South Portland Community Newsletter

Issue 221

This City of South Portland Community E-Newsletter includes information about City sponsored events, projects and special announcements from South Portland's non-profit community.    Sign up if you would like to receive the newsletter directly to your inbox.

For a schedule of all City Meetings, Public Hearings & Current Notices, please visit the City's website.
There are so many events happening at the South Portland Public Library each month for all ages!  Check out the South Portland Public Library's website  to see current and upcoming events. 
Property Tax Assistance Applications Available
South Portland, Maine – Applications are available for the Property Tax Assistance Program.  The program is designed to provide property tax assistance to persons 70 years of age and over who have resided in the City of South Portland for at least ten years.  The application must be returned to City Hall by April 14, 2017.  Applications and a copy of the Ordinance are available on the City’s website www.cityofsouthportland.org or by visiting City Hall.

Rebekka Conley
Treasury Specialist
The City of South Portland would like to give a special thanks and appreciation to Don Gerrish who served as Interim City Manager over the past seven months.   On March 13, Scott Morelli takes the oath of office as the new City Manager of South Portland.
Posted Roads:
A Notice from Public Works
During the winter and spring, some of Maine’s roads weaken and they need to be protected. As temperatures warm and the ground thaws, soil under the pavement becomes saturated with water, making the pavement unstable. As a result, many roads cannot support heavy loads. To protect roads from serious damage, some roads are posted in order to limit the amount of weight travelling over them. State roads are posted by MaineDOT, and other roads are
posted by municipalities, or counties.
In the City of South Portland, the roads being posted are the following
  • Broadway from Westbrook St. to Main St
  • Fickett St.
  • Stillman St
The roads will be posted on Monday March 13th and will continue until it is determined that the frost is no longer present and the temperature is consistently above freezing.
Any vehicle or combination of vehicles registered for a gross weight of over 23,000 pounds is restricted from traveling on these roads without an exemption from the Public Works Department.
Passenger cars, pickup trucks, emergency vehicles, school busses, and fuel delivery trucks are exempt from the road posting.
South Portland Launches "Recollect" App for Waste Disposal
In effort to make recycling easier and less confusing, the City of South Portland’s Public Works Department has launched a new App named Recollect. This app can be downloaded for free for iPhone and Android smart phones and tablets. This app enables South Portland residents to search their address and to find out when their collection day is and gives them the ability to download and print a calendar or sync a calendar with a smart phone, tablet, or computer.

The app also has a Waste Wizard. The Waste Wizard allows the user to search different materials and determine how the item can be disposed of in South Portland. The app also allows you to sign up to receive service alerts.  Service alerts can be received as a text message, email, or phone call. Service alerts will include any disruptions to your collection as well as Transfer Station information for storm closings. To receive service alerts on your smart phone of tablet just turn on notifications for the App. To download the app go to the appropriate store and search for “South Portland Recycle”.

Residents can also access all the information from the City of South Portland’s website. It located in Rubbish and Recycling under the Public Works Department http://www.southportland.org/departments/public-works/pw-rubbish-and-recycling/

