To translate this News Round Up, click here to view in browser.
City News Round Up: Friday, February 11, 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, February 28, at 5:00 PM. View the full Meeting Calendar.
Upcoming Holiday Closure
All City buildings will be closed on Monday, February 21 in observance of Presidents’ Day. There is no change to trash and recycling collection.
Portland City Council Meeting Recap
On Monday February 7, the Portland City Council unanimously passed an amendment banning the sale of flavored tobacco; the ban goes into effect on June 1, 2022. The Council also voted 7-2 to repeal the City’s current mask mandate; the repeal takes effect February 17. Repealing this mask mandate does not preclude the Council from considering mask mandate proposals in the future, nor does it prohibit businesses or organizations from continuing to impose their own mask requirements should they choose to do so. Learn more here and visit www.portlandmaine.gov/agendas to watch a recording of the meeting.
Upcoming City Council Workshops
The Council is scheduled to discuss below topics at upcoming workshops; visit www.portlandmaine.gov/agendas to find the Zoom information for each meeting.
Sound Study & Outdoor Entertainment Licensing: Wednesday, 2/16 at 5:00 PM
Creation of a Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Thursday, 2/24 at 5:00 PM
2/15: Mayor’s Monthly Zoom
Join Mayor Kate Snyder on Tuesday, February 15 at 4:00 PM for her monthly Zoom chat; an opportunity for residents to get recent updates from the Mayor and discuss any issues. Find Zoom details here.
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, 2022. Learn more.
Request for Proposals: Food Concessions Operations at Deering Oaks
We issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) this week to select an experienced and qualified food service vendor to lease and operate the café concession at the historic Castle-in-the-Park in Deering Oaks. Proposals must be received by Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 3:00 PM. Learn more. Built in 1894, the Castle was originally designated as a warming hut for skaters in the winter and included provision of cocoa and snacks. Over the years, food service, concessions and even paddle boat rentals operated out of the Castle.
Better Bikeways Initiative: Share Your Ideas through February 17!
Have you shared your input on the Better Bikeways Initiative yet? The Planning and Urban Development Department recently launched two new online tools to collect community input on local bikeways: a questionnaire and a crowdsourcing mapping tool. They have had a great response so far, and residents have until 2/17 to share input! Learn more and share your ideas here.
Recode Portland Survey: We want your input!
We're also still looking for your feedback on our recently-released land use code evaluation! Learn about the code evaluation and tell us what you think of its recommendations. Take the survey.
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.
Winter Overnight Parking Reminders
With repeated winter snowstorms taking place, please follow the overnight street maintenance signs that are in effect on peninsula and near USM. Our Public Works crews will use those restrictions to remove and push back snow following a storm. Cars not in compliance with the City's Street Maintenance Signs will be subject to towing. Learn more.
Nomination Papers Available for June Special Municipal Election
Last week the City Clerk alerted Portland residents that nomination papers were made available starting on Monday, 2/7/22 for the June 14, 2022 Special Municipal Election. Papers can be taken out via the City Clerk's Office at City Hall, please use the Myrtle Street entrance. Masks are required. Learn more.
Volunteers Needed: St. Patrick's Day Parade, March 13
After a two-year absence - save the date for the return of the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday, March 13! The parade will start at Noon on Commercial Street. Volunteers are needed as flag bearers, traffic control, and more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Real Estate Taxes Due: Friday, March 18
Please visit selfservice.portlandmaine.gov to find your bill or check amounts due.
Any questions can be directed to email@example.com 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.
Maine Property Tax Deferral: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Recreation Updates
The Playground crew has been working diligently to resurface ice skating rinks this week and announced all ponds are ready for skaters! Be sure to bookmark the Parks and Recreation's Winter Recreation page where you can find details about where to go, what to do. Don’t miss their interactive conditions map - up to date info for sledding, skiing and skating conditions throughout our parks.
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.
Paid Positions on our Elections Team
We are grateful to all past and present poll workers who have aided in our efforts to execute the duties of electing our leaders. We are hiring for important roles needed on Election Day; no experience is necessary, and training will be provided. You do not need to be a Portland resident to apply. Learn more.