News Flash

City News

Posted on: August 28, 2020

City News Round Up for Friday, August 28

Friday news round up twitter

Please check our agenda center as Committees, Boards & Commissions continue to meet remotely. The Council meets next on Monday, August 31 at 5:30 PM.

City Hall remains closed to the general public at this time. Staff continue to serve customers via email, phone, and virtual meetings. The City Clerk’s Office and Parking Office are open for walk-in service via our Myrtle Street entrance. The Treasury Office is processing auto and boat registrations by appointment only via our Congress Street side-entrance. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 page.  

Any questions? Please call 207-874-8300 or email info@portlandmaine.gov. 

Mislabeled City Purple Trash Bags
Some stores are reporting that City trash bags labeled as 15 gallon bags were in fact 30 gallon bags. If you purchased mislabeled City trash bags, please call Wastezero @ 1-800-866-3954 to report the issue. The stores are working with Wastezero to correct this issue and will exchange any bags you have purchased. 

The City of Portland Parking Division is Now Touchless
The Spring Street and Elm Street Parking Garage are now touchless. To receive a ticket upon entry simply wave your hand near the ticket button on the machine and it will dispense a ticket. Touchless payment options upon exiting the garage include Google Pay, Apple Pay, Paypal, and any credit and debit cards that have the contactless logo on them.

For touchless payments for on street parking go to PassportParking.com and download the app. This will allow you to pay for parking from your phone.

Volunteer for Local Parks!
Portland Parks Conservancy (PPC) is a new nonprofit organization with a mission to support Portland’s public parks. The PPC is focusing this summer and fall on recruiting volunteers to help the Portland Parks, Recreation, and Facilities staff with picking up trash, raking, weeding, clearing brush, and other light maintenance that will allow City staff to do their jobs more efficiently. Email Jesse (info@portlandparksconservancy.org) for a list of upcoming volunteer opportunities!

Troubh Ice Arena Opening September 1
The Troubh Ice Arena will be opening its doors for rentals starting on September 1st. Policies will be in place to keep guests and staff safe during these challenging times. Please check the website and facebook page for updates on any changes as they become available. A couple items of importance to note are; Public Skating and Lessons will not be available immediately and will be phased into the schedule. Masks are to be worn at all times while in the building and off the ice. Groups are to enter only 15 minutes before their scheduled start time and are to exit the facility within 15 minutes following their skate. Each individual entering is to sign in for their skate, take their own temperature and execute a wellness check for contact tracing purposes.

City Simplifies Application Process & Increases Assistance Amount for COVID-Rental Assistance Program 
The City has streamlined the application process for the Rental Assistance Program. The City has also increased the amount of assistance available. The program is funded with supplemental CDBG funding made available through the federal CARES Act. The City is partnering with The Opportunity Alliance to help renters in Portland that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The program provides up to $1,000 in assistance for a maximum of 3 months, as well as up to $250 in utility assistance.  

Deadline to Apply for Marijuana Retail Store Licenses is August 31
Despite the ongoing litigation, the City of Portland is reminding the public that the deadline for businesses to apply for a marijuana retail store license in Portland is Monday, August 31, 2020. The applications are available on the City’s Business License page. Completed applications can be emailed to Marijuana@portlandmaine.gov. Staff will email an invoice following review of the completed application. 

Before and After the Bell Hybrid Schedule Program Registration Will Start August 24
We are very pleased to inform you that Portland Recreation has made the decision to offer Before & After the Bell Recreation this fall at our Portland Public Elementary School mainland locations and After the Bell at Peaks Island Elementary School. Our decision has been made with guidance from the US CDC and Maine CDC in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. Given the knowledge and experiences we obtained during our very successful recreation program at two of our community centers this summer, we feel we are well poised to care for your children in our Before & After the Bell Program. 

Council Seeks Applicants for Racial Equity Steering Committee
The Portland City Council established a Racial Equity Steering Committee as part of a resolution that it passed at its July 13, 2020 Council meeting. The Committee will be tasked with developing recommendations to the City Council regarding the ways in which city government should address and respond to institutional racism and structural inequities. Interested applicants must apply by noon on Monday, August 31. Click the link above to find out how to apply. 

Request Your Absentee Ballot Today!
There a two ways to request your absentee ballot:

Ballots must be returned to the municipal clerk no later than 8:00 PM on Election Day.

Make sure you sign the back of the envelope. You can drop your ballots off at Merrill Auditorium, where a drop box is available during business hours.

Ballots will be available in early October. Once the ballots are available, we will also conduct early in-person absentee voting at Merrill Auditorium. 

Mobile Medical Outreach in the Portland 
The Mobile Medical Outreach Project was piloted in May, 2017 as a collaborative effort between Portland’s Public Health Division and Fire Department to provide community-based support and resources for individuals experiencing homelessness and Substance Use Disorder. What started as a small team of five paramedics has grown to a team of 13. In addition to support and resources, the team offers low-barrier medical interventions under the guidance of medical director Dr. Matt Sholl. Over the last three years, the project has contributed to a decrease in non-emergent calls to 911 - in turn, reducing costs to the Fire Department as well as local emergency departments. At this time the project is entirely grant funded through the Public Health Division. FMI about the project please contact Bridget Rauscher bridget.rauscher@portlandmaine.gov.  

Keep Up to Date with the FY21 Municipal Budget Process 
Given the significant revenue losses the City has faced in light of the pandemic, the City took several measures to reduce expenditures as it prepared the FY21 recommended budget. Despite getting some federal and state COVID-relief funds, the recommended budget includes cuts to services and positions given continued revenue losses combined with increasing costs outside of the City’s control.

Read the City Manager’s full budget letter, here. The Finance Committee held meetings on August 5, 6, and 12. It will conduct further review of the budget at a meeting on September 2. That meeting will provide an opportunity for public comment. The Council will host a budget workshop on September 14. The first read of the budget will take place at the Council’s September 9 meeting with the final vote expected at the September 21 meeting. To view agendas and budget materials, visit: www.portlandmaine.gov/agendas.



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