Community Newsletter

Issue #345

In this Issue:
Photo: Russ Lunt

Upcoming City Council Meetings

Tuesday, October 17 at 6:30 PM - City Council Meeting (IN PERSON)
Tuesday, October 24 at 6:30 PM - City Council Workshop (IN PERSON)

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. 

Update on City Council Meetings: Effective September 12, the public may make comments during City Council meetings in person only. There will be no regular hybrid/Zoom option to comment, but occasional hybrid meetings may be scheduled.
We invite South Portland community members to participate in Council meetings Tuesday evenings at 6:30 PM at City Hall (25 Cottage Rd.) If you cannot make a meeting but would like to express your thoughts on an agenda item, you may
contact your City Councilors.
If you would like to watch a meeting live (no commenting option), you can tune to SPC-TV (Spectrum Channel 2 or 3) or watch the livestream online at: https://bit.ly/SPCTV_Live

If you cannot watch live, a recording of every Council meeting is available starting a few days after the meeting at: https://bit.ly/SPCTV_Videos

Leaf Collection & Transfer Facility Hours

The Transfer Facility will be open Sundays in November (Nov. 5, 12, 19, and 26) from 8 AM to 3:30 PM, in addition to regular hours (Tuesday-Saturday, 8 AM - 3:30 PM). 

Curbside leaf collection begins on Monday, November 13. Leaves in biodegradable bags must be curbside by Sunday, November 12. Bags not curbside by that date may not be collected. Leaves may also be brought to the Transfer Facility, year-round, free of charge, during normal hours of operation and special November Sunday hours. 

If you have any questions, contact Public Works at 767-7635 or publicworks@southportland.org.

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Event - October 14

Call the Public Works Department at (207) 767-7635 or visit https://www.southportland.org/departments/public-works/hhw for more information.

November Election Updates

 Candidate Forums - The City is aware of the following candidate forums and interview series that the public may be interested in participating in to learn more about candidates running for City Council and School Board seats in the November election. The City does not organize or sponsor these events, nor does it take a position on the support of specific candidates, but shares this information in the interest of public information and voter education. For more information, visit the website of the hosting organization.
School Board Candidate Forum
Event has passed; Watch the recording

City Council Candidate Forum
Event has passed; Watch the recording
City Council Candidate Forum
Hosted by South Portland Land Trust
25 Cottage Road, City Hall (Council Chambers)
October 16, 2023 | 6-8 PM
For more information: https://www.southportlandlandtrust.org/upcoming-events/2023/10/16/city-council-candidate-forum 

Candidate Interview Series
The South Portland, Cape Elizabeth Community Chamber is hosting and posting a series of interviews with candidates on their Facebook page.
 Absentee Ballots - The City Clerk would also like to remind residents that absentee ballots may now be requested for the November 7, 2023 election. You may request your absentee ballot online here: https://apps.web.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl  Absentee voting is available at City Hall during normal hours of operation. You may come in to vote or take home a ballot for yourself or a member of your immediate family. The last day to request an absentee ballot without special circumstances is Thursday, November 2.

A City sample ballot is posted on the City's website. Reminder: for this election, all voters will receive the same ballot style, and all district races appearing on your ballot may be voted on, as all City Council and School Board members are voted at-large and not by district.
 Political signs - Campaign signs are allowed to be up in the public Right Of Way for up to 6 weeks July 1 through Dec. 31 (+ an additional 6 weeks between Jan. 1 and June 30). It is a crime to tamper with, steal, or vandalize a political sign. Please contact the City Clerk with any questions about sign placement.

Dog Licensing & Resources

Dog Licensing: Dog licensing for the 2024 year has begun! All dogs must be licensed per state law. Dog licenses expire annually on December 31. Licenses can be renewed online. Click here for information and the link to renew online.

On- and Off-leash Hours at Willard Beach: October 1 through April 30, dogs must be on leash between 10 AM and 3 PM. During these months, dogs may be off-leash between 6 AM and 10 AM, and between 3 PM and 9 PM. All rules must be followed. Learn more here.

Resources for Dog Owners - This web page includes a compilation of resources for dog owners, including information about why it's important to always "Scoop the Poop."

