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City News Round Up: Friday, March 4, 2022
Please check our agenda center for the full schedule of upcoming Committees, Boards, and Commission meetings. The next City Council meeting is on Monday, March 7, at 5:00 PM. The full Charter Commission meets Wednesday, March 9 at 6:00 PM. View the full Meeting Calendar.
TONIGHT! First Friday Art Walk
First Friday returns tonight, 5-8PM! Join in a free self-guided tour of local art galleries, studios, museums, alt art venues and more. See the list of participating locations and download the map via Creative Portland.
City Council Updates and Upcoming Agenda Preview
Visit our website to read the recap of the February 28 City Council meeting.
Here is a preview of the March 7 meeting:
5 Business Licenses - Public comment taken
COMMUNICATION: In-Person Public Meetings - As a communication this item requires no public comment or formal Council action.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS - Public comment taken
Order 89-21/22 Amendment to the Portland City Code Chapter 18 Re: Bedford Park renamed Noyes Park
Order 150-21/22 Approving the Purchase/Sale Agreement w/ Dorothy Hale for Property at 834 Riverside Street, Accepting a $23,000 Donation from Allagash Brewing Co. for that Purchase, and Placing that Land in the Portland Land Bank
Order 151-21/22 Traffic Schedule Amendment Re: 101 York Street
Order 152-21/22 Approving Agreements between the Maine DOT and the City of Portland Re: Forest Avenue Paving
Order 153-21/22 Amendment to Portland City Code Chapter 14 Re: Height Bonus in India Street Form-Based Code Zone
Order 160-21/22 Approving Agreement between EVgo Services LLC and Portland Re: Electric Vehicle Charging Stations - Public comment taken
FIRST READS: No public comment as there is no action
Order 161-21/22 Accepting + Appropriating $37,500 in Donations for Portland Youth Corps
Order 162-21/22 Approving Maine Public Employees Retirement System Special Plan 3C for Certain Non-Union Employees
Order 163-21/22 Authorizing General Obligation Bonds to Finance a Portion of the City's Fiscal Year 2023 Capital Improvement Program in an Amount not to Exceed $21,145,000
Order 165-21/22 Approving Three-Party Agreement between Portland Area Comprehensive Traffic System, Maine DOT and the City of Portland Re: Improvements to Cumberland Avenue
City Expands Eligibility Requirements for Portland Growing Child Care Grant Program
We’re expanding eligibility requirements for the Portland Growing Child Care Grant Program (PGCC), made possible with American Rescue Plan Act funds. Existing centers – including home-based providers, and out of school providers (before and after school) serving less than 75 children are eligible to apply for up to $11,000 in grants to help sustain and grow their businesses. This is an increase from the previous requirements that only centers serving less than 50 children were eligible. New home-based child care businesses can still apply for up to $15,500 in grants to help them with startup costs. Learn more.
Public Health Begins Fentanyl Test Strip Distribution
Our Public Health staff began distributing fentanyl test strips to clients on March 3 as part of their harm reductions services. Fentanyl test strips are a harm reduction strategy aimed at reducing fatal overdoses from drug supplies which contain fentanyl. The test strips are not 100% accurate in detecting fentanyl due to the binding properties of the chemical compound, but are a proven effective strategy. When used and interpreted correctly, and in combination with other harm reduction strategies, fentanyl test strips reduce the occurrence of fatal overdose due to fentanyl contamination.
Nomination Papers Due March 21 for Two School Board Seats - Looking for District 5 Candidates
Nomination papers are still available for two School Board seats for the special June 14 municipal election. Signatures are due March 21. Details here. We currently have no one who has picked up papers to run for the District 5 seat.
March 11 - Coffee and Climate: Beneficial Electrification
Join our Sustainability team, along with special guest Joel Rosenberg from Rewiring America, to discuss beneficial electrification and upcoming opportunities for Portland and South Portland residents. Coffee chat starts at 9AM! Grab a warm beverage and the Zoom link here.
Graffiti Removal Update
We're pleased to announce that we are now working with Audet Enterprises for graffiti removal in the city. Since January 1, Audet has been out and about removing graffiti from private properties throughout Portland. We'd also like to thank LearningWorks for a successful 15-year partnership; they've helped ensure a smooth transition. Portland property owners can complete the graffiti removal authorization form to receive graffiti removal services at no cost. Please report any and all graffiti via SeeClickFix: portlandmaine.gov/311.
East End Beach: Kayak and Dinghy Rack Rental Update
The pre-registration window for 2022 rack space rental will be from Monday, 2/28 through Friday, 3/11. After March 11, registration will be open for all and processed on a first come first served basis. Specific rack spaces cannot be guaranteed and will be assigned based on availability once registration and payment is received. Learn more.
Street Closure: St. Patrick's Day Parade, March 13
Commercial St will be closed to traffic starting at Center St down to the Maine State Pier, Noon to 1PM, on Sunday, March 13 for the return of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Cumberland County HOME Consortium Launches Fair Housing Study
The survey, open to all Cumberland County residents, will help identify public and private sector factors that may create barriers to housing choice and access to economic opportunity throughout the county. The survey can be found at www.research.net/r/CumberlandCounty2021AI until March 15. Learn more.
Real Estate Taxes Due: Friday, March 18
Visit our self service portal to view or pay your bill online. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-874-8490.
Tax Applications Available: Senior PStep & Maine Property Tax Deferral
Visit www.portlandmaine.gov/TaxRelief to learn more about both of these programs. The Senior PStep applications are now available online, and anyone that qualified in 2021 will automatically be mailed an application next week.
Portland Youth Corps Applications Open
The Portland Youth Corps program will open their Summer 2022 applications online beginning Monday, March 7 through Sunday, March 27, 2022. The program seeks to fill 26 volunteer positions, and is open to youth ages 14-17 who live in Portland. If you missed the Zoom info session you can watch the replay here. Contact Mike Vincent, email@example.com, with any questions.
Work With Us
We currently have multiple job openings across a variety of departments. For more information, visit: www.portlandmaine.gov/jobs. See how we are working together to serve the community with other local agencies -in this recent video.
Veranda Plan Update and Traffic Alert
The Maine DOT will be closing I-295 over Veranda St. in Portland the fourth weekend in April to accommodate the replacement of an aging interstate bridge. MaineDOT's Veranda Plan involves a full closure of the highway around Exit 9 from 7:00 PM on Friday, April 22 to 11:00 AM on Monday, April 25. Additionally, Route 1/Veranda St. (under the bridge) will be closed for a full week, starting at 2:00 PM on Monday, April 18 through 2:00 PM on Monday, April 25.
Current reminder to drivers: Veranda St/Route 1 in Portland was converted to two-way traffic in August 2021. Although this traffic pattern was put in place back in August, winter plowing and weather conditions have made the yellow paint lines on the road hard to see. There have been numerous instances of people driving in the wrong lane when making the left turn onto the I-295 on-ramp. MaineDOT is updating signage to remind drivers to keep right, and coordinating a repaint and maintenance of the yellow lane lines. Learn more.