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Posted on: December 30, 2021

City News Round Up: Friday, December 31, 2021

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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 Monday, January 3 at 5:00 PM; a City Council Workshop will be held Monday, January 5 at 5:00 PM to discuss Shelter Licensing. View the full Meeting Calendar.

Upcoming City Hall Closure: Happy New Year!
All City of Portland offices will be closed for the New Year holiday on Friday, December 31. Trash and Recycling pick up will take place as usual New Year's Eve Day, 12/31. View the full holiday collection schedule.⁠ Please email any Holiday Collection questions to: solidwaste@portlandmaine.gov.

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.

City Council Update
Following the December 20 Council meeting (watch the meeting recording), the City’s Emergency Order remains in effect; the Emergency Order & Mask Mandate discussion will continue at the January 3 Council meeting, and the agenda will be posted next week. In the meantime, please continue to follow our Stay the Course guidance: wear a mask to protect your community, get vaccinated and get your booster shot. Visit staythecourse.me to learn more. Additionally, the new minimum wage goes into effect January 1, 2022. Hazard pay is required when the Emergency Order is in effect. To learn more, click here. To submit public comment for Council agenda items, please email publiccomment@portlandmaine.gov. To email the Council directly, email council@portlandmaine.gov.

TreeCycling - Don’t throw away your tree, recycle it! Jan 1-31, 2022
After the holidays 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.

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. 


Land Use Code Evaluation - Translated Versions Now Available
A detailed review of the City’s land use code was released last week as part of ReCode Portland. The review and recommendations contained within a Land Use Code Evaluation are based on the goals and vision of the city’s comprehensive plan, Portland’s Plan 2030, broad public input received on Portland’s Plan and during previous phases of the project, and technical analysis of the existing code.

Please share your feedback on the Code Evaluation! The evaluation will be available for public comment through December and January, when the City anticipates a public forum on the recommendations. The evaluation can be read, downloaded, and commented on at www.recodeportland.me/code-evaluation.

**Translated versions now available, please email planning@portlandmaine.gov for translation services: Español - Français - Portuguêsالعربية.

New Rapid PCR COVID-19 Testing Open Now at the Portland Jetport
A new rapid PCR COVID-19 testing site is now open daily, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, at the Portland International Jetport. This service is available to both passengers and the general public; no insurance necessary. Once the patient completes the test, results are delivered efficiently and quickly to patients. Visit curative.com to make an appointment.

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.
Updated Health and Safety Requirements for City Indoor Facilities
We announced updated safety protocols for events at City-owned indoor facilities to include proof of vaccination for all ages five and older. These changes will go into effect on January 1, 2022, and will continue to be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Learn more

Portland Seeks a New City Clerk
We’ll soon be seeking a new City Clerk following the news that current City Clerk Kathy Jones is set to retire on July 1, 2022 after 13 years of public service. Jones formally submitted her intentions on December 6, 2021, and cited her eagerness to spend more time with her family, especially her young grandchildren. Full story.

In Case You Missed It: Annual District Meeting Recordings
A big thank you to everyone who attended our annual district meetings! These meetings wrapped up this week, but you can watch the recordings anytime if you missed your meeting. Find the meeting recordings here.

January 2022: Mercy Hospital Emergency Department to Relocate
Northern Light Mercy Hospital will open their new emergency department at 175 Fore River Parkway in Portland at 4:00 AM on January 4, 2022; the existing emergency department at 144 State Street in Portland will close the same day. The new emergency department will feature a dedicated parking lot for patients, offering quick access to care. Learn more.

Know Snow: Sidewalk Snow Removal
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. 

Members of the community are encouraged to help the Portland Fire Department by keeping their 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.

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**


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.

MTA Work: Holm Avenue Drainage Improvements
Maine Turnpike Authority will be doing work to provide benefits to Holm Avenue abutters to remedy drainage issues when there is heavy rainfall. The drainage ditch improvements will help drain the water towards the MTA ditch rather than their backyards. Learn more.

New: Baxter Boulevard Closure Extended, Spring 2022 
The current Baxter Boulevard Closure from Dartmouth St to Preble St, as well as Dartmouth St at Ricker Park, will remain closed until the Spring of 2022, allowing crews to continue the sanitary sewer and storm drain utility installation work up Dartmouth St to the point of the current closure. The intent is to re-open the section of Baxter Boulevard from Vannah Ave to Preble Stt and close Dartmouth St after paving plants open in April. Additional work done now will decrease the amount of time that Dartmouth St is fully closed next Spring. Learn more.   

Baxter Boulevard Traffic Impacts 
Baxter Boulevard from Payson Park to Dartmouth St is closed. Vannah Avenue is closed from Clifton St to Baxter Boulevard. This closure is scheduled to last until December 2022. Back Cove Trail is open during the entire construction project. Full details.


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