Community Newsletter

Issue #336

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In this Issue:

Upcoming City Council Meetings

Thursday, June 15 at 6:30 PM - City Council Workshop (hybrid)
Tuesday, June 20 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.

School Budget Referendum

Vote in this year's School Budget Referendum on Tuesday, June 13. All voting will take place at the South Portland Community Center (21 Nelson Rd.). You can also register to vote at the polling place. The polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM.

Willard Beach Open After Pipe Break

Willard Beach reopened on Wednesday, June 7 after a break in the force main, which carries wastewater, caused a one-week closure. The break was repaired within 24 hours, but the beach remained closed while the City conducted water quality testing. Results from test samples this week show that bacteria levels in the water are below the public safety threshold set by the Department of Environmental Protection’s Maine Healthy Beaches Program, signaling that the beach is safe for recreation.

Thank you to our residents and visitors for your patience and cooperation as staff repaired the force main break and tested the water for safety.

Planning Department Updates

Willard Beach Master Plan - After much hard work by the Willard Beach Master Plan Committee, City staff, and the City's consultant team, we are proud to announce the release of the Willard Beach Master Plan. The Plan establishes a vision for Willard Beach and is intended to guide management and investment at the beach and surrounding area for the next 10-15 years. Learn more at: https://www.southportland.org/willardbeachmasterplan

SoPo 2040: Comprehensive Plan Update - Help shape the future of your City! This summer, we want to hear from you about your vision for South Portland. There are several ways to engage, from adding to our interactive map to hosting your own conversations with neighbors and friends. Get involved at: https://southportland2040.com

Major Projects / Yard South - Learn about major projects on the Planning Department page of the City website. The page currently includes information about Yard South, including all project materials, a list of project steps, and status updates. Learn more at: https://www.southportland.org/departments/planning-and-development/active-major-projects/

Interested in Running for Office?

Nomination papers for the November 2023 election will be available Monday, July 31, 2023 at 8 AM at the City Clerk's office. They  must be returned by Friday, September 8, 2023 at 4:30 PM.

The following offices are up for election:
  • City Councilor - District 1
  • City Councilor - District 2
  • City Councilor - District 5
  • School Board - District At-Large (2 seats)
  • School Board - District Three (for the unexpired term which expires December 2024) 

For more info, visit: https://www.southportland.org/departments/city-clerk/elections-voter-registration/candidate-petition-process

New Video! Memorial Day Parade

You can now watch 360 degree coverage of the 2023 South Portland Memorial Day Parade, courtesy of South Portland Community Television (SPC-TV)! Check it out and see all the highlights you might have missed at: https://vimeo.com/832057497.

Other new SPC-TV videos include:

Home Ownership Opportunity

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland is seeking families for two new homes on Sunset Avenue in South Portland. Habitat homes are affordable, energy-efficient and for people who never thought they could own a home! A family of four can earn up to $77,675 to qualify.
Future homeowners must make no more than 65% 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. For more information, visit our site.
How to Apply:
  1. Download an application or request a mailed copy online at habitatportlandme.org/apply OR pick it up at 659 Warren Avenue, Portland, ME
  2. Ask questions and get help filling out your application – email molly@habitatme.org to set up an appointment.
  3. Completed applications due by 5:00 pm on June 22, 2023.
Questions? Email Family Services Director, Molly, at molly@habitatme.org or call 207-772-2151 x 104.

Upcoming Events

Diaper Drive: June 2023 - South Portland Public Library is hosting a diaper drive in partnership with the KJFS Diaper Bank. Drop off diapers at the Main Library and the Branch Library. Sizes 5 and 6 are always in highest demand, but all sizes are accepted.
Juneteenth Celebration and Observance - Monday, June 19, 1-5 PM at the Redbank Community Center - The South Portland Human Rights Commission (HRC) invites you to the annual celebration and observance of Juneteenth. We hope to see you as the community comes together and celebrates the abolition of slavery in America. Check HRC's Facebook page for additional details.
Skatepark Grand Opening - Wednesday June 21, 4-6 PM - Join us for the opening of the new South Portland Skatepark on 'Go Skateboard Day'! The event will include a ribbon cutting, music, skate demo, food truck, giveaways, and plenty of fun-in-motion!

Learn more.


City News & Updates

  • One June 1, the Maine Public Health Association awarded South Portland City Manager Scott Morelli the Public Health Policy Champion Award, which recognizes a policymaker who has made a significant contribution to public health in Maine.
  • South Portland's brand new Electric Tool Library and beloved Swap Shop held their successful grand openings on Saturday, June 3.
  • On  June 2, the City of South Portland welcomed six new firefighter/EMTs at a swearing-in ceremony. The event marked the completion of a four-week, 168-hour long Drill School designed to hone skills and prepare the recruits for their new role.
  • This week, City of South Portland employees gathered to celebrate each other and the work we do for our community. We thanked and recognized all staff members, including the 200+ who have served for more than five years and 25 who have server for more than 25 years!

Work With Us!

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 is proud of its talented and dedicated workforce and provides employees with a strong team environment; 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 values diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and embraces sustainable operations. Consider a job with the City of South Portland!

Coming Up at the Library

  • Saturday, June 10 at 10 AM: Family Story Walk at Hinckley Park. Join Park Ranger Sydney for this story walk, and keep an eye out for turtles while you participate in a fun activity!
  • Thursday, June 15 at 6 PM: Author Steven Rowley will discuss his new book The Celebrants.
  • Friday, June 16 at 10:30 AM: Pride Storytime! join us for Pride Storytime and create a craft that celebrates that we are stronger together!
  • Wednesday, June 21 at 6:30 PM: Local author and illustrator Rebekah Lowell will be reading her new children’s book, Catching Flight. This will be followed by a fun craft.
Some events are subject to change. Check spsd.org for up-to-date information.
Calling all SPHS Red Riots Alumni!
SPHS Alumni are welcome to join the new SPHS Alumni Network! This will allow alumni to reconnect with our schools, be invited to more events on campus, and be able to share life experiences with current students through career exploration activities.  SPHS Alumni can sign up here, or reach out to Gretchen McCloy (mccloygr@spsdme.org) or Bryna Latham (lathambr@spsdme.org) for more info.  

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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