City News Round Up: Friday, September 13

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City News Round Up: Friday, September 13


Please check our agenda center for the full schedule of upcoming Committees, Boards, and Commission meetings. The City Council’s next regular meeting is on Monday, September 20 at 5:00 PM via Zoom. View the full Meeting Calendar.

Two upcoming Council workshops & one special meeting:

Monday, 9/13/2021

5:00 PM - City Council Workshop: ARPA Funding Community Meeting

6:00 PM - Special City Council Meeting re: Indoor Mask Mandate in Public Places

 

Upcoming Planning Board Meeting:

Tuesday,  9/14/2021 4:30 PM - Homeless Services Center Application

City to Host 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

Please join City of Portland officials along with the Portland Fire Department and the Portland Police Department this Saturday, September 11 at 8:30 AM for a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial at Fort Allen Park. Fire Chief Keith Gautreau and Police Chief Frank Clark will participate in a wreath laying ceremony (8:30 AM) followed by a moment of silence at 8:46 AM to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

 

HHS Provides Update on New Location for Services

Our Health and Human Services (HHS) Department is pleased to provide details related to the co-location of key programs from the Social Services and Public Health divisions to a single, centralized location at 39 Forest Avenue in the heart of Portland. The co-location of services will reduce barriers to those who access vital services as well as enhance organizational efficiency. Learn more

 

Let's Celebrate New Americans During Welcoming Week
We’re celebrating Welcoming Week September 10 to 19 by featuring our second We Are Portland Recipes for Welcoming initiative in partnership with Wayside Food programs. The main concept is to customize the boxes already being distributed within the food security system with two recipes: one from Jamaica and one from Latin America, with all the necessary ingredients to make those two meals. Don't miss two Facebook Live events on September 15 and 16 where local chefs from Yardie Ting and Empanada Club will demonstrate how to make their dishes.

City Proposes Bridge Program to Support Property Tax Relief for Low-Income Seniors

Staff proposed a “bridge program” last night at the Finance Committee to provide property tax relief for low-income seniors until the State’s new tax deferral program (LD1638) takes effect. The City has been working hard to educate the public on the purpose of the recently completed revaluation process, the first one in nearly 15 years, and provide information regarding available property tax relief programs available to residents. The Finance Committee voted in favor of the program 3-0. The program will now go before the full Council for approval.

Historical Property Record Cards Now Available Online

Sorry for the inconvenience to anyone who tried to view these new property record cards. We had some technical difficulties, but the site is now up and running. When viewing a parcel record on the Property Search website, click the ‘Historical Record Cards’ tab to view.

FY22 Tax Bill Update

FY22 tax bills are expected to be posted on-line and mailed out the week of September 13. Taxes are due in two installments: The first half of tax amounts due is Friday, October 22, 2021. The second half of tax amounts due is Friday, March 18, 2022.

Allowable Increase Percentage and Tax Rate Rent Adjustment Information Released

On September 1, in accordance with Portland City Code, Chapter 6, Sec. 6-234(a), the Housing Safety Office established and published the Allowable Increase Percentage and the Tax Rate Rent Adjustment for the following calendar year. Learn more.

 

Forestry Crew Hits New Milestone During Tree Planting Season

Our Forestry Crew hit a new milestone this year by planting a whopping 201 new trees during tree planting season, a season that generally takes place between May and June. During this time, the forestry crew usually plants an average of 150 trees throughout Portland. They plant a wide variety of native and exotic trees via a number of programs and they look to areas in Portland with the greatest need along with finding plantable spaces that can sustain a healthy tree. While the planting of 201 trees has become the new benchmark for the forestry team, the crews partly owe this record to the weather, which allowed them to get started a few weeks early this year. 



Parks & Recreation Updates

 

Payson Park Project Survey - Coming Soon 9/13

The Payson Park Playground Active Recreation and Playground Project will go live on Monday, September 13 - look for a Civil Space survey next week to share your input! The Parks and Recreation department seeks to renovate some of the existing elements within the toddler playground, create new passive use areas for comfortable, non-active use of the space, and implement design for one or two fitness-focused recreational spaces. The aim of the fitness space being to expand options for adjacent back bay trail users or internal users to have a fitness destination to add to their workout inside the park. An accessible walking loop around the playground will also be explored, as well as some functional improvements to playground access to help with maintenance of the play features.  

