April 1, 2023

Town of Scarborough Newsletter

No pranks here for April Fool's Day, just a full lineup of events, programs, and items worth noting from across departments and the Town Council. We'll recap this past week's proposed budget presentation from our Town Manager, and share some important committee work updates in case you missed our late-March board/committee newsletter. There are also some seasonal updates that don't stop at Spring...that's right, we're looking ahead to summer community programs and even Summerfest. Read on for details.


What are your summer plans? Scarborough is hiring for a number of seasonal (and full time) positions across several departments. Check out our Job Board for current opportunities and check back routinely for your best fit.

Proposed FY2024 Budget Announced

The municipal budget season happens every year from approximately April to June. The proposed budget was publicly presented by the Town Manager jointly with the Superintendent (representing the School budget) on Wednesday, March 29. Next, Town Council will vote on the first reading of the budget, followed by a detailed review by the Finance Committee in a series of public meetings. They will prepare a list of recommendations for the Council to consider upon adoption, and the Council is charged with final approval of the municipal budget at second reading. The school budget will be voted on in a referendum election in June.

Read the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget document and look out for our special Budget Overview newsletter in April.

This is a critical period for us each year, as the budget is a representation of our town’s priorities for residents. We respect the responsibility the residents have placed with the Town Council and staff to be the stewards of your tax dollars and deliver high-quality public services.

The Finance Committee and full Town Council invite and encourage resident participation. Tune into meetings, look over the budget document, and give feedback to the Council at towncouncil@scarboroughmaine.org.


Budget Roundtable discussions are scheduled for April 10 and April 24. This will be an opportunity to meet with members of the Town Council and Board of Education and ask questions about the budget in a less formal setting. More information will be posted on our website.

Portland Water District Trustee Seat

There will be a Special Election for the Portland Water District Trustee Board member representing the Town of Scarborough. This vacancy is due to the resignation of Seth Garrison with a term that expires in November 2023. Nomination papers are available in the Town Clerk’s Office for anyone interested in running to fill this seat. Please contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 207-730-4020.

Signs of Spring: Plovers on Beaches

Plovers have been spotted on our beaches – a sure sign that spring is here! Piping Plovers are endangered shore birds that are protected by both State and Federal laws. In the spring and summer months, Scarborough’s beaches are home to several pairs of endangered piping plovers. In fact, the piping plover is our official town bird!

Scarborough has a prime Piping Plover habitat. They love to lay their eggs in our soft sand and raise their chicks on our beaches. During the nesting season (roughly April – August), it’s essential that beachgoers know to steer clear of plover nests – that’s where our volunteers come in!

Volunteer on Our Beaches

Each summer, volunteers visit our beaches to educate beachgoers about the birds and to keep an eye on their nests. If you’re interested in helping the Town with our protection efforts, sign up to volunteer as a Beach Monitor!

Spend a couple hours each week walking our beaches, talking with visitors, and monitoring plover nesting areas. We're looking for a regular, weekly commitment, but we also know summer in Maine is precious. You can still volunteer even if you know you will only be able to help periodically or if there are weeks when you are unavailable. All volunteers must:

Be willing to talk and interact with the public

• Attend an annual volunteer training and orientation

• Educate beachgoers about plovers and beach rules meant to keep the birds safe

• Track volunteer time and complete written observation forms


Parks Master Plan Formally Accepted by Town Council

The Scarborough Town Council formally accepted the final Parks and Facilities Master Plan on March 1, 2023. The plan was developed by consultants from BerryDunn and Scarborough Community Services, the town department which oversees all Town-operated parks, facilities, and community programs. The plan is intended to support the Town in identifying fiscally and environmentally sustainable methods to manage growth and development. It will serve as a blueprint for the Town in planning and maintaining its parks, trails, beaches, open spaces and recreation programs and services (and other community programs and services).

The consulting team made recommendations and identified six major goals:

1. Continue to improve organizational efficiencies

2. Continue to improve programs and service delivery

3. Improve and expand facilities, parks, and amenities

4. Address ADA concerns

5. Increase financial opportunities

6. Improve maintenance and operations

Once priorities are identified and approved, Town staff and the Community Services Advisory Board will begin working to develop an implementation process. They will make a recommendation to the Town Council that aids in meeting the recreational needs of residents over the next five years as well as creating long term plans to meet future expectations and needs. 


