South Portland Community Newsletter

Issue 215

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.

Friday, December 2 - 2016 Holiday Fest (Mill Creek Park, 4:30pm-7:00pm)

Saturday, December 3 - Mad Science Show (South Portland Public Library, 10:30am)

Sunday, December 4 - Santa Hustle (Maine Mall, 7:00am)

Saturday, December 10 - Holiday Concert with Cul-de-Sax (South Portland Public Library, 7:00pm)


For a schedule of all City Meetings, Public Hearings & Current Notices, please visit the City's website.
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.  

South Portland Firefighter's "Angel Tree Campaign" in support of The Salvation Army

now through Sunday December 11th

The South Portland Fire Department has a tree set up at the Western Avenue Fire Station, on James Baka Drive. The individual "Angel Tags" are on the tree (each tag has a child's gift requests on them).  New, unwrapped gifts can be returned to the same Fire Station, or arrangements can be made to pick up items or monetary donations if needed.   For more information, contact Mike Norton 207-749-1266 or email MNorton@SouthPortland.org.

South Portland Historical Society launches its new Online Museum

With over 7,000 images already uploaded, over 10,000 additional images scanned and waiting to be moved online over the next year, and new material being scanned in almost daily, the online museum will provide unprecedented access to our community's history. The Society is excited to be able to offer this digital access to photographs, documents, artifacts and more that are stored in its archives. To reach the digital museum, go to the historical society's web page at http://www.sphistory.org/ and follow the link to the new South Portland Online Museum.  
South Portland Historical Society Museum season ending
The historical society's museum at Bug Light Park will be closing for the season on Sunday, December 18th. If you haven’t already, please stop by for a visit before we close on December 18. While staff and volunteers will continue to work inside the building during the winter months, the museum itself will be closed to the public while some exhibits are removed and new material is added for the 2017 season. Museum hours are Saturdays and Sundays, from 10am to 4pm, through December 18.  FMI, call 767-7299.
Liberty Ship Ornament Raises Funds for Historical Society 
South Portland Historical Society is pleased to announce the arrival of the third in its series of holiday ornaments. Society board member Chuck Igo has spearheaded this effort to create a brass ornament series which would be lasting keepsakes of South Portland landmarks. The first ornament in the series depicted Bug Light, and last year’s edition showed the fish shacks at Fishermen’s Point with Portland Head Light in the background. For the 2016 ornament, the third in our series, we have turned to the historic events of World War II, when most everything in life changed for the residents of South Portland. The ornament shows a Liberty ship, one of 274 large cargo ships that were built here in South Portland between 1941 and 1945.

If you come into the museum gift shop, you will find not only the current Liberty ship ornament, but also a supply of each of the prior two ornaments in the series.  We hope you’ll keep our museum gift shop in mind for your holiday purchases. We seek out local craftspeople and local manufacturers whenever possible to support our local economy. FMI, call 767-7299, visit us at the museum at 55 Bug Light Park, and don’t forget to follow and participate with us on Facebook at South Portland Historical Society.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Information & Applications Available December 5

The City of South Portland Community Development program typically accepts applications for the upcoming program year beginning in December with a due date in mid-January. Applications are then reviewed by City staff and the Community Development Advisory Committee, who develop funding recommendations for the City Council. Grant funds become available July 1st.  For more information on how to apply, click here. 

Recent events in the community....

Planning Board Hearing on Nonconforming Lots and Minimum Lot Sizes
Over the last six months, the City Council has been working on Zoning Ordinance amendments pertaining to nonconforming lots of record in the various zoning districts across the City that allow single-family detached dwelling units.  The amendments also address minimum lot sizes in the Residential A and AA zones.  At its workshop on November 28th, the Council members requested two changes to the draft amendments.  These are to: (1) create the possibility, when warranted, to allow the construction of basements for homes on nonconforming lots of record in areas with combined storm and sanitary sewers; and, (2) to reduce the required minimum street frontages for the Residential A and AA zones from 75 feet and 100 feet to 50 feet and 75 feet respectively.  There is proposed to be a sunset clause for the street frontage reductions such that they would revert to the existing standards unless after 3 years the City Council takes action to maintain the reduced distances.
The Planning Board hearing will be in the City Hall Council Chambers on Tuesday, January 10th.  We will add the draft with the proposed changes (Version C) to the Planning Department web page on the City’s web site (www.southportland.org).  A substantial amount of additional background material is also available there.
The Planning Department staff are available to answer any questions about the proposed amendments.  Please contact Steve Puleo at spuleo@southportland.org. or Tex Haeuser at chaeuser@southportland.org.
City Adds Value to DEP Grant and Helps Improve Trout Brook Water Quality
Thanks to the Town of Cape Elizabeth, the City of South Portland will receive $10,000 from a DEP grant to pay for a stormwater treatment system recently installed next to Trout Brook. Earlier this year, a water quality improvement project near Trout Brook in Cape Elizabeth couldn't be completed as planned so DEP asked the Water Resource Protection Department about potential projects in South Portland. Trout Brook, which begins in Cape Elizabeth and flows through Mill Creek Park before emptying into the Fore River, does not meet state water quality standards due to the adverse effects of surrounding development. Consequently, the two communities have collaborated for the past several years on implementing the 2012 Trout Brook Watershed Management Plan (WMP) to restore water quality and aquatic habitat.  For the full story, click here.
On November 22, 2016, the South Portland Police Department partnered with Hannaford Brother’s Distribution center to distribute twenty-five Thanksgiving baskets with all the fixings to families in South Portland. This is the second year that the Police Department and Hannaford have worked together to bring holiday cheer to some of our local families. The baskets were a tremendous success with families expressing heartfelt thanks for Hannaford’s generosity. The South Portland Police Department would like to thank Rebecca Shaw, D.C. Office Coordinator and Bruce Southwick, Distribution Center General Manager for their continued support for the South Portland community.
South Portland Parking Ticket Amnesty Program Through December 15, 2016

In an effort to get citizens current on unpaid parking tickets, the City is offering an amnesty program from now, through December15th.  For any parking tickets paid now through December 15th, the City will waive the delinquent penalty fee associated with the ticket.  Under the present parking ordinance, tickets delinquent after 15 days from issuance, are doubled (delinquent penalty fee).   Come in and pay your tickets by Thursday, December 15th in order to avoid the penalty portion of the bill.  Citizens and businesses should be aware, in order to register your vehicle, all outstanding parking tickets need to be paid.

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

Search Re-Opened

The City of South Portland is accepting applications for the position of City Manager. A vibrant community of 25,000 located on picturesque Casco Bay, South Portland is known for its rich history, mixed use waterfront, natural assets, walkable and diverse neighborhoods and retail and industry. The City has been recognized as a New England Top 10 Best City based on economy/prosperity, safety, culture, health and quality of life. South Portland is a AAA/Aaa bond rated community from Standard and Poor’s Rating Services and Moody’s Investors Services, respectively.   For more information, please click here.
Mayor Blake's "Where Is This?" (Continued)...  If you guessed Anthoine Creek, you were right!
Mayor Blake says, "Anthoine Creek is tidal and one of five watersheds in South Portland.  This picture was taken at half tide.  I am standing in the middle of Kelly Street (off Broadway in Pleasantdale) and looking  east towards the Police Station. At high tide it is quite pretty during foliage season."
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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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