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South Portland Community Newsletter

Issue 282

This City of South Portland Community E-Newsletter includes information about Ciy 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.
Having difficulty viewing the newsletter?  The newsletter and archives are posted on the City's website here.   Please report broken links to news@southportland.org.

Mobile Users: Click on any image to enlarge it for easier viewing! 

LGBTQ+ Pride Month occurs in the United States to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many pride events are held during June to recognize the impact LGBTQ+ people have had in the world. In celebration of #PrideMonth, South Portland has re-painted a handful of crosswalks to the colors of the rainbow!  Special thanks to South Portland Public Works! 
All municipal buildings will be closed on Friday, July 3 for Independence Day.  We hope you have a happy and safe holiday.  As a reminder, fireworks are not permitted in the City of South Portland. 

Thanks to resident Russ Lunt for the photo!

City Building Re-Opening Plans


For the month of July, Assessing (41 Thomas St), Planning & Development (496 Ocean St), and City Hall (with the exception of the Finance Department) remain open by appointment only.   All other municipal offices, including the Transfer Facility, remain open, with the exception of the following:  

The Library remains closed until further notice, but is operating curb-side pick up.  The Community Center Pool, Track, Gym remain closed until further notice.   


 
Vehicle Registrations

Expired vehicle registrations must be renewed by July 11. Starting July 1, the Finance Office (located at City Hall) will be taking customers without appointment.  Three customers will be allowed into the building at a time.  Please wait at the back parking lot of City Hall.  We will be limiting access to the building to maintain proper social distancing requirements. 

Online Services

Click here for a list of services that may be done online, including vehicle registration renewal.
Renew your vehicle online.
Renew boat registration online.
Pay taxes online.
Buy Hunt/Fish License online.

Request absentee ballot



For more information on the City's Emergency Regulations and preparations regarding COVID-19, as well as useful links and documents, please visit the coronavirus page our City website.

https://www.southportland.org/coronavirus-covid-19/
 

To register to receive Emergency Notification Alerts related to your neighborhood, follow this link:  
https://www.southportland.org/departments/police-department/code-red/

Notice about Public Meetings
 
During this time, City committees have been authorized to meet remotely to conduct business. City Boards & Committees, including the City Council, have been holding meetings via "Zoom" video conferencing. Although this is a temporary way of conducting business, and is a new format for many of us, the City remains committed to transparency and ensuring open public meetings. The City has posted helpful information about how the public can both observe and participate in these remotely-held meetings on the City's website under "Agendas & Minutes" (where you can find posted agendas) and on SPC-TV during live meetings.

For those who would just like to watch/listen in -- City Council meetings, School Board meetings, and Planning Board meetings, and certain City committee meetings will continue to be recorded and live-streamed and available online via SPC-TV and on TV Channel 1301.

For any meetings, you may participate by following the directions on the posted agenda to join the Zoom meeting at the posted time by phone or computer. To indicate your wish to speak during the meeting, please press *9 (if joining by phone) or use the "Raise Hand" feature if joining by computer (found under the "Participants" button in the lower panel). If you are having any technical difficulties during the meeting, use the Chat feature or Press *9 to alert the meeting host. Members of the public who join meetings to participate will not have the ability to share their screen or turn on their cameras, so those in the meeting will not be able to see you, but they will be able to hear you.

 
https://www.southportland.org/
OPEN SPACE PLAN IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE – COMMUNITY FORUM ON THE TIERING OF OPEN SPACE PROPERTIES OWNED BY THE CITY OF SOUTH PORTLAND
 
South Portland, ME - The Open Space Implementation Committee (OSIC) will be holding a public forum concerning the tiering of unimproved open space parcels currently owned by the City of South Portland (City) via the Zoom meeting platform on Tuesday, June 30th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
 
The OSIC was created when the South Portland Open Space Plan was approved by City Council on August 13, 2019 and appended to the City’s 2012 Comprehensive Plan. Section 9 of the Open Space Plan outlines an implementation process, with the Conservation Commission overseeing implementation of the plan.  One of the tasks of the OSIC was a classification process of a three-tiered protection system for unimproved City-owned properties.  These properties can be found in all neighborhoods throughout the city.  The OSIC completed this task and presented the work to the South Portland City Council via a workshop held on March 5, 2020.  City councilors requested that the tiering process be presented for public input prior to finalization.

