Community Newsletter

Issue #337

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In this Issue:

Closed July 4th

Municipal buildings and offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4 for Independence Day. There will be no Bus Service.

The City Council Meeting during July 4th week will be on Thursday, July 6. 

Upcoming City Council Meetings

Tuesday, June 27 at 5:00 PM - Special City Council Meeting (remote only)
Thursday, July 6 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.

Budget Update

After a public hearing and series of workshops that took place over the spring, the South Portland City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2024 municipal budget on June 20. Thanks to everyone who weighed in during the budget process.

South Portland voters overwhelmingly approved the FY24 School budget at the referendum held on June 13. Thanks to all who cast votes in the referendum--which saw a 100% increase over last year's turnout!

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 4
  • 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

Cottage Road Project Update

We’re nearing the finish line on the Cottage Road Project. Paving is scheduled for the week of June 26, though Shaw Brothers and their subcontractor need 3 days of dry weather to complete the job and the forecast does not look cooperative. This is the last major step in the project. After this, line striping and the installation of crosswalk equipment will remain, along with a few other small items. Major traffic disruptions associated with the project are expected to end within a few weeks. Please check the project webpage for updates.

Do you have a question about the Cottage Road project? Our brand new answers to FAQs might answer it! Check it out.

Notice from Public Works

For the safety of our Public Works crews and to keep your personal property safe from accidental damage by City plows or other equipment, residents should check with the Public Works Department or a certified Maine surveyor prior to installing any fixed structures like fences, rock walls, or stairs close to a City sidewalk or roadway. The City cannot guarantee compensation for personal property damaged during winter operations if the property was located in the City’s right-of-way.

In addition, the Public Works Department would like to remind you that any portable personal property such as but not limited to grills, sports equipment or fire pits placed in the City’s right-of-way may be removed if the owner has not received permission from the Director of Public Works, per City Ordinance.

If you have any questions, please contact the Public Works Department either through the City’s website or by calling (207) 767-7635.

Sustainability Department Updates

Check out this Facebook post with information from the Sustainability Department's Steve Genovese. It includes timely information about:
  • The Electrify Everything! program (apply while funds last!)
  • 100 Resilient Yards (coming to 100 yards near you!)
  • The new South Portland Electric Tool Library (popular already!)
  • The Swap Shop (overflowing...come get some new-to-you things!)
Be sure to follow the Sustainability Department on Instagram @soposustainability for updates, and don't miss the Our Sustainable City column in the South Portland - Cape Elizabeth Sentry!

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/

Upcoming Events

Last chance to donate! 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.
The One Climate Future team (Portland and South Portland's Sustainability Offices) is excited to host its July "Coffee and Climate" event at Tandem Coffee Roasters - Cafe & Roastery, fondly referred to as “Little Tandem” at 122 Anderson Street in Portland on Friday, July 14th from 8 – 9 AM. Speakers from the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Go-Go Refill, and Saltwater Classroom will share how plastics have shaped our world, and how we as a community can move forward without relying on new plastics production.

City News & Updates

The City of South Portland Juneteenth celebration was an inspiring event, with community members joining to connect, reflect, learn, and enjoy music and great food. Thank you to everyone who made this year's celebration of freedom special, and to the South Portland Human Rights Commission for organizing the event.

We cut the ribbon on the South Portland Skatepark on June 21. Thanks to everyone who joined for the grand opening, and all those--including the Skatepark Committee--who made the park a reality. Finally, thanks to all the visitors on wheels who will bring the park to life and ensure it thrives as a treasure in our City and State

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!

Join a Committee!

Would you like to make a big impact in your community? Consider joining a City Board or Committee! Learn about City of South Portland Committees and see which have openings at: https://www.southportland.org/our-city/board-and-committees/

Featured Committee Vacancy: Open Space Acquisition Committee (OSAC)

OSAC was formed to do the work assigned by the Open Space Plan of 2019, which is to study open and undeveloped spaces within the City of South Portland and recommend those most worthy of being protected for public use. There is currently one vacant seat on the OSAC. Learn more about the Committee and how to apply here.

Coming Up at the Library

There are a lot of exciting events coming up at the Library this summer! Visit the library website for information about special events, artist talks, kids' activities, book clubs and much more!
Congrats to state high school baseball champs, the South Portland Red Riots!
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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