June 1, 2023

Town of Scarborough Newsletter

With each department gearing up for the summer season in their own ways, there is quite a variety happening within Town offices and meetings lately. Learn more about the many big projects Town Council is talking through, from final budget reviews and a second reading next week, to the next steps toward the K-3 Unified School solution. Brush up on your beach info and find out about some fun summer events! Read on for details on these topics and much more...


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Beaches: Parking Lots Now Collecting Fee

Did someone say beach season? That's an easy question, but you may have several more—let us answer those for you. Check out the FAQs on our website, and here are some quick points in the meantime:

• Scarborough is home to Ferry Beach, Pine Point Beach (Hurd Park), Higgins Beach, and Scarborough Beach State Park. All are town-operated except for Scarborough Beach.

• Beach passes are available for purchase at Town Hall (Resident, Non-Resident, Senior Resident).

• Parking fee collection began Memorial Day weekend and ends Labor Day weekend.

• No dogs on the beach from 9-5 daily.

• It’s piping plover nesting season. They are endangered, so be respectful of their nests.

Beach passes and boat launch passes are available for purchase at Town Hall, valid at all three town-operated beaches (Ferry, Pine Point, Higgins). Passes must be obtained in person in the Town Clerk’s Office.


Look Out: Hatching Plovers Spotted on Beaches

Our piping plover nests are starting to hatch! Maine’s first nest to hatch this year was on Higgins Beach, and more are anticipated in the coming days and weeks. Please look out for adult plovers and chicks and walk carefully when you visit the beach. Plover chicks seek food on their own soon after they hatch. They will run from the dune to the water line and everywhere in between. Chicks are very vulnerable for the first 3-4 weeks after they hatch because they can’t fly. If they feel threatened, chicks will often freeze on the spot, and they camouflage so well it’s often difficult to see them.

Beach Rules

Beach activity can be harmful to plovers and other shorebirds birds. Please follow these general rules when enjoying the beach:

Dogs on the beach (May 15 – Labor Day): 

  • Dawn – 9:00 am: Allowed off-leash (under voice control) in non-restricted areas 
  • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm: No dogs allowed on Scarborough’s beaches
  • 5:00 pm – Dusk: Dogs allowed on-leash in non-restricted areas (exception is on Pine Point, where dogs are allowed on-leash in the restricted area)
  • Dusk – Dawn: No dogs allowed on Scarborough’s beaches
  • Observe the restricted area on Scarborough’s beaches (April 1 – Labor Day)
  • Keep dogs at least 200-feet away from stake and twine areas or nests enclosed in fencing

Other Reminders

  • No kite flying, kite surfing, parasailing, or drone flying within 650 feet of nesting plovers
  • Fireworks are not allowed on any beach in Scarborough 
  • Take all trash with you when leaving the beach
  • Fill in all holes dug on the beach
  • Play beach games, run, and bike on areas of the beach away from nests and chicks

Thank You!

Thank you to our diligent volunteer monitors who visit our beaches to educate residents and visitors about the plovers and our local ordinances. Thanks also to residents and visitors for following the beach rules that are in place to protect these endangered birds.

We spotted some plovers on Ferry Beach! Check it out in this cute Instagram reel.

FY2024 Municipal Budget Nears Adoption

Since it was first presented by the Town Manager on March 29, the proposed FY2024 budget has been reviewed and discussed by the Finance Committee and with the public during a series of Budget Roundtables. The second reading and vote of the FY2024 budget is scheduled for Wednesday, June 7, 2023. The end goal, established by the Town Council at the start of the year, is a mill rate increase as close to +3% as possible.


June 27: School Budget Referendum

Election Day is on Tuesday, June 27. Last week we sent out a special edition newsletter with details about absentee voting, what's on the ballot, and more. The election is to vote on the school budget and a Special Election for an open seat on the Portland Water Trustee Board. The School Budget Validation Referendum Election allows voters to validate the FY2024 school budgetRead the special edition newsletter for details.

