation for the City of Portland’s Back Cove South Storage Facility has begun with the preparation for pipe installation in Preble Street, from the Back Cove soccer fields to Baxter Boulevard. Traffic control devices will be installed to provide for a safe work environment within the street and will be adjusted daily as work progresses.  Please adjust your driving accordingly when progressing through an active construction area.

 

Public Meeting to Discuss Striping Changes on Elm Street

We’re developing plans for a project on Elm Street between Congress Street and Marginal Way. The street will be repaved, sections of sidewalk and curb will be repaired and the City is proposing a new striping pattern that aligns with the Bayside Master Plan.

A public meeting to review concepts and get important feedback will be held on March 11, 2021 at 5:00PM via Zoom. If you’d like to attend the meeting, please email Lauren Andersen, Project Manager, at landersen@portlandmaine.gov. Once the meeting is set up, a link and call in number will also be provided at the project website shown above. 

 

Request for Qualifications/Proposals for the new Homeless Services Center

The Request for Qualifications/Proposals for the new Homeless Services Center, which was approved by the Housing & Economic Development Committee, is now advertised on the City’s website. Proposals will be accepted until 3:00PM on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at which time they will be opened and read. A copy of the RFP can be obtained by requesting it through the Purchasing Office at (207) 874-8654 or via e-mail at  purchasing@portlandmaine.gov.

 

Registration for Portland Little League is now open! 

Portland residents can register their children for baseball, softball and t-ball at PortlandLL.org.

 

Nomination Papers for Charter Commissioners Now Available

The City Clerk’s Office is alerting Portland residents that nomination papers are now available for Charter Commissioner seats. The deadline to turn in the nomination papers is March 29, 2021. Voters will elect Charter Commissioners on June 8, 2021. 

 

 We’re Hiring!

We’re currently seeking a Permitting Manager, Purchasing and Internal Audit Manager, Deputy Director of Health and Human Services, multiple openings at the Barron Center, Parks & Recreation, Police Officers, and 911 Dispatchers (sign on Bonus Available), among other job opportunities. For more information, visit www.portlandmaine.gov/jobs.

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