 

Skatepark Closed! Monday - Friday, 9/13-17

Starting Monday, September 13 and running through Friday, September 17, the Portland Playgrounds Crew will be performing important and time sensitive maintenance work, which will require the skate park to be closed - learn more

 

FREE Outdoor Programs in Deering Oaks! Saturdays through November
Join the Portland Park Rangers for FREE OUTDOOR PROGRAMS in Deering Oaks EVERY SATURDAY through November - no registration needed! Groups will meet at 1:00 PM by the bandstand. Park activities for the entire family to enjoy will include: nature hikes, bird watching, history tours, outdoor survival skills classes, and more. Rangers will also be leading unscheduled nature programs just for kids! These pop-up nature programs will begin at the Deering Oaks playground throughout the entire week. For more information, please email parks@portlandmaine.gov. 

 

The Recreation Division is offering a variety of fall programs for kids and adults!
Please click here to check out the 2021-2022 Recreation Brochure--registration is open for all programs.

 

The Before and After the Bell Program has substantial waitlists for all 8 of the mainland Elementary School sites. If you are interested in registering your child for Before and After the Bell, please call our main office at 207-808-5400 and we can add you to the list for your school. Unfortunately until we get more staff in place we will not be able to move children off the waiting list and into these programs. We are actively hiring for Recreation Programmer 1's to work with us! Please visit the City of Portland's Employment Opportunity Page and apply to work with us. If you have any questions about what working as a Recreation Programer 1 entails, please reach out to Recreation Supervisor Karen Seymour: kseymour@portlandmaine.gov.

 

**Construction Project Updates & Traffic Alerts**

 

All Exit 7 Ramps Closed Starting September 13 for Three Weeks

The final phase of the I-295 Exit 7 (Franklin St) closures will begin Monday, September 13th. All Exit 7 ramps, northbound and southbound will be closed. The intersection of Marginal Way and Franklin Street will be closed in all directions except for allowance of a right turn from Marginal Way onto Franklin Street heading East, which is the Metro bus route. Access to Marginal Way will be available through local streets. This closure will be in place for three weeks. 

 

Veranda Street Bridge Update

The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) notified the City that the Maintenance of Traffic on Veranda Street for vehicles; will change from Phase 1 to Phase 2. The changeover for pedestrian traffic is currently in process. If you have any questions, please contact Scott Rollins from MaineDOT at scott.rollins@maine.gov

 

Traffic Alert - Forest Avenue from Congress Street to Park Avenue

Unitil will be working on Forest Avenue from Congress Street to Park Avenue. The work will last  approximately six weeks.  There will be traffic detours during this time, please seek alternate routes. Any questions please contact  Bob Schnopp, Field Supervisor, NEUCO,  with any questions or concerns at 207-653-2808.

 

Traffic Alert - Additional Baxter Boulevard Traffic Impacts 

Baxter Boulevard from Payson Park to Dartmouth Street is closed. Vannah Avenue is closed from Clifton Street to Baxter Boulevard. This closure is scheduled to last until December 2022. Back Cove Trail will remain open during the entire construction project.  

 

The nearby sewer separation project on Ocean Avenue is nearing completion and should be wrapped up in November. Ocean Avenue is still down to one lane during the day (approximately 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM) while they do construction work using flaggers. However, the road is open to two-way traffic on nights and weekends.  

 

Road Closure - Gillman Street Closed September 14 from 6AM-6PM

 

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 – 9/12
    • Close Exit 8 On
    • Close Exit 4 Off
    • Close Exit 5B Off
  • Monday – 9/13
    • Close Exit 5B On/Off
  • Tuesday – 9/14
    • Close Exit 8 Off
    • Close Exit 5A On/Off
  • Wednesday – 9/15
    • Close Exit 5A On/Off
  • Thursday – 9/16
    • Close Exit 4 Off

We’re Hiring! 

We currently have multiple openings across a variety of departments. Positions include: Recreation Programmer on call- Senior Adult Program, Parks & Recreation, SQL Business Analyst and Report- Writing Specialist IT Department; Maintenance Worker, Solid Waste; Mechanic, Public Works; Behavioral Health Coordinator, Police; IT Help Desk Specialist, Information Technology; 911 Dispatcher; Director of Human Resources;  For more information and additional job opportunities , visit www.portlandmaine.gov/jobs.



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