How to Vote

• Absentee ballot by mail (request it)

• Absentee ballot drop off (Dropbox will be at the Town Hall entrance on June 8)

• Absentee in-person - Stop into Town Hall during business hours (M-Th, 8am-5pm)

• In-person on Election Day, June 27

The School Budget ballot will only be accepted on or after Thursday, June 8. The final vote on the School Budget will be on Wednesday, June 7, and ballots will only be accepted after the final vote.

Learn more on our Elections page.


Town Nears Completion of Financial Audit

Q&A With the Finance Department

What is an audit and why does the Town need one?

1. An annual financial audit is required by the Town Charter and State statutes.

The annual audit is conducted by an independent firm of certified public accountants appointed by the Town Council. The goal of each audit is to receive an unmodified (or “clean”) opinion on the financial statements from the audit firm. The financial statements are included in an Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (“ACFR”). 

2. An audited financial statement is required for bonds.

The Town issues bonds to raise cash for capital assets such as school buildings, buses, computer hardware and software, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, roads, snow plows, etc. When these bonds are sold, potential buyers (investors) require an offering document describing how the cash will be used and how the Town will pay back the bonds to the buyers. These offering documents require an audited financial statement of the Town. The Town is then required under a continuing disclosure requirement to file the audited financial statements, until the bonds are paid off, into an online repository. 

3. An audit on spending is required for federal grants.

The Town also applies for and receives various grants from the federal government. The spending related to these grants must be audited annually and reported to the federal government on a Single Audit report. 

When does an audit happen?

The Town’s fiscal year ends on June 30; therefore; the preparation and audit process typically happen between July 1 and December 31. The Finance Department prepares the financial statements, schedules, footnote disclosures, and statistical tables for the ACFR.

Several unique factors occurred in the Fall of 2022 causing the audit process to be delayed, including the retirement of key longtime staff and the onboarding of a new audit firm. Our new Finance Director, Norman Kildow, joined the Town on January 3, 2023. He joined Jennifer Lord, Deputy Finance Director. Since then, he has been busy learning about the Town and its processes as well as rebuilding the Finance staff. Donna Rosacha, Sr. Accountant, joined the Finance Dept. team on March 6, 2023. Norman has also made various presentations to the Town Council on topics such as fund balance.

What is fund balance?

Fund balance is the excess (or deficiency) on the financial statements of the Town’s assets (cash, accounts and taxes receivable, inventory, etc.) over its liabilities (accounts payable, unearned revenue, etc.). Fund balance can be somewhat equated to the Town’s savings. There are various classifications of fund balance (nonspendable, restricted, committed, assigned, and unassigned) that are placed on fund balance by accounting rules, external entities, or internally by Town Council or Town management. These classifications determine how fund balance can be spent in the future. The external auditors review the classifications of fund balance for proper categorization.

The Town has a minimum fund balance policy, the details of which can be found on the Town’s website. Fund balance is one of the many indicators bond rating agencies review to determine the financial health of the Town. Since a better bond rating translates to lower borrowing costs, it has never been more important to consider fund balance and bond ratings as the Town considers large capital investments in the next few years.  

What is the current state of the audit?

The Finance Department is expecting the audit to be complete very soon. Completion of the audit will allow the Town to begin the process of issuing bonds to raise cash needed for capital projects. The Finance Dept. will complete the required annual continuing disclosures. The Town’s annual budget process nears completion for fiscal year 2024. Soon, fiscal year 2023 will come to an end and the Finance Dept. will turn its attention to preparing the schedules and financial statements for the next audit, with the full intention of completion before the start of the next budget.

Town Council Approves Letter of Intent for School Land

By Jon Anderson, Town Council Chair

On May 17th, the Town Council authorized the Town Manager to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Crossroads Holding LLC to begin the process to acquire 25.77 acres of land.  The LOI is a document declaring the preliminary commitment of the Town to conduct business with Crossroads on land acquisition efforts and outlines the chief terms of a prospective deal. It is not a complete contractual agreement, but provides a framework for finalizing negotiations in an Option Agreement. Once approved by the Council and executed, the Option Agreement will officially reserve the right for the Town to purchase 25.77 acres through December 31, 2024. Any purchase of land will be dependent on successful voter approval as early as November 7th 2023.  


