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City News Round Up: Friday, April 29, 2022
Please check our agenda center for the full schedule of upcoming Committees, Boards, and Commission meetings. The next City Council meeting is Monday, May 2, at 5:00 PM. Read the recap of the April 25 City Council meeting; view the full Meeting Calendar here.
City Council: Upcoming Agenda Preview
Find the preview of the May 2 meeting agenda at the bottom of this news update or use the link above to read the full agenda.
Upcoming Treatment for Browntail Moth Infestation in Deering Oaks
A winter survey of the trees within Deering Oaks Park showed results that were improved from last year, but still concerning in the regards of potential Browntail Moth exposure and additional tree decline. During the week of May 16-20, the Parks Department will be treating infested trees with an organic insecticide through ground spraying/misting into the canopy. The Portland Farmers’ Market will move to Payson Park during the treatment. Starting May 16, residents can visit the market in Payson Park; the market will continue to operate out of Payson Park through June 12 (only four weeks this year, as opposed to six weeks last year). Learn more about browntail moth treatment.
City to Expand Free Community Composting; Read Survey Results
Last week we announced plans to expand our free composting program, adding three more Portland neighborhoods to the program. In 2021, our composting pilot program successfully removed approximately seven tons of food waste from the general waste stream each month. See the recent composting survey results here, or read the full news update.
S&P Updates Credit Rating for Portland to AAA
We received exceptional news from Standard & Poor's Global Ratings ("S&P") last weekend. The S&P raised its credit rating on all of Portland, Maine's general obligation debt up to 'AAA' from 'AA+'. This elevates the City of Portland rating to the highest available measure of creditworthiness from S&P. Learn more about our improved credit rating.
Spring Yard Waste Collection: April 25-May 6
It’s that time of year again! The Annual spring curbside collection of leaf bags/yard waste is going on now through Friday, May 6. 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! Learn more about spring yard waste collection..
May 4: Public Restrooms - Online Forum
The City of Portland, Portland Downtown and the Portland Society for Architecture invite the public to participate in a forum discussing the proposed locations for public restrooms in Downtown Portland. The forum will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, May 4 at 5:30PM. Learn more and register here.
Thanks for Sharing! Read the Better Bikeways Feedback
Our second Better Bikeways questionnaire generated a lot of enthusiasm for and input on creating better bikeways in Portland. We heard which pilot project candidates should be priorities for 2022 implementation, preferences for bikeway treatments for the pilots and also preferences for bikeway configurations for specific streets. See the results of our bikeways questionnaire.
Portland Wins America’s Best Bus Stop!
One of our very own Portland, ME bus stops has won Streetsblog USA’s award for America’s Best Bus Stop! Local artist Ebenezer Akakpo, an immigrant from Ghana, applied a beautiful public art installation to one of Greater Portland Metro’s most popular bus stops at 519 Congress Street. Ebenezer’s "Hope and Friendship" installation surpassed bus stops in Baltimore, Norwalk, Juneau, and Boston to claim the inaugural title of Best Bus Stop in the USA.
Real Estate Taxes - Now Past Due
Property taxes were due March 18, 2022. Visit our self service portal to view or pay your bill online. Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-874-8490.
Jetport Runway Closure Started Monday, April 18
The primary runway at the Jetport is now closed until June 13. All air traffic in and out of the Jetport will be operating on the airport's secondary north-south runway. This will lead to a significant change in air traffic over Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, and Westbrook. Learn more about the runway closure.
May 10: Info Session ME Office of Tourism Destination Management PlanDon't miss this opportunity to weigh in! As part of a state-wide Tourism Master Plan, the Maine Office of Tourism is traveling throughout the state hosting listening sessions and will be at Hannaford Hall on the USM Portland Campus on Tuesday, May 10. Learn more about tourism, and register.
ReCode Portland Summary and Next Steps
After three months of great feedback, summarized here, the ReCode Portland team is using the public input received to draft changes to the land use code in the form of text and map amendments. They will make draft code amendments broadly available for public review, and then initiate another round of public engagement to collect additional feedback. Please continue sharing your thoughts! Contact them via email: email@example.com, and stay tuned for updates at recodeportland.me throughout the coming months.
Age-Friendly Portland Survey
The Age-Friendly Portland Steering Committee is conducting an anonymous survey of Portland residents aged 60 years and older. The survey takes 15-30 minutes to complete and responses will guide the work of Age-Friendly Portland into the future. Topics include transportation, community support and services, housing, outdoor space and buildings, civic participation, social inclusion and more. Take the survey here, or to request a paper version call 207-541-6620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Charter Commission Timeline
The Charter Commission will present their preliminary report for the City Council by May 9, with a communication expected to be on the May 16 City Council agenda. The final report is to be submitted to Council on July 11, 2022. Learn more about the Charter Commission.
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.
Parks and Recreation Updates
Riverside Golf Course opened Monday, April 18; players can book online or by calling the pro shop. Summer Camp registration is also open! View the full Recreation program guide here, and read all the Parks updates via their April newsletter.
Construction Update for Mackworth, Ocean, Walton and Sawyer Streets
Gorham Sand & Gravel has returned to this project site to complete work over the next few months. They will first work on curbing, ADA ramps, and raising manhole structures on Walton St. then move to Sawyer St. In late June, and into July, the contractor will start to prep Ocean Ave, Walton St. and Sawyer St. for surface paving and lane stripping. The majority of the work will be completed by the end of July. Read the full details.
Brighton Avenue Road Work Resumed Monday, April 18
Construction work will resume on Brighton Avenue between Rand Road and Capisic Street next week as part of the Brighton Avenue Sewer Separation Project. This final project work is anticipated to last approximately two months. Motorists should expect delays when driving through the work zone and are encouraged to seek alternate routes around the project area. Full details on Brighton Ave work.
Congress Square Redesign 4/28 Update
The work of the major overhaul of Congress Square continues with work at the corner of Free Street and Congress, in front of the Portland Museum of Art. This is the most complex portion of the work, providing a new alignment of Free Street and making the intersection much more pedestrian-friendly. This work should be complete in early Summer of 2022, followed by work on the remaining three corners of the intersection. All work should be completed by June 30, 2023.
Learn more about the Congress Sq redesign project.
Congress Street Gas Main Work: April 18 to May 27
Unitil will be working on Congress St from High St to State St starting April 18 to approximately May 27. Parking will be disrupted in short sections and follow the crew excavations.
Monday, May 2 @ 5:00 PM
5:00 PM: Public comment period on non-agenda items
Appointments & 4 Licenses (Public Comment taken)
Budget Items (Public Comment taken)
FIRST READ: Fiscal Year 2023 School Budget
**A second read and Public Hearing will take place Monday, May 16, 2022 at
5:30PM. The referendum election on the school budget will be held Tuesday, June 14, 2022.
Communications (No public comment or formal Council action)
Com 20-21/22 Mayor Snyder's Comments on the City Manager's FY23 Recommended Budget
Com 21-21/22 Update on Food Truck Operations on the Eastern Prom
Unfinished Business (Public Comment taken)
Order 228-21/22 Granting Central Maine Power Easement for Presumpscot School
Order 231-21/22 Approving Agreement between City of Portland, the Greater Portland Council of Governments, and the MEDOT Re: Portland-Libbytown Safety and Accessibility Project