View the full Parks & Facilities Master Plan on our website.

How to Find & Interpret Your Property Card

The Assessing Department has created two helpful guides for property owners: 

1) NEW Step-by-Step Guide: “How to Find Your Property Card” (View)

2) UPDATED Visual Guide: “How to Interpret Your Property Card” (View)

These guides contain instructions to help you locate your property information and understand the information the town collects and stores in our real property data system. This transparency can help us ensure the Assessed Value of your home and property is accurate. 

Where Can I Find My Property Card?

You can find your property card on the Town of Scarborough’s real property data system (Vision Online Database) by following the step-by-step instructions in the “How to Find Your Property Card” guide.

How Do I Interpret My Property Card?

At first glance, the real estate assessment Property Card (aka “Field Card”) can be intimidating. There is a wealth of information that can be difficult to decipher for someone who does not work in real estate. However, we have published an improved “How to Interpret Your Property Card” visual guide to educate those who wish to understand the layout and content of the Town of Scarborough Property Card. 

When you locate your property card, you should review it carefully. If you believe any of the information on your Property Card is inaccurate, we encourage you to report these errors to the Assessing Department as soon as possible. Contact Nick Cloutier, Assessor, at ncloutier@scarboroughmaine.org or call (207) 730-4060. 

These property cards guides can be accessed at any time from the Real Estate page on the Assessing area of our website.


Street Sweeping Starts Soon

Happy Spring! Early- to mid-April harkens the transition from “winter operations” to “spring operations” for the Public Works department. This means that you will start to see our street sweepers out and about very soon!

There is no set schedule for street sweeping, aside from our general technique of starting at opposite ends of town with our two street sweepers, and working our way through and around town as weather permits. Main roadways usually receive precedence over residential roadways, but we’ll get to everyone eventually!

Reminder: Yard Debris is Not Allowed in Roadways

Prior to 2019, residents were allowed to put their yard debris into the street(s), for us to pick up with the sweeper. However, with a new Town ordinance, it is now unlawful to put any yard or wood waste into any paved street or the Town’s right of way. Yard and wood waste include earthen fill, soil, sand, grass, leaves, and other vegetative matter. Per the ordinance, any person who violates this ordinance commits a civil violation, which may be punishable by a civil penalty of not less than $200, and not more than $2,500 for each violation. Each day upon which a violation continues shall be considered a separate violation. 

Free Yard Debris Disposal at Casella

All Scarborough residents may bring grass clippings and leaves to the Casella Transfer station (594 County Road, Westbrook) FREE of charge! Other items and yard/wood waste may be disposed of at the Casella Transfer Station as well, for a nominal fee. Sand may be collected and brought to the Public Works facility at 20 Washington Avenue. If you hire a contractor to clean your property, please make sure they are hauling away any debris, rather than placing/blowing it into the roadways. 


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 207.730.4400 or pwinfo@scarboroughmaine.org

Latest Board & Committee Updates in Newsletter

Did you know that many Town issues are discussed and worked through at the committee level before showing up on a Town Council agenda? Committee meetings are a great place to look for a pulse of what's happening in Scarborough. They span many different topics, like transportation, zoning, and sustainability.

We want you to be informed of not only Council topics, but also on the dedicated decision making happening in our citizen-led volunteer committees. That's why we've shared updates in our latest Board & Committee Newsletter, sent in late March. View it here.


Get Involved: Fill a Committee Vacancy

There are several active boards and committees that support the overall functions of the town and visions for its future. If you feel passionate about a subject or believe your expertise could contribute to our work, please consider applying to a board/committee. Complete an online application or pick one up in the Clerk's office. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by our Appointments & Negotiations committee. Thank you for your interest.

Open Vacancies

• ADA Advisory Board

• Historic Preservation Implementation Committee

• Planning Board*

• Senior Advisory Board

• Sustainability Committee

*The Planning Board has two open vacancies that are in critical need of being filled. Consider applying today! Questions about it? Reach out to one of our staff liaisons.

Apply by April 10: Keeping Cumberland County Warm

A heating assistance fund called Keeping Cumberland County Warm is available to income eligible Scarborough residents. This is a one-time grant program and the application period closes on April 10.

