March 15, 2023

Town of Scarborough Newsletter

It seems like March is giving us a busy month of snowstorms, and that same energy is mirrored across our departments. Assessing is organizing tax assistance applications, Community Services has a lineup of programs for all ages, Town Council is gearing up for budget season to kick off in April, and more. Read on for the full gamut, and have your pen handy for some useful "save the dates" on upcoming deadlines, program event dates, and more.


Behind the scenes, our IT department is keeping us secure and operating smoothly. We have them to thank for our robust website, which was upgraded to its latest look and feel last March, exactly one year ago. Our website is your best source for meeting links, applications, making online payments and more. Take a look.

Tonight: Town Council Workshop & Meeting

Workshop: Zoning Map

5:30pm, View Agenda / Attend via Zoom

The workshop entails a presentation and discussion on the Zoning Map.

Town Council Meeting

7:00pm, View Agenda / Attend via Zoom

The meeting includes proposed amendments to the Post-Construction Stormwater Infrastructure Management Ordinance, the proposed adoption of Chapter 420 - Erosion and Sedimentation Control at Construction Sites, proposed amendments brought forward by the Planning Board, advancements on the Ad-Hoc Community Center Committee, and more.


Join Scarborough Fire: Apply by March 31

Do you want rewarding career in the fire service? Start here in Scarborough. Our Fire Department responds to over 4,700 calls for service annually, providing advanced life support EMS treatment and transport as well as full-service fire suppression, marine and technical rescue response to the citizens and visitors to our community.

If you want the opportunity to be a part of a Fire Service organization that will continue to grow and evolve over the course of your entire career, the Scarborough Fire Department may be a good fit for you. If you are highly motivated, passionate about our mission, and bring strong character, a love of the craft, and a desire to be a part of a special organization in a special community, you may be a good fit for the Scarborough Fire Department.

The Scarborough Fire Department has released a 2-minute recruitment video highlighting what it's like to be a part of the crew. Watch it here.


SFD is hiring for a Full Time Firefighter/EMT and Per Diem Firefighters. Learn more and apply at Applications are due by March 31.

New Fire Truck Push-In Ceremony

Sunday, March 26


Pleasant Hill Station

The Fire Department received a new pumper truck to add to its fleet. The truck arrived in January and has been undergoing maintenance by our Public Works technicians prior to use.

As with any new truck in the Fire Department, it will be honored in an official pushing-in ceremony. We invite members of the public to join us for the Push-In Ceremony on Sunday, March 26 at 1:00pm. The event will be held at the Pleasant Hill station where it is assigned.

This pumper truck is a 2022 Pierce Enforcer 1500 gallon per minute pump. Our truck committee has spent a considerable amount of time over the past few years to understand and update our design for the neighborhood fire engines. The smaller, more maneuverable design makes newer trucks easier to operate within our neighborhoods. The new Engine 3 pumper truck replaces a 20-year old fire engine, which will run as the spare when frontline apparatus are having maintenance.

The new Engine 3 truck is an almost duplicate design to Pine Point Engine 4 pictured above, delivered in Summer 2021.

March 25: Passport Day—No Appointment Needed!

Passport Day

Saturday, March 25 (Rescheduled from 3/4)

9:00am-2:00pm, Community Services Hub

Do you have upcoming travel plans that will take you outside of the United States? Wherever you go, a passport will get you home! Community Services is hosting a Passport Acceptance Day to assist individuals and families with the acceptance of U.S. passport applications.

No appointment is needed for this event. We will have all necessary forms available for your convenience, but we highly recommend checking all requirements and fees prior to the event by visiting Travel.State.Gov or calling us at 207-730-4150 with any questions.


Property Taxes Due Today, March 15

The second half of your property tax bill is due today, March 15. Payments can be made in-person at Town Hall or online. If you have a billing or payment question, please contact our Tax Collections department at (207) 730-4010. (How was the tax rate determined? Click Here to learn more).


The Assessing department gave an overview of some tax assistance programs—many with April 1 application deadlines—in our last newsletter. The same info can also be found on our website.

Special Election for the Portland Water District Trustee

There will be a Special Election for the Portland Water Trustee Board representing the Town of Scarborough. Nomination papers are available in the Town Clerk’s Office from March 1st to April 5th. This vacancy is due to the resignation of Seth Garrison with a term that expires in November 2023. The Special Election will be held on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. For more information, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 207-730-4020.

Expanding Scarborough's EV Charging Infrastructure

You may start seeing more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in parking lots around Scarborough. In January, the Town Council approved an amendment to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance that requires developers to plan for installation of EV charging infrastructure. Depending on the size and type of the development, chargers will also need to be installed.

The Sustainability Committee recommended the ordinance update to increase the public’s access to EV chargers. There are many reasons to improve EV charging infrastructure in Scarborough. The Town’s Energy and Sustainability Plan and Maine’s climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, both call for reducing emissions from vehicles. In addition, recent Federal legislation incudes incentives for people to purchase electric vehicles, and most major car companies have pledged to convert their fleets to all EVs within the next decade. 

The EV charger at the Scarborough Public Library is one of the handful of public charging stations available in Scarborough.

