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City News Round Up: Friday, April 1, 2022
Please check our agenda center for the full schedule of upcoming Committees, Boards, and Commission meetings. The next City Council meeting is on Monday, April 11, at 5:00 PM. Interim City Manager Danielle West will unveil her FY23 budget recommendation during this meeting. Read a recap of the March 21 City Council meeting; view the full Meeting Calendar here.
Tonight! First Friday + New Round: Vote for Portland, Best Bus Stop in USA
Tonight is First Friday and there is so much to see; Get the map via Creative Portland. Thanks for voting Portland! We made it to the next round, please vote again in the semi-finals starting today through Tuesday, 4/5 at 11:59PM. Learn more and vote.
Updated Health and Safety Requirements for City-Owned Venues
Safety protocols have been updated for events at our indoor facilities. Following the latest CDC guidance, the City is lifting its masking mandate at these venues, but still recommended for those who may be at high risk. Effective April 1, 2022, proof of vaccination or negative test is no longer required for most events at indoor venues, including Merrill Auditorium, the James A. Banks Sr. Portland Exposition Building, and Ocean Gateway. Please make sure to check the requirements for each event. Learn more.
City Breaks Ground on New Homeless Services Center
This week City officials joined with project partners and community members to break ground on the new Homeless Services Center (HSC), at 654 Riverside Street. The HSC will transform the way in which the City and its partners provide critical services to those experiencing homelessness. Full story.
Charter Commission Timeline
The Charter Commission will present their preliminary report for the City Council on May 9, 2022, with a final report to be submitted to Council on July 11, 2022. Learn more about the Charter Commission.
Call for Vendors: New Monument Square Market
Portland Downtown announced a new market, Monument(al) Market in the Square, to take place Thursday's this spring and summer, beginning May 19. Vendors can visit portlandmaine.com/MonumentalMarket to complete an application.
Portland Selected for the Housing Solutions Lab, NYU Furman Center
For the next 10 months, as part of the Peer Cities Network, our city leaders will engage with policy experts, housing researchers, and advocates from around the country to address pressing local housing policy challenges. Portland will gain access to technical assistance, timely policy resources, and local housing data. Learn more.
Commercial Street Traffic Alert: Monday, April 4 through Friday, June 10
Prep work began this week and starting April 4 work begins on Commercial St, from Center St to India St, to replace the gas main and services for Unitil under their System Upgrade for Reliable Energy project. The work will last approximately 10 weeks. Traffic back-ups should be minimum and the project is timed with an intention to be completed before the start of the tourist season. Parking will be disrupted in short sections and follow the crew excavations. Please keep an eye out for emergency no parking signs.
New Small Business and Nonprofit Support Available
We launched a new Microenterprise grant program last week in support of businesses, existing and new, that have been or continue to be impacted by the pandemic. This program is open to both nonprofits and for-profit businesses in Portland. Learn more.
Time for Spring Street Sweeping - Ticket & Tow Parking Alert
A reminder to residents who live or park on the peninsula: compliance is crucial for overnight (daytime, in some areas) street maintenance parking restrictions. Our crews make one big push at the end of fall to clear catch-basins of leaves before winter storms start, and then again between winter and spring to remove salt and sand so it doesn’t contaminate water streams. Please comply to avoid receiving parking tickets; if compliance is not achieved, we are forced to tow vehicles. Learn more. Street sweeping operations and regulations are in effect each year from October 1 - May 31. While street sweeping occurs throughout the year, these restrictions ensure that our crews can complete curb-to-curb sweeping as mandated by Maine DEP.
Community Composting Survey, through April 15
Last year on Earth Day we launched the Community Compost Drop Off program. As the one year anniversary approaches we would love to hear from you! Have you used the program? Do you like it? Could it be improved? Share your thoughts by April 15 via Civil Space.
FY23 CDBG Allocations: Second Public Hearing, April 11
Last week Interim City Manager Danielle West released recommendations to the City Council for FY23 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The City Council will hold a final vote regarding the CDBG funding at the 4/11 City Council meeting. Learn more.
Spring Yard Waste Collection: April 25-May 6
It’s that time of year again! The Annual spring curbside collection of leaf bags/yard waste will begin Monday, April 25 through Friday, May 6. The leaves must be in large, paper biodegradable leaf bags. Place the biodegradable leaf bags curbside on your normal trash day during the above dates and City crews will take care of the rest! Learn more.
Electrify Everything! Sustainability Program Launches
Our new program, Electrify Everything!, provides residents with exclusive discounts on solar panels and home heating appliances. ReVision Energy, our partner and local full-service solar company, is offering the following discounts to Portland property owners: $500 off solar installations, $250 off air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and home EV chargers, and up to $60,000 to help low-income households go solar. Learn more.
4/3 New Deadline: Portland Youth Corps Applications Open
Applications are open for the Summer 2022 Portland Youth Corps program — now through Sunday, April 3, 2022. The program seeks to fill 26 volunteer positions, and is open to youth ages 14-17 who live in Portland. If you missed the Zoom info session you can watch the replay here. Contact Mike Vincent, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.
April Save the Date: 2022 Urban Runoff 5K Race
Be a stormwater hero and support clean water education in our community by participating in the Urban Runoff 5k! Join in person on April 23 in South Portland, or complete a 5k anywhere during the month of April. For more information and to register, visit www.urbanrunoff5k.com.
Work With Us
We currently have multiple job openings across a variety of departments. For more information, visit: www.portlandmaine.gov/jobs. See how we are working together to serve the community with other local agencies -in this recent video.
Ongoing Traffic Alerts
Walton Street Converted to Temporary One-Way
The City’s contractor, Gorham Sand and Gravel, is working on the Stevens Avenue Storm Drain Improvements project, which began on Monday, March 28. This project will require the contractor to convert Walton Street into a one-way street between McCauley Way and Stevens Avenue for the duration of the project, scheduled to last approximately two months. Learn more.
Preble Street Extension Work Continues
The City's contractor, Sargent Corp., returned to Preble Street Extension March 28 to complete sewer manhole construction installed last year. This work will extend from the Back Cove soccer fields to Baxter Boulevard. Traffic control devices will be installed to provide for a safe work environment. Learn more.
In addition, Unitil started work on Dartmouth Street Monday 3/21. Portland Water District will be installing a temporary water line on Dartmouth Street at the beginning of April, and work on the storm drains and sewers will start at the end of April. This work will continue throughout the summer months and into September. Learn more.
March 14 - April 30: Baxter Boulevard Wastewater Upgrade
Construction to replace the Baxter Boulevard Wastewater Force Main started on Monday, 3/14 and will be complete by Saturday, 4/30. The project will replace approximately 900 feet of wastewater pipe that was originally installed in the late 1970s. Portland Water District has partnered with Sargent Corporation to complete the construction. The construction will include excavation within the Back Cove walking trail; foot traffic will be redirected around the work area in order to maintain pedestrian access during construction.
April 22-25: Veranda Plan Update and Traffic Alert
The Maine DOT will be closing I-295 over Veranda St. in Portland the fourth weekend in April to accommodate the replacement of an aging interstate bridge. MaineDOT's Veranda Plan involves the closure of Route 1/Veranda St. (under the bridge) starting at 2:00 PM on Monday, April 18 through 2:00 PM on Monday, April 25, and a full closure of the highway around Exit 9 from 7:00 PM on Friday, April 22 to 11:00 AM on Monday, April 25.