Application Process

Find all of the program details and a downloadable application on the Project GRACE website. Paper applications are available at Town Hall or Scarborough Public Library. Project GRACE is also available to initiate an application over the phone; call (207) 883-5111 or in person at scheduled dates at the Scarborough Public Library.

Applicants will be required to provide proof of income for the whole household (ex. Income tax form, pay stubs, etc.). Completed applications and supporting documents can be left at Town Hall 24/7 by using the after hours dropbox outside of the entrance, or they can be mailed to Project GRACE at PO Box 6846, Scarborough, ME 04070, or brought to one of the scheduled dates at the library.


Almost Beach Season...Almost!

Beach season is on its way, with some important dates coming in May. Beach passes, used for parking in Town-operated lots during the summer season, are available for purchase beginning in May. The season for beach parking passes runs from the start of Memorial Day weekend (May) to the end of Labor Day weekend (September). Beginning on May 15 through Labor Day, dogs are restricted from beaches from 9:00am-5:00pm. They are allowed on leash from 5:00 p.m. to dusk and off-leash from dawn to 9:00 a.m.

Age Friendly Scarborough Starts Walking Group

Saturday, April 22, 10:00am Kick-Off Event

Monday, April 24, 11:00am Wentworth Loop

Scarborough Public Library

As part of Age-Friendly Scarborough, let's go for a walk! This all-ages program has two goals in mind: let's get outside for a walk, and let's chat while we do it! There will be walking groups leaving from the Library on the dates listed on the library website. Sometimes, they will include special moments, like a walk lead by a local physical therapist, a walk with a kids’ story walk in it, a short-story discussion, or focused on a topic to get conversation moving.

There's a booklet to keep track of your walks and optional pedometers available at the front desk. Once you have some walking buddies, feel free to take it off campus. Our goal is 100 miles in 100 days, but all walks count. All participants will be celebrated. Sign-ups begin on Saturday, April 22 and run through July 31, for a hundred days of walking!

For this program, "walking" refers to any ambulatory method along a path, so using a walker, a wheelchair, a scooter, a stroller, or roller-skates all count. 


Community Services Announcements

Seeking Summerfest Vendors

This year's Summerfest family-friendly event is scheduled to take place on Friday, August 18, from 5:00 to 10:00pm and is jam-packed with fun things like a Kids Bounce Zone, train rides, live music by 12 o/c, and fireworks to complete the night!

If you are a local organization, business, or group who would like to participate in the event as a vendor, we are now accepting vendor applications through July 7.


Spring Blood Drive

Tuesday, April 18, 9:00am-2:00pm

SCS Hub, 418 Payne Road

Make Your Appointment Online

Roll up your sleeves and help save lives! We are partnering with the American Red Cross to hold a community blood drive on Tuesday, April 18. Our goal is to fill all 56 appointment time slots, so schedule your appointment today!

For more information or to make an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org or call 207-730-4158.

Summer Program Brochure is Live!

Get ready to soak up the sun with the Scarborough Community Services Summer 2023 program brochure. This brochure is the go-to for details on the latest activities and special events for child, adult, and senior programs. Program registration for residents begins Tuesday, April 4. Non-residents can register on April 18.


Council Corner: Transportation Improvements in Motion

By Nick McGee, Town Council

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Scarborough Town Council.

In my last Councilor Corner article, I focused on the Growth Management Ordinance work that had been underway to address the pace of growth within the community. While the proposed changes are still going through the Council paces, I thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight the work the Transportation Committee is taking on to help offset the impacts of increased population and rapid development within the community.  

While many committees, such as Conservation Commission, Long Range Planning and Community Services Advisory Board all play a large role in ensuring we do not diminish our ability to access and enjoy public amenities, Transportation will play a very prominent role in the years to come.

First, we need to understand where our “pinch points” are (i.e. TRAFFIC!). Alongside the 30+ intersections slated to receive improvements over the next two years in coordination with the Traffic Movement Permit related to the Downs Project, I’m happy to report that a town-wide road and traffic study is currently underway. This work will surely help us identify areas for improvements, create plans of action and lead to a cohesive and comprehensive approach to improving the transportation infrastructure in town. There will be a large public outreach component to this effort, as the Transportation Committee wants to engage the public to help identify areas of concerns, issues, and opportunities regarding our transportation network.   