Comp Plan: Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

Learn more at southportland2040.com.


Pool Update

The Community Center pool is closed for roof replacement. The work has now begun and is expected to continue over the next few months. For more information about the pool closure, read this FAQ with Facilities Director Don Hopkins.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, October 21 - Zombie Dash. 5:30-6:30 PM (Mild) and 6:30-7:30 PM (Thrill Seekers) at Hinckley Park. Registration in advance is required.

Saturday, October 28 - Trunk or Treat. 11 AM - 3 PM at the South Portland Community Center.

Saturday, October 28 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 10 AM - 2 PM at the South Portland Police Department.

Come by the Police Department and drop off any unused or expired medications. Volunteers will be standing by outside so you wont need to get out of your car.

Contact Sgt. David Stailing with questions: 799-5511 ext. 7454

Friday, November 17 Environmental Justice. 9-10 AM (Virtual via Zoom). 

Join in for this month’s Coffee & Climate: Environmental Justice! Jiwana Soleimani, Color of Climate Program Coordinator at Gateway Community Services Maine, will explore the intersection of the climate crisis and our communities. Their mission is to center the voices, experiences, and narratives of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) youth within the climate change crises and within environmental justice issues, especially as BIPOC communities and individuals are often the most impacted by these issues.

Nominate a Business!

The City is fortunate to represent so many thriving and diverse businesses that make South Portland a great place to work, live, and play. Help us recognize the high contributors within our business family by submitting a nomination for the 2023 Business Awards! The award winners will be recognized at our Annual Business Awards Event, scheduled for February 21st, 2024—more details are forthcoming!

Nominations for the 2023 South Portland Business Awards are open now through November 7th, 2023. Please submit a nomination via our simple nomination form today!


City Celebrates Affordable Housing in Thornton Heights

This week, the City joined the South Portland Housing Authority in celebrating the completion of Thornton Heights Commons, a 42-unit building located at 611 Main Street. The building consists of income-based affordable housing units and voucher-eligible market rate units. The City is proud to have helped this project come to fruition by providing tax incentives, zoning accommodations, and collaborating to strengthen the developer’s application to the Maine State Housing Authority for award of tax credit financing. Mayor Lewis and Governor Mills were present, in addition to other distinguished guests and speakers, to help cut the ribbon on this important addition to our community. Read more and see pictures from the event in this Facebook post.

Indigenous Peoples Day Event

The South Portland Human Rights Commission hosted a wonderful Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on October 9 at the Redbank Community Center. Many thanks to Michael-Corey Hinton, a citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe (Sipayik) and a lead lawyer on tribal issues in Maine, for joining and delivering an engaging speech. Attendees enjoyed pancakes and maple syrup sourced from Passamaquoddy Maple, a 100% tribally owned company. Thanks to the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary for cooking delicious pancakes for all to enjoy, and to Casa Areyto and Nonesuch Books for their support and community partnership.

Fire Department Update

The Fire Department engaged in a successful training exercise on Thursday, simulating an emergency at CSX Rigby Yard. While not related to any real event, this exercise provided an opportunity to test the City's Emergency Operations Plan and response to a HAZMAT event. The training went very smoothly. Thanks to all involved, including the team from CSX who led the drill.

The Fire Department is also pleased to share that this week, City Council accepted a FEMA AFG Grant Award in the amount of $19,243.63 to provide comprehensive cancer screening to members of the South Portland Fire Department. Occupational cancer has been on the rise and poses serious risks to firefighting personnel. These funds will be used for critical preventative screenings.

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, a condensed workweek for many positions, 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

The South Portland Library regularly holds fun and engaging events for all ages. Check out books...and all the library has to offer!
Get connected with South Portland Schools! Stay up-to-date with SPSD news, School Board meetings, sporting events and more at: https://www.spsdme.org

District Boundaries and Configurations Community Forum
October 24 - Redbank Community Center

The South Portland School District continues to invite partnership in its work to examine the district boundaries and configurations of the City's elementary schools. Members of the community are invited to participate. Please check https://www.spsdme.org/page/bc for information about this work. Additionally, there is a Steering Committee meeting, open to the public, on October 18.

Please contact the School Department with questions or to get involved.

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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