Community Newsletter

Issue #331

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In this Issue:

Upcoming City Council Meetings

Tuesday, March 28 at 6:30 PM - City Council Workshop (hybrid)
Tuesday, April 4 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.

City Council Goals

During a meeting this month, South Portland City Council adopted goals for the year from their February 14, 2023 Goal Setting Workshop. Broadly, the ten goals are (in no particular order):
  • Increasing Housing
  • Improve Social Services and Social Justice
  • Be Fiscally Responsible
  • Advocate for City Priorities
  • Complete Existing Initiatives
  • Prioritize and Strengthen Workshops
  • Improve Communication with Residents
  • Support City Staff
    Support Committees
  • Focus on the Environment

Notice from South Portland Bus Service

There will be no bus service on Sunday, April 9 (Easter Sunday).

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

Share your feedback by taking this short survey. 

Browse current job opportunities with the City here.

100 Resilient Yards: Apply by April 1!

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

View more Library events below.

Please note the new date! View more Library events below.
Lyric Music Theater presents Curtains, March 24-April 8, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:00. ASL interpreted performance April 16.
It’s the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theater is host to the opening night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage the entire cast and crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical theater fan and the backstage mayhem commences! Curtains was the last collaboration of John Kander and Frank Ebb, the composers of such hits as "Chicago" and "Cabaret."

The South Portland Land Trust (SPLT) has partnered with Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and SoPo Trees to offer free fruit trees available for SPLT members during the SPLT’s Earth Day Celebration. Trees will be available after a MOFGA-run Fruit Tree Grafting class at the South Portland Community Center on Sunday, April 23rd–concluding SPLT’s Earth Day Celebration. SPLT members can request up to eight trees by contacting Dana Bettez, SPLT Membership and Engagement Manager, via email at dana@sopolandtrust.org or on the Land Trust website. Please include the number of trees you’d like to pick up, your name, contact information, and address. One does not need to be signed up for the grafting class to receive the trees.

Homeownership Opportunity

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland is looking for families to own new homes in FREEPORT and STANDISH. Habitat homes are affordable, energy-efficient and for people who never thought they could own a home!

Think you don’t qualify? A family of four can earn up to $89,350 in Freeport or $73,255 in Standish! Future homeowners must make a minimum of $30,000 but no more than 80% of the area median income and demonstrate a need for affordable housing, an ability to pay a low interest mortgage, and a willingness to partner with Habitat. You can apply for either or both towns – we just need a separate application for each location.

How to Apply:
  1. Download an application or request a mailed copy online at https://habitatportlandme.org/apply/ OR pick it up at 659 Warren Avenue, Portland, ME
  2. Ask questions and get help filling out your application - group sessions or one-on-one meetings available.
  3. Completed applications due by noon on April 5, 2023 for Standish and noon on April 19, 2023 for Freeport.
Questions? Email Family Services Director, Molly, at molly@habitatme.org or call 207-772-2151 x 104.

South Portland in the News

  • This month, the South Portland Community Center hosted Portland Youth Dance's "The Exchange," a friendly hip hop dance battle. This was the return of the annual event after a pause due to the pandemic. Read more in the Press Herald article, "Hip Hop Battles Celebrate the Love of Dance."
  • Last weekend, South Portland firefighters hosted their annual charity hockey game, "Checking for Charity." Proceeds from the event will go to the Maine Cancer Foundation, which helps families handle grief and recovery from cancer. Watch the News Center Maine story.

Coming Up at the Library

  • 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.
  • Mon., April 3 at 2 PM: Keeping the Keys Workshop -  Join us for a Keeping the Keys Workshop, a free hour- long presentation that will help older drivers and their families plan to keep mature drivers on the road for as long as safely possible. Registration is required. Call 767-7660 ext. 5 or visit the Main Library.
  • Sat., April 15 9 AM-12 PM: 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.
  • Various dates -  High School Sporting Events
  • Mon., March 27 - Budget Workshop
  • Weds., March 29 - Budget Special Meeting
  • Mon., April 10 - Regular Meeting: Monday, April 10, 2023
  • Weds., May 10 - SPHS Career Fair - email Sheree Inman at inmansh@spsdme.org or call 767-3266 to get involved.
  • Thurs., May 18 - SPHS Hiring Fair
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
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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