City News Round Up for Friday, October 23

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City News Round Up for Friday, October 23

Please check our agenda center as Committees, Boards & Commissions continue to meet remotely. The Council meets next on Monday, October 26 at 5:30 PM for a workshop on One Climate Future and ReCode Phase 1. 

Any questions? Please call 207-874-8300 or email

Fast Fact Friday: we've issued 29,282 absentee ballots so far and accepted back 20,313. Next Tuesday, we will begin processing (but not counting!) those received in accordance with this year’s State rule that allows cities and towns to process seven days prior to Election Day. Thanks to everyone who has voted!

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, October 24, 2020 between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM is the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The Portland Police Department will be staffing drug take back collection sites located at the Back Bay parking lot across from the Hannaford’s at 295 Forest Avenue and at the Walgreens Pharmacies at 364 Allen Avenue and 616 Forest Avenue in their parking lots. Click the link above for more info. 

Island Floats Coming Out for the Season

It's that time of year...the floats on the Islands and at East End Beach will be pulled next Wednesday, October 28 and Thursday, October 29. 

Annual Fall Curbside Collection of Leaf Bags/Yard Waste 

The City’s annual fall curbside collection of leaf bags/yard waste starts Monday, October 26 through Friday, November 20. The leaves must be in large, paper biodegradable leaf 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! 

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Each year, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) October 25 – 31, 2020

is a call to bring together individuals, organizations, industry, and state, tribal, and local governments to increase lead poisoning prevention awareness in an effort to reduce childhood exposure to lead.

Do you own a home or multi-unit building built before 1978 in Cumberland County? It may contain dangerous lead based paint. Find out if you qualify for financial assistance to make your property lead safe at Lead paint in older homes turns into poisonous lead dust. Order a free lead dust test kit at

Portland Selects Second Natural Helpers Cohort

Our Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) is honored to announce its second cohort of the Natural Helpers program. While receiving many applications to join the program, 14 were selected, representing eight countries of origin, from Angola to Peru. OEO launched the Natural Helpers Leadership Program in February 2020, a national best practice, to connect community members to resources and opportunities in order to foster a greater sense of belonging in all aspects of life in Portland.

Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Bills Now Available

Fiscal Year 21 Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Bills are now available online.  The due dates are October 30, 2020 and March 19, 2021. Due to COVID-19, we highly encourage you to pay online or via mail and not in-person. 

Property Tax Info

Citizen Self-Service Portal

Traffic Alert: High Street

Starting on Monday, October 26, 2020, weather permitting, The Portland Department of Public Works will begin a sidewalk reconstruction project on the east side of High Street. The project will take place near the intersection with York Street to the intersection with Danforth Street. 

The project is expected to reach substantial completion within a month, weather permitting. Please seek alternate route, if possible, to avoid delays.

If you have any questions please contact Jennifer Ladd, Senior Transportation Engineer, at 874-8894 or by emailing

Traffic Alert Update: Deering's Corner Roundabout

The Deering's Corner Roundabout project is moving forward as scheduled. In the 2020 construction season, the project installed new storm drains and water mains, removed the traffic signal, and prepared the area to install the roundabout next year. This winter, to account for the traffic signal being removed, traffic control will be altered to assure that traffic can move through the area safely and efficiently. The southern leg of Brighton Avenue will be closed to all traffic. Access to Bedford Street will be accommodated via Deering Avenue. Free-flow traffic will be accommodated between the northern leg of Brighton Avenue and the southern leg of Deering Avenue. Full access along Falmouth Street will be restored, with stop signs at the intersection.  The northern leg of Deering Avenue will be closed. Through traffic is asked to continue to use alternate routes, such as Forest Avenue.  Pedestrian access will be maintained everywhere, and a flashing beacon will be provided to help pedestrians cross Deering Avenue in the vicinity of USM. We thank all neighborhood residents and roadway users for their continued patience and understanding with this exciting project.

Trick or Treating Guidance for Halloween 2020 During COVID-19

NEW:  Low-Risk Halloween Activities from our Public Health Department. 


While we do not control or sanction Halloween activities or Trick-or-Treating, we want to make sure that residents are aware of this year’s safety guidelines should families choose to participate in Halloween 2020. The City is encouraging anyone who decides to participate in trick-or-treating to be informed of the guidelines and do so safely in light of the ongoing pandemic and the need to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Click the link above for a list of safety tips for trick-or-treaters and those households that pass out candy. 

Build Your Own Mini Merrill Auditorium!

Since you can’t go to the theater, we’ve got a mini Merrill Auditorium for you to make at school or home! This letter size Little Theatre of Merrill Auditorium will arrive ready to be cut out, colored and assembled. Watch the how-to video to put it together and use Portland Ovation’s step-by-step guide to write and stage your own stories for your tiny Merrill Auditorium! Suggested for ages 5 and up. Each ticket includes 1 Letter Size Little Theatre Activity Kit including printouts, adhesive labels, and instructions for assembly. Click the link above to get started. 

Temporary Emergency Shelter Space on County Way to Offer Many Improvements

On October 19, 2020, the City of Portland announced it was finalizing its plans on a three-pronged approach to increase the amount of shelter beds available in Portland this winter in light of necessary COVID-19 precautions and the loss of overflow space at the Preble Street Resource Center. While the City has had to reduce capacity in its spaces in order to properly space guests, it has not closed any of its shelter spaces and has continued to increase the number of people served. If negotiations related to these plans are successfully finalized, the City will have access to 75 beds at the Oxford Street Shelter, 50 beds at the Joyce House on County Way, and 149 beds at a local hotel, an increase of 30 additional beds this winter. 

Riverside Golf Course Recognized for Environmental Excellence

Riverside Golf Course has achieved designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. Gene Pierotti, Golf Course Superintendent, completed the effort to obtain sanctuary designation on the property. Riverside Golf Course is one of over 900 courses in the world to hold the title of Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and one of five certified golf courses out of 122 courses in the State of Maine. 

City Extends Outdoor Operations to Further Assist Businesses During Pandemic

In order to continue helping local businesses through the pandemic, the Portland City Council approved a plan during its October 19, 2020 meeting to allow restaurants and retailers to continue to operate outdoors on private property, public sidewalks, and in parking lanes until January 4, 2021.

Maine Harm Reduction Conference

Registration is now open for the third annual Maine Harm Reduction Conference. Presented by Portland Public Health and the University of New England's Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education, this year's conference will be virtual on October 30. FMI


On Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020, all rides on Greater Portland Metro buses will be free for everyone. Make sure to get out and vote!

External Absentee Ballot Drop Box Now Available Outside Merrill Auditorium

A new external ballot drop box has been installed for those wishing to drop off their completed absentee ballots. It is located outside of the Merrill Auditorium entrance on Myrtle Street for 24/7 ballot returns. Please remember to sign the back of the envelope before depositing it in the ballot box. As long as your envelope is signed, the voter or a family member can drop it off for you. Absentee ballots must be returned to the city/town in which you reside. You cannot use the Merrill Auditorium drop box if you do not have a Portland ballot. Likewise, Portland residents must use this box and not one in another town. Ballots must be returned by 8:00 PM on Tuesday, November 3.

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