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City News Round Up: Friday, March 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, March 21, at 5:00 PM. View the full Meeting Calendar. Visit our website to read the summary of actions from the March 7, 2022 City Council meeting.
March 13: Street Closure for St. Patrick's Day Parade
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.
March 15 Last Call: 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.
March 18: Real Estate Taxes Due
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.
March 22: Mayor’s Monthly Zoom
Join Mayor Kate Snyder Tuesday, March 22 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
Electrify Everything! Sustainability Program Launches
A new sustainability program launched this week in an effort to reduce Portland’s collective carbon footprint as well as minimize energy costs for residents. The new program, Electrify Everything!, provides residents with exclusive discounts on solar panels and home heating appliances. ReVision Energy, our partner and local full-service solar company, is offering the following discounts to Portland property owners: $500 off solar installations, $250 off air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and home EV chargers, and up to $60,000 to help low-income households go solar. Learn more.
New Electric Vehicle Charging Network Provider: EVGo
This week we announced the selection of EVGo as our partner to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure on City-owned property. An industry leader, EVGo operates more than 800 EV fast charging stations in 34 states and the District of Columbia. This partnership will bring the installation of up to 44 Level-2 chargers and four DC fast chargers (serving eight parking spots) to Portland. Learn more.
Age Friendly Approved: Portland Museum of Art
The Portland Museum of Art received a Portland Age-Friendly designation this week. We're grateful for the work they have done to make the building and outdoor sculpture park open, accessible, inclusive, and welcoming for everyone, regardless of age or ability. Learn more.
March 14: Baxter Boulevard Wastewater Force Main Upgrade Begins
Construction to replace the Baxter Boulevard Wastewater Force Main will begin on Monday, 3/14 and be complete by Saturday, 4/30. The project will replace approximately 900 feet of wastewater pipe that was originally installed in the late 1970s. Portland Water District has partnered with Sargent Corporation to complete the construction. The construction will include excavation within the Back Cove walking trail; foot traffic will be redirected around the work area in order to maintain pedestrian access during construction. Since this is an environmentally sensitive area, temporary erosion control measures will be installed and maintained in accordance with the Maine DEP Erosion and Sediment Control Best Management Practices Manual. Please direct any questions to PWD project manager, Helen Newman, at 207-523-5279 or email@example.com.
Eligibility Expanded for Portland Growing Child Care Grant Program
Last week we expanded 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. 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.
District 5 School Board Candidates Needed: Nomination Papers Due 3/21
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.
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.
Portland Youth Corps Applications Open
Applications are now available for the Summer 2022 Portland Youth Corps program — now 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.
April Save the Date: 2022 Urban Runoff 5K Race
Be a stormwater hero and support clean water education in our community by participating in the Urban Runoff 5k! Join in person on April 23 in South Portland, or complete a 5k anywhere during the month of April. For more information and to register, visit www.urbanrunoff5k.com.
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.
Update: Back Cove South Storage Facility
Crews are continuing to progress on the Back Cove project. The concrete base of the diversion structure was poured and the walls have begun to form for the pipe connections; installation has started from the Exit 7 Franklin Street area towards the tanks. Current images of the project will show the tank 1 riser as well as the upper cross beam support that was placed this week. Learn more.
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. Reminder to drivers: Veranda St/Route 1 in Portland was converted to two-way traffic in August 2021.