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City News Round Up: Friday, January 21, 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, February 7, at 5:00 PM. Several Council workshops are scheduled between now and then. There are also many upcoming Charter Commission meetings. View the full Meeting Calendar.
January 19 Council Meeting Recap
Order 88-21/22 Amendment to Portland City Code Chapter 15 Re: Emergency Shelter License Requirements -- Postponed to June 6 meeting
Order 132-21/22 Amendment of Portland City Code Chapter 14 Re: Eastern Waterfront Port Zone Marina Food Service -- Failed to pass 5-4
Order 135-21/22 Adopting the 2022 Cumberland County Hazard Mitigation Plan – Passed 9-0
Order 136-21/22 Accepting the 2021 Annual Land Bank Report – Passed 9-0
Mask Mandate for Indoor Public Places Still in Effect
Masks are required when inside public places. Read our Mask Mandate FAQ. Businesses who still need mask supplies can visit City Hall via the Myrtle Street entrance between 9 AM and 4 PM Monday through Friday as supplies last. The Mask Mandate will be discussed by the Council again at its February 7 meeting.
Portland Issues Request for Proposals Seeking Consulting Services
We issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) last week, seeking Executive Recruitment Consulting Services to assist in our search for the next City Manager. Proposals must be received by Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at 3:00 PM. Learn more.
Shape your city! Seeking Applicants for Vacancies on Boards & Committees
We are seeking applications for vacancies on various boards and committees; find the full list on our website. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter by Friday, February 4, 2022 to the Appointments Committee Chairman, c/o City Clerk, 389 Congress Street, Portland ME 04101 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more.
New EV Chargers Operational in the West End
The Sustainability Office announced that four new EV chargers are operational and ready for public use in the West End, in the small parking lot at the corner of Spring and High. Visit our website for other locations available throughout the city.
Canceled: February First Friday Art Walk, Event Listings Welcome
Creative Portland has canceled the February First Friday Art Walk due to the Omicron surge. Digital and in-person cultural events will still be listed on the website, shared on social media, and uploaded to their soon-to-launch cultural app. Local activities across all artistic genres are welcome; send your event listings to Bobbie@creativeportland.com by January 24. Please include: event title, short description, photo, and venue name. Listings that include photos will also be considered for a feature in the February Monthly Arts Update newsletter.
Portland Jetport Announces Spring Runway Closure, April 18 to June 22
The Jetport announced this week that for 56 days this spring, the airport's primary runway will be closed for a once in 15 year rehabilitation. Beginning April 18 through June 13, 2022 all air traffic in and out of the Jetport will be operating on the airport's secondary north-south runway. This will lead to a significant change in air traffic over Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, and Westbrook. A dedicated website with information for the community has been created; flight paths will be posted there as they are finalized. Additional information will be available for the public at a Noise Advisory Committee meeting at 6:00pm on Thursday, February 3, 2022. Learn more: www.portlandjetport.org/runway.
Applications Now Available: Maine Property Tax Deferral Program
In 2021 the Maine Legislature reinstated this property tax deferral program to help seniors and the fully disabled stay in their homes and age in place. For qualified and approved applicants, the State of Maine will pay the property taxes each year. The state will place a lien on the property and all deferred taxes (and accrued interest) are repaid to the state when the property is sold or the applicant passes away. Find the full qualification requirements here. Applications must be filed with the Assessor's Office between January 1 and April 1 each year. Please refer any questions to: Maine Property Services, Property Tax Division, 207-624-5600 or email@example.com.
Winter Recreation Updates
The Playground crew has been working diligently to resurface ice skating rinks this week and announced all ponds are ready for skaters! Be sure to bookmark the Parks and Recreation's Winter Recreation page where you can find details about where to go, what to do. Don’t miss their interactive conditions map - up to date info for sledding, skiing and skating conditions throughout our parks.
Reminder: Sidewalk Snow Removal
Our sidewalk snow removal ordinance requires business owners to remove snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property 12 hours following a winter storm, and residential owners to clear snow and ice abutting their property 18 hours following the end of a storm or when the City finishes snow removal operations, whichever is later. There are fines associated with violations to this ordinance. Learn more here.
KNOW SNOW Updates and Reminders
There is a new salt and sand shed in the parking lot of Deering Oaks in addition to the one at Payson Park; available to all Portland residents, two 5 gallon pails per residence. Bookmark our Winter Operations information here!
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.
**Construction Project Updates & Traffic Alerts**
Update: Back Cove West Storage Conduit
The 60-inch sewer pipe installation has been completed and about 250 feet of the conduit has been installed. The contractor continues to work on installing drainage within the completed pipe sections and once all of the utilities are in place, the road will be rebuilt and paved. The section of Baxter Boulevard from Dartmouth Street to Vannah Avenue is scheduled to reopen to vehicle traffic in June of 2022. The section of the Boulevard that spans from Vannah Avenue to Payson Park will remain closed until June of 2023. Sargent’s subcontractors continue to blast ledges within the area as well as installing sheet piling for the new box conduits. The blasting contractor is on George St currently, heading towards Vannah Ave. Read the full update here.
Fore Street - Eastern Promenade Sewer Separation Project
Good progress continues by the City's contractor on the installation of new combined sewer lines and storm drains on Fore Street; project work is currently approaching the intersection of Waterville Street. Fore Street will remain closed to through traffic for the time being to allow project work to continue efficiently and safely; please continue to use an alternate route to get to Munjoy Hill. The contractor plans to work throughout the winter in order to expedite the completion of the project. Learn more.
Staring 1/19: Metro Route 1 Service Change - Fore and Atlantic Streets
Due to construction on Fore Street, METRO Route 1 will not provide service along the Eastern Prom (near Fore St.) and on Fore and Atlantic Streets. Starting Wednesday, 1/19, METRO riders can access Route 1 service by using nearby bus stops at: Congress and Emerson Street (NEW) and Congress and North Street. Learn more here and via Metro Service Updates.
Brighton Avenue Sewer Separation Project
Construction work concluded for the season as of 12/23/21 and the work zone has been temporarily winterized to be operationally functional over the winter. Any issues with temporary sidewalks and roadway patches will be addressed by the contractor over the winter; curb, sidewalk, and landscape restoration will continue in the Spring and final paving work starting in early April 2022. Learn more.