If you are having any difficulties with the any of the functions of the software there is a “Need Help” button that will generate an e mail with the issue and we will work to resolve it as soon as possible. As always please feel free to call the Public Works Department with any questions or concerns at 767-7635.
AARP will be providing tax preparation assisatnce in the Lower Conference Room of City Hall on Mondays from February 8 through April 10.  Call 776-6316 to make an appointment. 
South Portland Community Center: A Showcase for Sustainable Practices
The Community Center has had a makeover. It may not be noticeable at first, but once you look for a place to throw out your banana peel, you’ll find yourself standing in front of a new waste station.  The old trash and recycling bins have been replaced with color-coordinated bins accompanied by informative and eye-catching signs. Blue is for recycling, black is for trash and a new green bin has been added for food waste that will be composted by Garbage to Garden. Community center staff have also had an upgrade to their desk-side waste bins. Instead of two bins for recycling and trash, they now have one blue recycling bin with a small black trash caddy attached. These changes support a larger waste reduction goal. 
South Portland is aiming to increase its recycling rate to 40% by 2020 by highlighting purposeful purchasing, reuse, recycling, and composting. Having this infrastructure in place at the community center serves as a model and teaching tool to meet this goal.  The community center is just a part of the City’s efforts to make solid waste management more sustainable. The City is currently in the process of developing a yearlong curbside food waste collection pilot program in the Knightville and Meetinghouse Hill neighborhoods. The Sustainability Office has also created a Guide for Planning Zero Waste Events, added recycling bins in public recreation areas, and Public Works has just finalized a new smart phone app that will allow residents to look up what can be recycled and when their waste will be picked up (search for “South Portland Recycles”).
All of these initiatives work towards a greater goal of diverting waste from our landfills and finding other uses for the things we no longer want or need. As a leader in sustainability, the City of South Portland is committed to reaching our waste reduction goal by engaging and supporting citizens in sustainable waste management practices.  
Share Your Thoughts on the West End Neighborhood
The Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee is working on a master plan for the West End Neighborhood in South Portland. Please take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WestEndPlan to share your thoughts and feelings about the future of this neighborhood. At the end of the survey there is a link that you can click if you would like to receive updates about the master planning process or to get involved. Your participation would be very welcome.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Carver at the Greater Portland Council of Governments (scarver@gpcog.org).
South Portland, ME–  The South Portland Housing Authority (SPHA) today announced the new and exciting Home Modification for Seniors and Disabled (HMS) program. The Authority hopes to demonstrate that small investments in home safety help extend the time seniors and disabled persons can remain in their own home, reducing health care expenses and improving quality of life in their homes.
“Essentially, homeowners contact us for a simple assessment of their property, and we use the results to focus on high quality safety enhancement,” SPHA Executive Director Michael Hulsey noted. “We are looking for South Portland homeowners to work with at our expense, for simple safety issues.”  Hulsey added, “Most work would get done in one day or less; more complicated work would get contracted out when needed. A Grant from MaineHousing pays for the program expenses.”
Melanie Cahill, Coordinator of the Program, explained, “When a homeowner contacts us, we schedule an appointment to discuss their concerns, and take a good look at what needs to be done for the homeowner to stay safely in their home. We have experience selecting and installing equipment and can offer suggestions.” Experienced maintenance staff’s typical installations include grab-bars, hand-held showerheads, transfer benches, raised toilet seats, handrails, and lever-style doorknobs. “We also make smaller home repairs,” added Ms. Cahill. “These repairs, such as securing flooring, motion lights, electrical upgrades (like GFI outlets near water sources) adjusting exterior doors, and stair tread repairs, can make daily living safer. Input from homeowners is crucial for us to be successful.”
South Portland Housing Authority is excited to connect housing and healthcare in innovative ways through this Home Modification Program. The very small per home investment helps to ultimately improve health outcomes and can defer or decrease medical costs. Homeowners themselves drive the process and work closely with the team to make sure that their needs are addressed.

Qualifications for the program include:
  • 60 years of age or more, or have a disability;
  • Own your own home, or live in a home owned by someone in your family;
  • Live in South Portland;
  • Have annual income under $43,050 for a single person; under $49,205 for a two-person family; or under $55,350 for a 3-person family.
  • Less than $50,000.00 in liquid assets
For more information about this program, and how we can help you,
please call Melanie Cahill, Program Coordinator, at (207) 773-4140.

Committee Members are sworn into office at the March 6 City Council Meeting.  Left to right: Dan Hogan (Conservation Commission), Timothy Hubbard (Board of Assessment Review), Taylor Strubell (Energy & Recycling Committee).  Photo Credit:  Adrian Dowling.  Interested in serving on a Board or Committee?  Visit the City's Website for a list of current vacancies and apply online
What: Spring Awakening
Where: Lyric Music Theater, 176 Sawyer St, South Portland, ME 04106
When: March 17-April 2, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:30.
How much: $19.00-$23.00
Tickets: lyricmusictheater.org, 799-1421

Description:  An angst-filled rock musical, Spring Awakening is based on the 1891 German play of the same name. Set in late-19th-century Germany, the musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of adolescent sexuality. Join this group of students as they navigate teenage self-discovery and coming-of-age anxiety in a powerful celebration of youth and rebellion in the daring, remarkable Spring Awakening. Mature Themes.   Photo Credit: Linwood Leland. 

City-wide winter parking ban is in effect December 1, 2016 - April 1, 2017.  Public streets and sidewalks must be clear of vehicles each night from 12am-6am.

Employment Opportunities

Looking for a career?  The City of South Portland is hiring for several positions.  View the current job openings and learn how to apply online here.  
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The City of South Portland Community Newsletter is published by the City of South Portland.  It is a compilation of the best available information at the time of publication.  Events may be 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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