In December, the School Building Committee requested that the Town engage with multiple landowners to assess the likelihood of a land deal for top sites under consideration for the K-3 Unified School Solution. After an extensive site selection process (use password: z.64g^iX) of over 40 sites that took nearly a year to study, the sites were narrowed down to a handful. One of those sites was at the Downs, so in January the Town Manager, the School Building Committee Chair and myself began preliminary discussions with Crossroads to discuss potential terms for the acquisition of 25 acres for municipal and school purposes related to a school, community center and/or recreational fields. Eventually we were joined by Vice Chair Hamill and a real estate attorney with experience in brokering these types of land deals. On April 25th and 27th, the School Building Committee and the Board of Education respectively voted to select the Downs as their recommended site for the school. The Town and Crossroads then partnered to document the terms that were discussed up to that point in the LOI approved on May 17th.

Appraisal & 2023 Timeline

The Town has also recently hired an appraiser at CoreMarket Advisors to assess the cost of the land offered by Crossroads to assist in purchase price negotiations. Establishing a purchase price is a critical step to finalize terms of an Option Agreement. Once the appraisal is completed and the purchase price is agreed, the Town will finalize terms in an Option Agreement for Council approval by July 31. This date is important, as the Council will need to decide by August 16th to comply with state election law to send the K-3 Unified School to referendum for the November election. The referendum request will need to include total costs, which is currently estimated at $137.5MM. Incremental adjustments will likely be made with final site costs and the negotiated purchase price of the land based on the final Option Agreement.  

There is still a fair amount of work to be done, and I am optimistic that we can move things forward by July 31st. Now it’s “all hands on deck” between the Town, School, Council, Board of Education, School Building Committee and Crossroads to move this to the finish line over the coming months. We have our first joint working session later this month to align, identify remaining gaps and begin to make progress. Ultimately, it will be up to you at the polls, as early as November 7th, 2023, when the school and land costs come to you for a decision. 

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the land acquisition process to date, feel free to contact me directly at janderson@scarboroughmaine.org. If you are interested in learning more about the school project and progress being made there, visit scarboroughschoolsolution.org or contact them at buildingsteeringcommittee@scarboroughschools.org.  

Upcoming School Tours & Info Sessions

Join the Scarborough School district for another round of school tours to learn more about the structural challenges of our current K-2 schools and the effects of overcrowding at our middle school (including the portables which support the entire 6th grade class).

Upcoming Tours

June 6: Blue Point, 3:45pm

June 7: Middle School, 2:45pm

June 7: Wentworth, 3:30pm

June 8: Eight Corners, 3:45pm

June 9: Pleasant Hill, 3:30pm

Ask your questions and hear directly from school principals and teachers about the day to day impact overcrowding has on the schools and their top needs to continue to support Scarborough students in the future. 

June 20: Council Corner Live

The Unified School Solution

Public Safety Building, 6:00-8:00pm

Save the Date! Join a couple of members of the Town Council for an informal discussion on the Unified School Solution, a topic which has recently been active at both the Council and School Board levels. "Council Corner Live" is a quarterly opportunity to meet with councilors on a rotating topic. It differs from the public comment period of a regular meeting and invites open dialogue and engagement. A Zoom link will be available on our website as the date nears.

Apply Soon! Ad Hoc Community Center Committee

The application deadline is June 7 for our new Ad Hoc Community Center Committee. Join to be a part of the exploration of an opportunity for a community center. Members will study, evaluate, and analyze relevant opportunities in full and make recommendations to the Town Council during the feasibility study and design process for a community center. Complete the Ad Hoc Community Center Committee Application Form by June 7 to be considered. See details on the Community Center project page


New Affordable Housing Apartment in Scarborough

Construction is halfway complete on a new residential apartment building in Scarborough called Jocelyn Place. The waitlist opens on June 5 – applications will be available at spha.net. Apartment units at Jocelyn Place are available to those 55+ within specified income limits.