All residents and stakeholders are encouraged to attend this meeting to learn about the tiering process and to provide the OSIC with input.  Residents are the ones who understand the value of each open space parcel located in their respective neighborhoods.  Their input and opinions are invaluable to planning efforts and the protection of the limited open spaces left in our city.  The link to the Zoom meeting can be found here:  https://zoom.us/j/99429348473

For further information or to review available documents, click on this link to the City of South Portland website https://www.southportland.org/our-city/board-and-committees/open-space-implementation-committee/  You may also contact Sharon Newman, Chair of the OSIC at snewman@preti.com
 
The State Primary Election, State Special Referendum Election, and Municipal School Budget Validation Referendum Election will be held on July 14, 2020.  
You may click here to request an absentee ballot. Know that for this election, applications for absentee ballots may be made in writing or in person up to and including the day of the election, without specifying a reason, in order to permit voters to obtain an absentee ballot and return it before the polls close on July 14, 2020. To check your voter registration status or request a voter registration application be mailed to you, please call the City Clerk's office at (207) 767-3201.
 
Special Note:  The July 14 election does not feature the race for U.S. President.  That election will be held November 3, 2020.   Absentee ballots for the November General Election may be requested starting early August.  You must request your absentee ballot before every election. 

REGISTER TO VOTE
If you need to register to vote, you may do so by mail up until July 7.  After this date, you may register to vote in person at the City Clerk's office or at your polling place on Election Day.

ENROLLING IN A POLITICAL PARTY
You must be enrolled in a political party to receive that party's Primary ballot.  If you need to change parties, you have until June 29 to do so before the Primary Election.   If you are currently Unenrolled (not affiliated with a political party), you may choose to enroll in a political party and vote in the Primary election by completing a new voter registration card and returning it to the City Clerk's office before election day, or at the polls.   You can check your voter registration status by calling the City Clerk's office at (207) 767-3201.

POLLING PLACE INFORMATION
All polling places will be open on Election Day, July 14, from 7:00am-8:00pm.    Absentee ballots must be returned to the City Clerk's office by 8:00pm on Election Day. 

RETURNING ABSENTEE BALLOTS
Ballots may be returned by mail, delivered by the voter or a member of the voter's immediate family, or left in the secure dropbox located in the back parking lot of City Hall during hours of operation.  (Do NOT leave ballots under the door or give them to a friend to deliver for you - this is not permitted under the law and will cause the ballots to be rejected.) 

SERVING AS AN ELECTION WORKER
If you are interested in serving as an Election Worker for upcoming elections, please click here for more information.
South Portland Land Trust Unveils
Map of West End Trails

In honor of National Trails Day (NTD), on Saturday, June 6th the South Portland Land Trust debuts its new map/brochure of 5 trails in the west end of South Portland.

The South Portland Land Trust invites you to discover or re-discover their five close to home trails, totaling nearly 4 miles:  Clarks Pond Trail (1.1 miles), Home Depot Trail (.4 mile), Clarks Pond Point Trail (.2 mile), Long Creek Trail (.6 mile), Red Brook Trail (.6 mile), and the South Branch Trail (1 mile).
 
The virus is not as hearty outdoors but trail users still need to be wise:
  • Keep six feet between people (unless you live in the same household)
  • If the trail is busy, try another location
  • Carry hand sanitizer and use it regularly, while also avoiding touching your face
  • Consider wearing a mask
  • Stay home if you feel sick or think you have been exposed to the virus
A decade ago the South Portland Land Trust started creating trails in the western part of the city, laced among many acres of retail and services.  At first it seemed unlikely but the forgotten waterways of Long Creek provided the opportunity. The proximity of these trails to scores of employees, shoppers and residents make them a real gem.  More sections and trail links are planned.

The West End Trails map may be found at www.southportlandlandtrust.org
The City Council passed ORDINANCE #21-19/20, which provides relief from impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including allowing the Planning Division to issue permits for temporary outdoor services. Click here to apply for temporary outdoor services for your business. Read More
Click Here for more information about SoPo To Go
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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