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Posted on: January 7, 2022

City News Round Up: Friday, January 7, 2022

News Update

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Please check our agenda center for the full schedule of upcoming Committees, Boards, and Commission meetings. The next City Council meeting is on Wednesday, January 19 at 5:00 PM; a City Council Workshop will be held Monday, January 10 at 5:00 PM to discuss the FY23 Budget. View the full Meeting Calendar.

City Council Passes Mask Mandate for Indoor Public Places
On Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to implement a mask mandate ordinance for the city of Portland. As of January 5, people (ages 2+) must wear masks when inside public places in Portland. Businesses that require proof of vaccination of everyone on premises do not need to require masks be worn. Businesses must post "masks required" signs that are visible to the public as of January 10. The City Council will review this ordinance every 30 days to determine whether or not it stays in effect. Read the full story, and the Mask Mandate FAQ.

January 11 and 12: Mask Pick Up for Small Businesses, Vaccination Pop Up
We’re offering free surgical masks and window decals to local businesses; supplies will be available to pick up at City Hall, via the Myrtle Street entrance on Tuesday, January 11 from 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM. On Wednesday, January 12, from 10 AM - 4 PM, Public Health staff will host a pop-up at 39 Forest Avenue with mask supplies, window decals, and vaccines and boosters availability - no appointment needed. Learn more.

TONIGHT! First Friday Art Walk
On the first Friday evening of every month, the city’s artists, galleries, and arts venues open up their doors for Portland’s thriving First Friday Art Walk. See the map of participating venues and learn more: liveworkportland.org/arts/walk.

TreeCycling - Don’t throw away your tree, recycle it! Jan 1-31, 2022
During the month of January, you can drop off your Christmas tree at these Portland locations: Cutter Street Parking Lot Eastern Prom (upper lot on right, not sliding hill lot); Payson Park (salt shed area, by little league field); Riverside Golf Course on the North Course (9th hole), 1158 Riverside Street. Trees must be clear of all ornaments, lights, and tinsel. Trees dropped off at these locations will be chipped up. Curbside tree collection will also be available on your normal trash day during the month of January. Learn more.

January 11: Land Use Code Evaluation, Video and Planning Board Workshop
In case you missed it, Portland’s Land Use Code Evaluation is available now and we need your feedback! With a focus on housing, climate, urban design, and transportation, the Code Evaluation is relevant to all Portlanders. Watch this great summary video to catch up and join the workshop meeting online Tuesday, 1/11, 4:00 PM. Please email planning@portlandmaine.gov for information on translation.  Español - Français - Português - العربية

January 14: Sustainability Zoom Chat: Coffee and Climate, Coastal Resilience
The next Coffee and Climate virtual chat is coming up Friday, January 14 at 9:00 AM. Hosted by the One Climate Future team, this event provides a regular time for community members to meet with the Portland and South Portland Sustainability Offices. This month the conversation will center on coastal resilience. Learn more and register.

Friends of Woodfords Corner wins MDC 2021 Downtown Project Award
Congratulations to Friends of Woodfords Corner for winning the 2021 Project of the Year Award from Maine Downtown Center! Working with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and their “Imagine People Here" Project, and the City of Portland, Friends of Woodfords Corner installed a demonstration project around the intersection of Deering Avenue and Revere Street with the goal of calming traffic flow and creating a safer space for pedestrian crossing. All of the MDC awardees will be celebrated at the virtual MDC Annual Awards Celebration on January 27 event. Learn more and register here.

Applications Now Available: Maine Property Tax Deferral Program
In 2021 the Maine Legislature reinstated this property tax deferral program to help seniors and the fully disabled stay in their homes and age in place. For qualified and approved applicants, the State of Maine will pay the property taxes each year. The state will place a lien on the property and all deferred taxes (and accrued interest) are repaid to the state when the property is sold or the applicant passes away. Find the full qualification requirements here. Applications must be filed with the Assessor's Office between January 1 and April 1 each year. Please refer any questions to: Maine Property Services, Property Tax Division, 207-624-5600 or prop.tax@maine.gov.

Winter Recreation Updates
Winter has returned to Portland and there is so much to do! The Parks and Recreation's Winter Recreation page has details about where to go, what to do and what the conditions are. Please check out their interactive map - up to date info for sledding, skiing and skating conditions throughout our parks.

Update: KNOW SNOW ❄️Sidewalk Snow Removal
There is a new salt and sand shed in the parking lot of Deering Oaks in addition to the one at Payson Park; available to all Portland residents, two 5 gallon pails per residence.

Our sidewalk snow removal ordinance requires business owners to remove snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property 12 hours following a winter storm, and residential owners to clear snow and ice abutting their property 18 hours following the end of a storm or when the City finishes snow removal operations, whichever is later. There are fines associated with violations to this ordinance. Learn more here. 

We encourage you to help your neighbors who are physically unable (elderly and disabled) to clear their sidewalks. Elderly and disabled residents who need help with removing snow from sidewalks should contact the City’s Elder Services Department at 207-541-6620. A minimum of four feet is required to be clear of snow and treated for ice on all public sidewalks and sidewalk access ramps. Snow cannot be pushed or dumped from driveways and parking lots onto public access sidewalks and access ramps. 

Please help the Portland Fire Department by keeping your neighborhood fire hydrants clear of snow and ice; the City currently has 1460 public hydrants. Citizens are also encouraged to help Public Works by clearing catch basins and storm drains in front of their homes to help prevent water ponding on their streets and in their driveway openings.

Volunteers Needed! Snow Shoveling for Elderly Neighbors
Can you shovel snow for an elderly neighbor this winter? The Age-Friendly Portland Steering Committee is in need of volunteers – specifically in the North Deering and Riverton neighborhoods. Learn more or volunteer by contacting: Linda Weare, Office of Elder Affairs, 207-541-6620, agefriendlycommunity@portlandmaine.gov. 

Work With Us
We currently have multiple job openings across a variety of departments. For more information, visit: www.portlandmaine.gov/jobs.

**Construction Project Updates & Traffic Alerts**

January 11 and 12: DPW Sewer Investigation on Free Street
Starting Tuesday, January 11, DPW contractor, Vortex Companies, will begin a sewer investigation on Free Street between Center Street and Congress Street; the work is scheduled to last for two days between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Motorists should expect some minor delays driving through the work zone. Please seek alternate routes if possible. Parking will be restricted on the south side of Free Street during these two days, 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, in order to move traffic around the work zone. Learn more.

Update: Fore Street - Eastern Promenade Sewer Separation Project
Good progress continues by the City's contractor on the installation of new combined sewer lines and storm drains on Fore Street; project work is currently approaching the intersection of Waterville Street. Fore Street will remain closed to through traffic for the time being to allow project work to continue efficiently and safely; please continue to use an alternate route to get to Munjoy Hill. The contractor plans to work throughout the winter in order to expedite the completion of the project. Learn more.

Update: Brighton Avenue Sewer Separation Project
Construction work concluded for the season as of 12/23/21 and the work zone has been temporarily winterized to be operationally functional over the winter. Any issues with temporary sidewalks and roadway patches will be addressed by the contractor over the winter; curb, sidewalk, and landscape restoration will continue in the Spring and final paving work starting in early April 2022. Learn more.



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