Community Newsletter

Issue #330

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In this Issue:

Upcoming City Council Meetings

Tuesday, March 14 at 6:30 PM - City Council Workshop (hybrid)
Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 PM - City Council Meeting (hybrid)

See the City Calendar for all scheduled City Council and board meetings + locations/links to participate. All agendas and packet material can be found on BoardDocs. This material will be posted by 4:30 PM on Friday the week prior to the scheduled meeting. See summaries of past Council meetings here.

Upcoming Budget Meetings & Votes

March 21, 2023 - School and City budgets will be posted to the City website no later than this date.

April 4, 2023 at 6:30 PM - The City Manager and School Superintendent will present their respective budget proposals to the City Council. The public has up to 3 minutes each to comment at this meeting.

April 11, April 25, May 9 (tentative) and May 23, 2023 at 6:30 PM - Additional budget information will be discussed. The public has up to 3 minutes each to comment at these meetings.

May 16, 2023 - City Council will vote on the final School budget.

June 13, 2023 - Voters (you!) decide fate of School budget at this June referendum. Absentee ballots may now be requested by calling the City Clerk’s office at (207) 767-3201. All voting will take place at the South Portland Community Center. This polling place will be open from 7 AM - 8 PM.

June 20, 2023 - City Council gives final approval to the City portion of the budget.

News From City Council

  • This week, the South Portland City Council sent a letter to Senator King, Senator Collins, Congresswoman Pingree, and Congressman Golden expressing their support for the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2023. The Act would allow asylum seekers to get work authorization as quickly as 30 days after applying for asylum, instead of the 6+ months they currently need to wait under federal law.
  • This week Council passed a proclamation recognizing March 8, 2023 as International Women's Day in the City of South Portland.
  • Council also adopted a resolve condemning anti-Semitism.
  • And Mayor Kate Lewis (pictured above) was the guest on the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) podcast discussing the City's housing and sustainability initiatives. Listen to the show on Spotify here.
To stay informed on City Council activities, visit BoardDocs on the City's website to view agendas and join Council meetings live (remotely or in-person), or check out the Council Meeting Summaries web page.

Cottage Road Project:
Spring-Summer 2023

Construction alert: Pedestrian improvements along Cottage Rd will begin in March at Highland Avenue and extend to the Cape Elizabeth line. The work includes road resurfacing, new sidewalks and curbs, drainage improvements, new flashing beacons, and more. The road should remain open during the work, but delays should be expected. Residents should seek alternative routes when possible.

Working for the City:
Survey & Job Opportunities

We want to hear from you! Our Human Resources department is conducting a public survey to better understand what might inspire local community members to work for the City. Please share your feedback by completing the short survey.

Join our team! The City of South Portland offers competitive pay and a robust selection of employee benefits, including an excellent health plan with affordable family coverage, matched retirement options, dental, vision, life, income protection, long term disability, flexible spending accounts and more. The City of South Portland is proud of its talented and dedicated workforce and provides employees with inspiring leadership; stability; a positive, family-friendly workplace where work/life needs are valued and supported; and the support, encouragement and tools for successful careers. The City of South Portland values diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and embraces sustainable operations. Come join our team dedicated to service excellence! Click here to browse current job opportunities.

100 Resilient Yards: Accepting Applications!

We’re revitalizing South Portland, one yard at a time! The City of South Portland Sustainability Department is excited to announce the launch of “100 Resilient Yards,” a program to promote the transformation of 100 properties into resilient, organic landscapes founded on healthy soils.

Residents, organizations, and/or businesses with properties that display issues such as soil compaction, erosion, grubs, flooding, lack of soil nutrients, weeds, and/or invasive species can apply to participate. Our partners will provide a technical assessment for each property along with recommendations to implement an organic lawn, vegetable, rain, or pollinator garden, and/or native-planted landscapes. Next, our trained volunteers will provide a follow up with resources to help implement the recommendations, including some combination of compost, native plants/shrubs/trees, vegetable seeds and seedlings, and raised bed vegetable gardens as a starter kit.

The program is free and applications are open through April 1 at: https://tinyurl.com/100-Resilient-Yards. This project is supported by grant funding from Healthy Babies, Bright Futures, Beyond Pesticides, Maine Coastal Communities, the Davis Conservation Foundation, as well as in-kind donations.

Upcoming Events

For more information and updates, follow the Rotary Club Facebook page.
Update from the South Portland Food Cupboard's Battle of the Neighborhoods: "We just finished up week 3 of the Battle of the Neighborhoods and the competition is fierce! We have a 3-way tie for 2nd place with one week to go. We are at almost 10,000 pounds as of today and hope to have a big finish. Donations accepted through March 17!