Police Department Attends 4th Birthday Party

About a month ago, a young man named Myles came to the Scarborough Police Department with something special in mind. He dropped off an invitation inviting the entire Police Department to his birthday party! Of course, we couldn’t let him down. Sgt. Flynn, Ofc. Greenleaf, Ofc. Murphy, K9 Tucker and several Scarborough Fire Department firefighters stopped in for Myles’ birthday party! Myles and his friends were very excited to see the police cars, fire trucks, ambulance and obviously K9 Tucker! Sgt. Flynn presented Myles with some birthday gifts (Paw Patrol of course) and Ofc. Greenleaf brought some Scarborough PD swag for Myles and his friends. Everyone had a great time!

One Year of Weekly Police Reports

The Police Department shares feel-good community stories like this one not only on their Facebook page, but also in a weekly report shared on Facebook and our website. They started these weekly reports one year ago and they have continued to be a successful tool for informing the community about Police activity in Scarborough.


Town Council Adopts Resolution on Gun Safety

On May 17, the Town Council and Board of Education jointly adopted a resolution declaring June as Gun Violence Awareness Month. Throughout the month, the Public Safety department will provide information on best practices for secure gun storage. The Town Council, Town Manager, School Board, and Superintendent will continue to partner with local law enforcement agencies, health agencies, and nonprofits to collaborate and increase efforts to inform residents of safe storage of firearms in homes.

June 3: Scarborough Garden Club Plant Sale

Annual Plant Sale Rain or shine!

Saturday, June 3, 8:00am - 11:00am

Historic Hunnewell House, Scarborough (Corner of Winnocks Neck Rd & Black Point Rd)

Please, no 'early birds' - the sale starts promptly at 8:00am

Shop for Plants

Large selection of plants for a Maine garden, including traditional perennials as well as a selection of uncommon perennials, annuals, herbs, shrubs...and more! Knowledgeable garden club members will help you with your plant selections and give you care instructions.

Donate Plants & Tools

We accept donations of potted and labeled perennial and annual plants. Tools, plant pots and garden-themed items in good condition are also needed. 

Proceeds Fund Charitable Works

Proceeds from the sale help support the club's community projects including: wreaths for Christmas in various public buildings in Scarborough, Green Thumb Awards Contest, Scarborough Community Garden, Project GRACE, scholarship fund, University of Maine 4H Summer Camp at Bryant Pond, flower arrangements made monthly and delivered to area nursing home residents, and other memorial gifts.

Concerts in the Park Start in June!

Our annual summer concert series is hosted by the Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce and Scarborough Community Services. Concerts are held on Thursdays beginning at 6:30pm in Memorial Park.

June 29: Hello Newman Best of the 90s, 00s

July 6: Joan Kennedy Classic Covers and Originals

July 13: Motor Booty Affair Ultimate Party Disco Band

July 20: Delta Knights Classic Rock, R&B and Blues

July 27: Compaq Big Band Big Band, Swing

August 3: Don Campbell Band American Crossovers and Originals


Community Services: Summer Programs for All

Youth Programs

Week-long specialty camps range from art, dance, STEM offerings, and sports programs (soccer, basketball, baseball/softball, field hockey, lacrosse, track, and more). There is still availability in most camps!

Adult Programs

New offerings include pickleball lessons, an Ages 35+ Sunday soccer league, and cornhole tournaments.

Teen Programs

Summer adventure trips for 7-8th graders! The Tues/Thurs outings include Canobie Lake Park, Aquaboggan, Funtown/Splashtown, Paintball, a Sea Dogs Game, Water Country, & more.

Senior Programs

Many regular weekly programs will continue through the summer, including BINGO, Games and Gather sessions, and Wednesday lunches. Look ahead for trips to the Yarmouth Clam Festival and our Annual Senior BBQ on Wednesday, August 16.


See the Community Services summer brochure for program details and instructions for registering.

Age Friendly Scarborough Programs

Balance Focused Walking

Tuesday, June 6 & June 13


Scarborough Public Library

Join physical therapist Jason Adour for a walk and balance exercises around the campus. Jason Adour is a physical therapist and founder of the Maine Strong Balance Centers located in South Portland, Scarborough and Saco. He received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, in Boston in 2010. His professional experience has included geriatric medicine, sports medicine and neurological rehabilitation, which have all included a focus on balance. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Educator Award from the University of New England where he is a clinical faculty member.