Additionally, transportation involves much more than just the use of vehicles on our roadways. Access to trails, bike paths and pedestrian routes are on deck for assessment and improvements across the community. The Transportation Committee will be appointing an Ad-Hoc Trails and Bike Byways subcommittee to identify access points to trail heads, opportunities for increasing pedestrian access and other local improvements that can encourage non-motorized activities, focusing on accessibility and safety. This work will feature outreach to various committees in the Town to better understand accessibility issues and opportunities for our many natural amenities in Scarborough. The end product will result in a user-friendly map as well as some recommendations for possible enhancements for action in the future.

For a look at the wide array of projects happening within Scarborough’s public right-of-ways, currently and in upcoming years, check out the Scarborough Transportation Improvements map on the Town website. The map is on the Transportation page of the Engineering department section of the website.

If you are interested in contributing to this upcoming work, please reach out to our Town Engineer, Angela Blanchette (ablanchette@scarboroughmaine.org).  


Scarborough Town Council

Jonathan Anderson, Chair • Jean-Marie Caterina • John Cloutier • Don Hamill • Nick McGee • Karin Shupe • April Sither

Town Council meets the first and third Wednesday of each month. Visit our Town Calendar for links to attend and view agendas.

Where Will the New Unified K-3 School Be Located?

Provided by Scarborough Public School

Have you been hearing a lot about the new unified K-3 school lately and wondering where it will be located? This is the first question many have, and for good reason. The unified school will serve an important role for the community for decades to come. So finding the right location is no small task. 

The following site selection criteria has been used when narrowing down a list of potential sites. A site needs to meet all important elements of each category to be considered. 

  • Safety
  • Environment
  • Location / Future Expansion
  • Soils/ Topography
  • Utilities
  • Traffic/ Transportation Safety
  • Public Services
  • Cost
  • Availability
  • Community Involvement
  • Local Community Criteria

Learn more and dig into the details of the process and the different elements of each of the criteria outlined above in this presentation from the community forum this summer on site selection!  

Scarborough Public Library News

Zoom: Author Gary Hoyle

Writer of "Mystery Tusk: Searching for Elephants in the Maine Woods"

Wednesday, April 5, 6:00-7:00pm

Author Gary Hoyle will talk about his book Mystery Tusk: Searching for Elephants in the Maine Woods. Gary Hoyle is a visual artist specializing in representational works for museums, corporations and selective individuals. During his tenure at the Maine State Museum, Mr. Hoyle headed the 100-person excavation of the first discovered bones of a woolly mammoth in Maine. Visit his website for more information about his work. This Zoom lecture is brought to you by a partnership between the Friends of the Scarborough Marsh and the Scarborough Public Library. Registration is required.

Learn About TRASH

With ecomaine

Tuesday, April 11, 10:00-11:00am

Do you ever wonder what happens to our trash and recycling after we throw it in our bins? Come and join ecoMaine for a fun filled virtual tour of their Single-Sort Recycling and Waste-to-Energy facilities! Learn how a mixture of human and machine power collect, sort, and process our waste in sustainable ways! See cool videos, ask questions, and discover new ways we can reduce our own waste footprint.

A Post-S.E.E.D. Moment

Friday, April 14, 2:00-4:00pm

Saturday, April 15, 9:00am-12:00pm

Did you attend the program at Scarborough High School about high-potency marijuana and you want to talk one-on-one about it with someone from S.E.E.D.? They will be at the Library during the days and times listed for anonymous conversations.

Podcast Club: Earth Day Edition

Tuesday, April 18, 12:00-1:00pm

Please join us for the first meeting of the new Podcast Club. It's like a book club, but for podcasts! This April, in honor of Earth Day, our focus will be on podcasts that celebrate the beauty and wonder of the natural world, and touch on the imperative to protect the Earth’s fragile ecosystems. Here is a the "menu" of podcasts. Please listen to one or more to prepare for the discussion. This is both in person and online, so registration is preferred.

Youth Services offers weekly recurring programs and activities like Preschool Learning & Discovery Time, Mind Readers: A Middle School Book Club, Rhythm & Rhyme (for babies and toddlers), Lego Block Party and more. View a complete listing and details on their website.


Monday – 9am to 5pm • Tuesday – 9am to 7pm • Wednesday – 9am to 7pm • Thursday – 9am to 7pm • Friday – 9am to 5pm • Saturday – 9am to 5pm • Sunday – Closed

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