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City News Round Up: Friday, April 22, 2022
Please check our agenda center for the full schedule of upcoming Committees, Boards, and Commission meetings. The next City Council meeting is Monday, April 25, at 5:00 PM. Read a recap of the April 11 City Council meeting; view the full Meeting Calendar here.
City Council: Upcoming Agenda Preview
Find the preview of the April 25 meeting agenda at the bottom of this news update or use the link above to read the full agenda.
**Major Traffic Alert** Veranda Street Bridge Replacement & 295 Closure
This weekend: I-295 north and south between Portland and Falmouth will be closed for the Veranda Street Bridge replacement taking place Friday, April 22 at 7:00 PM until Monday, April 25 at 11:00 AM. In advance, Veranda Street will be closed from 2:00 PM on Monday, April 18 to 2:00 PM on Monday, April 25. Please make a travel plan to avoid delays and traffic congestion. Visit Verandaplan.org for more information, including the purpose of the project and alternate routes during the closure. Learn about detours here.
Happy Earth Day! City to Expand Free Community Composting
In honor of Earth Day 2022, the City of Portland is happy to announce plans to expand the City's free composting program, adding three more Portland neighborhoods to the program. Our composting pilot program successfully removed approximately seven tons of food waste from the general waste stream each month. Read the full update.
Earth Day Community Clean Up Events This Weekend
Thanks to the team at PretiFlaherty; their 4th Annual Plogging event will be on Saturday 4/23, to clean up the Bayside into the Old Port area.
Saturday, April 23: Join Portland Parks Conservancy, 10:00-Noon, at the end of Marginal Way, under Tukey’s Bridge. Details.
Sunday, April 24: Join Cloudport, 9:00-11:00AM, for spring cleaning in the India Street Neighborhood. Trash pick up, sweeping, and good company (+ snacks!). Meet at 63 Federal Street.
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.
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.
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 will begin Monday, April 25 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.
Last Chance! Questionnaire: Better Bikeways Initiative
Our Better Bikeways Initiative has created a second questionnaire to gather your input; please share your preferences and priorities by Sunday evening, April 24. Your input will create specific bikeway treatments and potential pilot projects that may be able to be implemented as soon as this year. Take the questionnaire.
New Date! April 27: Mayor’s Monthly Zoom
Join Mayor Kate Snyder for her next Monthly Zoom on Wednesday, April 27 at 4:00 PM. This open Q&A is an opportunity for residents to learn more about recent updates and discuss any issues. Details and Zoom.
Street Sweeping Continues - We Need Your Help
Off-peninsula residents: The street sweepers are headed your way. Please use off-street parking as much as possible if it's available to you during this time; view the interactive map to see an estimated timeframe of when the sweepers will be in your area. This work will continue through late Spring, with sweepers on rotation after this first big push. Learn more.
On-peninsula and Nathan Clifford area residents: Street sweeping operations and regulations are in effect each year from October 1 - May 31. While street sweeping occurs throughout the year, these restrictions ensure that our crews can complete curb-to-curb sweeping as mandated by Maine DEP. The next few weeks are critical to their work and we must get compliance with the overnight and daytime street maintenance signs on your street. Ticketing and towing will occur for any non-compliance. Learn more.
Jetport Runway Closure Started Monday, April 18
The Portland International Jetport sent out a community reminder last week: their primary runway will be closed for 56 days, starting at 8:00 AM Monday, April 18. From April 18-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.
May 10: Info Session ME Office of Tourism Destination Management Plan
Don'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 here, 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 Commision Timeline
The Charter Commission will present their preliminary report for the City Council on May 9, 2022, with a final report 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.
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.
Congress Square Redesign Initial Construction Started April 18
Gordon Construction will begin the initial work of the major overhaul of Congress Square, at the intersection of Congress and High Street. This work will consist of moving materials on-site and deployment of construction signs, as well as removal of small traffic islands in the intersection. Phase A of the project will soon follow, including construction along the southeast corner of the intersection, temporarily impacting access to Free Street. Learn more.
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.
AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS Monday, April 25, 5:00 PM
CONSENT ITEMS | 19 LICENSES
Order 201-21/22 Declaring June 11, 2022 the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon & 5K Festival
Order 202-21/22 Declaring May 1 to October 31, 2022 the Friends of Congress Square Park In the Square Festival
Order 203-21/22 Declaring June 18, 2022 as Pride Portland! Parade & Festival
Order 204-21/22 Declaring July 30, 2022 the 20th Annual Greater Portland Festival of Nations
BUDGET ITEMS Public comment
Order 224-21/22 Receiving + Referring City Manager's Fiscal Year 2023 Municipal Budget to Finance Committee, Setting Date of Public Hearing On the Fiscal Year 2023 Municipal Budget and Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriation Resolve
COMMUNICATIONS - No public comment or formal Council action.
Com 18-21/22 Brown Tail Moth in Deering Oaks and a Treatment Plan (Year 2)
Com 19-21/22 Eastern Promenade Food Truck Operations
UNFINISHED BUSINESS Public comment
Reconsideration of Order 158-21/22 Granting Municipal Officers' Approval of Tuffy McNutt LLC, dba Black Cow. Application for Outdoor Dining in a Public Park at 83 Exchange Street
ORDERS Public comment (except Order 231-21/22)
Order 225-21/22 Approving Purchase/Sale Agreement With Maine Cooperative Development Partners Re: 622 Auburn Street, Portland and 0 Gray Road, Falmouth
Order 226-21/22 Approving the First Amendment to the Purchase and Sale Agreement with Maine Cooperative Development Partners Re: 165 Lambert Street
Order 227-21/22 Approving the Publication of a Request for Proposals for the Sale of the Former Fort McKinley Hospital Building, a Tax-Acquired Property at Diamond Cove
Order 228-21/22 Granting a Central Maine Power Easement for Presumpscot School
Order 229-21/22 Approving the Interlocal Agreement among Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District and Greater Portland Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System Regulated Entities
Order 230-21/22 Approving the Issuance of the Overlimit Permit Agreement to the Maine Department of Transportation
Order 231-21/22 FIRST READ Approving the Agreement between the City of Portland, Greater Portland Council of Governments, and the Maine Department of Transportation Re: Portland-Libbytown Safety and Accessibility Project