Community Newsletter

Issue #334

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In this Issue:
Photo: Russ Lunt

Upcoming City Council Meetings

Tuesday, May 9 at 6:30 PM - City Council Workshop (hybrid)
Tuesday, May 16 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

May 23, 2023 at 6:30 PM - Final budget workshop. Items that Councilors wished to add/delete/increase/decrease funding for were placed in the “parking lot,” which will be discussed and decided upon at this workshop. The public has up to 3 minutes each to comment at this meeting. Refer to the April 11 Budget Workshop Summary and April 25 Budget Workshop Summary to see items in the parking lot.

May 16, 2023 at 6:30 PM - City Council will vote on the final School budget.

June 13, 2023 - Voters decide fate of School budget at this June referendum. See below for more information.

June 20, 2023 at 6:30 PM - City Council gives final approval to the City portion of the budget.

School Budget Referendum

There are several ways to vote in this year's Municipal School Budget Referendum. Learn more and request your absentee ballot here.

New Video and Guide! Accessory Dwelling Units

Thinking about creating an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)? Check out our new info-packed video about the City's recently updated ADU regulations! The recording of our well attended presentation features representatives from the City's Planning and Code Enforcement offices, as well as members of the local business and non-profit community, and includes an overview of:

     • the process of applying for an ADU
     • meeting building codes and standards
     • property and tenant management info
     • financing options
     • and more!

Watch the video, check out the brand new City of South Portland ADU Guidebook, access the ADU application, and more here.

Construction Alerts

May 8-14 Road Construction Alerts: Pike Industries has informed the City that the I295 Northbound ramps 1 through 6 will be closed for construction the week of May 8. These closures will be 9 PM - 6 AM and will be one ramp at a time. Work is weather-dependent. Paving is scheduled to occur on Mussey Rd in Scarborough from the South Portland town line (where Broadway ends) to Honan Rd. This is tentatively planned to start Wednesday, May 10th. Work is weather-dependent.

Cottage Road Project Update: The Cottage Road project remains on track to be completed in mid- to late June. Shaw Brothers will finish installing curb and prep for concrete during the first part of this month. They expect to start pouring concrete sidewalks mid-May through the end of the month.

Learn more about the Cottage Road Project.

Skatepark Updates

The crew from American Ramp Company is currently working on the lower section of the City's new Skatepark in preparation for the grand opening on June 21!

Please note: Our Parks Department will need to loam and seed around the perimeter of the park once complete. We ask that any users please keep off the loam to allow time for grass to grow. To help preserve the landscaping, we ask that all users enter and exit through the construction entrance at the corner of Nelson Rd. and Mountain View Rd.

Learn more about the South Portland Skatepark Grand Opening.

Redbank Community Garden

Attention gardeners and potential gardeners on South Portland's west end! The Redbank Community Garden has open plots for individuals, families or organizations that would like to grow their own food or plants. They're also looking for volunteers to serve in a leadership role to help manage the garden. If you're interested, please contact Donna Kane at (207) 767-4688 or dlarson.kane@gmail.com.


Ride the Bus for Half Price

South Portland Bus Service, Greater Portland METRO, and Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit are discounting bus fares now through September 30, 2023! All bus fares are 50% off their regular price during this promotion, including local and express service and full and reduced fares. The discounted fares are available to riders using either cash or the DiriGo Pass.

Learn more.

Upcoming Events

Join in person at the Hús on Thursday, May 11th from 4:30 - 7 PM for this month’s Coffee & Climate “Gulf of Change: A Discussion on Climate Change and Resiliency in Maine's Aquaculture Industry.” 

One Climate Future is collaborating with the New England Ocean Cluster to host a panel discussion on climate resilience in Maine’s aquaculture industry and the opportunities in developing sustainable and resilient local food systems. Preregistration is required. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gulf-of-change-tickets-617842632947
Coffee & Climate is a monthly speaker series, hosted by the Portland and South Portland Sustainability Offices, which breaks down a given sustainability or climate topic with the help of guest speakers. 2023 programming includes a range of topics including sustainability in the arts, aquaculture, plastics, environmental justice and more!

Are you interested in creating a more climate-friendly yard, filled with native plants and pollinators, that invites you outdoors all year long? Join us on Wednesday, May 17 at 6:30 PM at the South Portland Public Library for "Building a Biodiverse & Climate Resilient Yard," a presentation on building a biodiverse and climate resilient yard. This program is in partnership with the Wild Seed Project and the South Portland Sustainability Department.
Learn more here, and see more library events below.

The South Portland War Veteran's Memorial Association is sponsoring the following Memorial Day Programs:
Saturday, May 27 : Veteran Grave Flagging Program - Meeting at American Legion Post at 8:30 AM then departing at 9:00 AM, in designated groups, to place Grave Site Flags at various South Portland cemeteries.
Monday, May 29 : Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony - The Memorial Day Parade will form at Southern Maine Community College Parking Lot at the North end of Broadway, starting 9:30 AM and will step off at 10:30 AM sharp. It will continue down Broadway to the Veteran’s Monument, just beyond Pratt and Abbott, where there will be a short Memorial Day Recognition Service.
For more information or to participate, call 799-3997.

City News & Updates

The South Portland Public Library is spotlighted as a "My Favorite Place" in this month's Down East Magazine! Here's some other City news of note:
  • Deputy Fire Chief Bill Collins retired after 32 years as a City of South Portland Firefighter/Paramedic, EMS Coordinator, Lieutenant, and Deputy Fire Chief. We wish Chief Collins best of luck in his next chapter!
  • The South Portland Police Department lost a devoted member of its team last month when their beloved K9 Trigger passed away.
  • This month, the City of South Portland is recognizing staff as we celebrate Building Safety Month, International Firefighters DayPublic Service Recognition Week, National Police Week, and National Public Works Week. Thank you to our hardworking staff!

Work With Us!

The City is currently accepting applications for several openings, including the following positions:
  • Seasonal Parks Maintainer - The duties for this position will involve all aspects of seasonal landscaping work, such as planting and removing bulbs, weeding, pruning, mulching, raking and other landscaping tasks...read more.
  • Collection Systems Operator - Performs  a variety of skilled, technical, and operational work in the construction, operation, repair, maintenance, and replacement of the South Portland municipal wastewater collection and stormwater drainage systems...read more.

Coming Up at the Library

  • Saturday, May 13 at 10:30 AM: Mother’s Day Storytime & Craft. Come celebrate mother’s day with stories, songs, and a special craft.
  • Wednesday, May 17 at 6:30 PM: Building a Biodiverse & Climate Resilient Yard. Learn simple steps to create a biodiverse and climate resilient yard. In partnership with Wild Seed Project and the Sustainability Department.
  • Tuesday, May 30 at 10:30 AM: Bug Light Storytime. Tuesday storytimes are beginning again at Bug Light Park!
  • Thursday, June 1 at 6 PM: Local author Jennifer Dupree will be discussing her novel The Miraculous Flight of Owen Leach.
  • Various dates - South Portland High School sporting events
  • Monday, May 8 at 6 PM - Regular School Board Meeting
  • Tuesday, May 16, 5-7 PM - Farewell Memorial School Open House (see details below)
  • Wednesday, May 24 at 6:30 PM - All-City 5th Grade Band Concert at the South Portland High School gym
  • Thursday, June 1, 6-8 PM - Mahoney Raiders Final Assembly (see details below)

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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