Checking for Charity is South Portland Professional Fire Fighters Local 1476's biggest fundraising event of the year. All of the money raised is donated to charity, and this year's beneficiary is the Maine Cancer Foundation. Watch some exciting hockey all while supporting a great cause.

Please note the new date! View more Library events below.

South Portland in the News

  • Today, South Portland Parks, Recreation & Waterfront and Public Works departments are placing recycled Christmas trees on Willard Beach to restore dunes that were washed in the December 23 storm. The technique has been used successfully to rebuild dunes in other parts of the country, and is a pilot project for the City and state of Maine. Read the press release here, and watch this morning's news coverage here.
  • Here’s one example of the great outcomes that are possible when health professionals and police work together: South Portland Police Department (SPPD) credits Behavioral Health Liaison Amelia Smith with potentially saving a life last week. SPPD has had behavioral health liaisons on staff for five years, and the City is proud to be a leader in this approach. See SPPD's Facebook post here and watch the new story here.
  • SPPD is issuing new badges with a brand new design to all sworn Officers. The new badge replaces one that has been in use since the early 1970s, and is only the third badge in SPPD’s history. The new design pays homage to the earliest badge of record for South Portland is more inclusive to all those who wear it, as replaces the word “Patrolman” with “Officer.” Read the press release here, and read the Sentry story here.

Coming Up at the Library

  • Sat., March 11 at 10:30 AM: Birds of Prey: Our Talon-ted Friends. Learn about the birds of prey all around us. Open to all ages.
  • Weds., March 15 at 6:30 PM: Author Talk with Lisa Beecher. Join local author Lisa Beecher, in conversation with Bruce Coffin, as she discusses her new book, Living With Mr. Fahrenheit.
  • Sat., March 18 at 2 PM: Author Talk with Elizabeth Lydia Bodner. Local author Bodner will be discussing her new book Unforgettable: Ages on End. Books will be available for purchase.
  • Fri., March 24 at 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM: Nature Storytime: Raccoons - South Portland Park Ranger Sydney will be visiting the library to read stories and do activities all about raccoons!
  • Thurs., March 30 at 6 PM: Author Talk with Jule Selbo- Local author Jule Selbo will be discussing her new book 9 Days. She will be joined in conversation with local writer and comedian Anna Conathan.
  • Sat., April 15 9 AM-12 PM (save the date!): Community Shredding Day. Bring your sensitive documents to be shredded in the Mobile Shredding Truck at the South Portland Public Library Parking Lot! Limit 2 containers of PERSONAL shredding only.
Congratulations to our state champions, the South Portland Red Riots basketball team!
  • Sat., March 11 at 12:30 PM - South Portland/Freeport/Wainfleet Varsity Boys Hockey state championship game at the Cross Insurance Arena.
  • (Various dates) - Additional High School Sporting Events
  • Mon., March 13 at 6 PM - Regular Meeting & Budget Presentation
  • Thurs., March 16, Thurs., March 23 & Mon., March 27 - Budget meetings
  • Weds., May 10 - SPSH Career Fair - email Sheree Inman at inmansh@spsdme.org or call 767-3266 to get involved.
Some events are subject to change. Check spsd.org for up-to-date information.

Conservation Corner

Submitted by Barbara Dee, Chair of the Conservation Commission

The Conservation Commission is excited to work on rehabilitating Trout Brook through a City culvert replacement project. The committee will be teaming with Fred Dillon and Lacey Kremer from the Water Resource Protection Department, Alex Abbott (Stream Water Restoration Consultant), Matt Craig (Casco Bay Estuary Partnership), Cape Elizabeth Conservation Committee, Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, and South Portland Land Trust in an effort to secure federal funding offered through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant program for large stream restoration projects. Please check out this link to view the project overview Fred and Lacey presented at the Conservation Commission’s March 6th meeting and stay tuned for further developments!
Hello, my name is Shara Dee and I'm very happy to serve as the City of South Portland's Communications Officer!

I'd love to hear your feedback on our newsletter and other City communications, so feel free to send me a note any time at news@southportland.org.
The City of South Portland Community E-Newsletter includes information about City sponsored events, projects, and special announcements from South Portland's non-profit community. It is a compilation of the best available information at the time of publication. Events are subject to change without notice in the time between publication of this e-newsletter and the actual event. To send information to be considered for inclusion into this newsletter, send to news@southportland.org.
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