Emergency Preparedness

Friday, June 16


Scarborough Public Library

Learn about Emergency Preparedness and pick up a bag of emergency essentials. Speakers include Fire Chief Rich Kindelan, Scarborough Fire Department; District Chief Sandler, EMS; and Chelsea Robins, CCEMA.

Council Corner: The Art of Possible

By Don Hamill, 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.

The first day of summer is approaching and the end of our annual budget process. My fifth round as a councilor dealing with it. 

Our Town Council FY2024 goal is as close as possible to +3% mill rate increase, or a 15.85 mil rate (percent of taxes per $1000 of assessed value). Nearby towns are dealing with similar challenges. Recent budget approvals, however, have exceeded 5% in some towns including Cape Elizabeth and South Portland. 

Are we addressing the right priorities? Are we focused on the most critical issues? It’s clear we have a space problem in our schools and have had over a decade to solve it. A recommendation has been made for a “Unified” K-8 school expansion and land project. It may require capital expenses of $137.5MM+. At the same time, we are discussing a $35MM+ Community Recreation Center and other investments in our parks, parking, and recreational facilities in the next few years. We have yet to analyze the full costs and benefits for the town in our biggest commercial partnership with the Downs launched in 2018.  

Common sense and our official roles demand that we be prudent in the financial obligations we make for our town. We need to keep our annual expenditures and debt as low as possible - to build our cash reserves and fund balances. We need to control our capital, facilities, equipment, and operating budget increases. We need to defer or cancel nonessentials. We need to avoid making new complex deals that may have far-reaching consequences for our fiscal health and long term financial, social, and environmental sustainability. 

Here's what you can do to help:

1. Get involved. We’ve made great strides in our efforts to engage and involve the public. We have more opportunities for engagement and involvement than ever before – highlighted by the vast number of Town Council, Statutory, and Ad Hoc Committees. Let’s be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.  

2. Be more efficient. There are new needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to be economical in our deployment of resources by both the schools and the town. Help us find ways to: economize and eliminate waste; improve efficiencies in services; and manage our town and school assets and expenditures better.

3. Respect our competing interests and roles. I watched a recent Board of Education meeting in which they reviewed their mission as members. Their responsibility - to serve the best interests of students - is both admirable and unlimited in principle. They are accountable primarily to our students and the school department. The Town Council and Town Manager and Staff – through the Council- are accountable however to the general public for our overall budget.  

Let’s get our own financial house in order first before we ask the good people of Scarborough to approve any major expenditures and investments that could result in historically high tax increases and doubling our debt burden.

We cannot meet all wants and desires - but with focus, hard work, and determination together we should be able to get what we need.

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.


Scarborough Public Library: Upcoming Programs

Youth Drawing Workshop

With Kevin Hawkes

Wednesday, June 7, 2:30pm (Early Release Day)


Kids ages 10 & up are invited to join us for a fun drawing workshop Kevin Hawkes. Kevin is an author/illustrator of over 50 acclaimed picture and chapter books including the New York Times best seller Library Lion, Chicken Cheeks, Westlandia and The Wicked Big Toddlah.

Podcast Club: Awe, Wonder, and Happiness

Tuesday, June 13, 2:00-3:00pm


Join us for a meeting of the new Podcast Club. It's like a book club, but for podcasts! Never listened to a podcast before? No problem! Use this club a springboard for learning more about the world of podcasts. 

This month's podcasts explore awe, wonder, and happiness. The podcast selections for this meeting delve into the science of awe, and then take a closer look at the awe inspired by the vastness of space, the wonders of nature, and the joys of music. See the "menu" of podcasts, then listen to one or more to prepare for the discussion.

Armchair Traveler: "Of Rhinos, Pangolins, and a Black Footed Cat"

Thursday, June 15, 7:00-8:00pm


Join us for our popular "Armchair Traveler" Series with a presentation by Kris Hoyt, titled "Of Phinos, Pangolins, and a Black Footed Cat: The Plight of Endangered Species in Africa."

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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