While it’s clear that the car industry is changing, one major barrier to people purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle is the availability of charging stations. Cities and towns play an important role in expanding EV charging infrastructure through local zoning ordinances, and planning ahead can save a lot of money. Studies have shown that it’s four to six times less expensive to plan for the installation of EV charging stations during construction, rather than going back to retrofit existing parking areas. 

The Sustainability Committee hopes this change will encourage people to drive electric. If you’re thinking about an electric vehicle, learn more about current state rebates, federal tax credits, and other incentives by visiting the Efficiency Maine website. Now is a great time to go electric!

Heating Assistance Program: April 10 Deadline

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 is open from now through 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.


WindowDressers Seeks Volunteers for Community Build

WindowDressers is a grassroots, volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that trains, supplies, and supports teams of community volunteers who conduct Community Builds to create insulating window inserts for local residents. It hopes to bring a Community Build to the greater Portland area in the Fall of 2023 and is looking build up a Volunteer Team to help lead this effort.

WindowDressers brings community volunteers of all economic and social situations together to improve the warmth and comfort of interior spaces, lower heating costs, and reduce carbon dioxide pollution by producing low-cost insulating window inserts that function as custom, interior-mounted storm windows.  

Learn more about WindowDressers and their impact at  

Resources for Seniors

Computer Safety: Password Protection

With the USM Cybersecurity Ambassadors

Friday, March 31, 10:00am

Scarborough Public Library

USM Ambassadors will be talking about password protection and password manager apps as part of this program. It will be held at the Scarborough Public Library.

This is part of the Age-Friendly Scarborough Speaker Series. The first program in the series was held in late February on aging safely at home, and in early March on computer and internet safety.

For more information about the USM Cybersecurity Ambassadors, visit Cybersecurity Ambassador Program – Department of Technology (

Meals to Go: Monthly Thursday Pickup

Community Services Hub, 418 Payne Road

Learn More

Scarborough Community Services and Southern Maine Agency are working together to offer a Meals to Go Program. If you are 60 or older, you can get 3 pre-cooked freezer meals to enjoy when you need them for a suggested donation of $10. Note: If you are not registered with SMAA, we will need you to fill out a form over the phone. Call (207) 730-4173 to register. 

Upcoming Pickup Dates:

Thursday, April 13

Thursday, May 11

View upcoming senior programs and trips in our Spring Brochure. There are offerings nearly every weekday! These are a great way for ages 55+ to be social, stay active, and connect with their community.


Join Team Scarborough! Urban Runoff 5K Race

The annual Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) Urban Runoff 5K is happening on Saturday, April 22...Earth Day! We're forming "Team Scarborough" to represent our community in the upcoming road race. When you register, be sure to select "Team Scarborough" in the Join a Team dropdown to help us earn the title of Largest Municipal Team! The Urban Runoff 5K can be completed in-person on April 22 or virtually throughout the month of April.

Scarborough is one of 14 towns in Cumberland County who collaborate on stormwater education and outreach with CCSWCD.


Community Services Programs for All Ages

Youth Open Gym (Grades 3-5)

Friday, March 31

6:00-8:00pm, Wentworth Gym

$15/child; Register

Join us at the Wentworth Gym for Open Gym Night. SCS staff will assist the children in playing soccer, basketball, dodgeball or other activities. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Teen Open Gym (Grades 6-8)

Friday, March 24

6:00-8:00pm, Hub Gym (418 Payne Road)

$20/child; Register

Join us for open gym night at the Hub. We will be opening up our gym for a night of games like shuffleboard, corn hole, floor hockey, half-court basketball and more! Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Nonesuch River Brewing Tour (21+)

Saturday, March 25

4:00pm, Nonesuch River Brewing (201 Gorham Road)

$20 per person; Register

Grab your friends and family (21+) and join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Nonesuch River Brewing operation. Get an up close look at how they produce a wide variety of beers for all different tastes. Our group is limited to 15 adults for an intimate atmosphere. The tour is followed by samples of their beer and afterwards, you are welcome to relax in the restaurant to order food and beverages and have a good time with like-minded locals.

Cooking Decorating Class

Wednesday, April 5

6:00-8:00pm, SCS Hub

$30/person; Register

Join us for a cookie decorating class hosted by 2 Smaht Cookies, LLC. Cookies and royal icing will be provided to create unique designs. Participants will receive over an hour of instruction from owners Becky and Carla on techniques they use daily when creating their beautifully decorated cookies. After the class, you will get to take your delicious masterpieces home to share and enjoy.

Breakfast with the Bunny

Saturday, April 1, 9:00-10:30am

$8 per person or $25 per family


Join us in the Wentworth Cafeteria for a yummy breakfast with our favorite special guest... The Easter Bunny! The menu includes pancakes, sausage, hash browns, and fruit, along with all of the fixings. Don’t forget to bring your camera for a photo op with the Bunny! Registration is required for breakfast.


See more from Community Services in the Spring Program Brochure. Paper copies are available at the Scarborough Public Library or Community Services Hub (418 Payne Road).

Council Corner: Prepare for the worst while hoping for the best

By John Cloutier, 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.

It’s March in Maine and the weather can be a little unpredictable. The Pine Point Beach parking lot was at near capacity on Sunday, and the very next day we found ourselves preparing for what is expected to be a major snowstorm. It’s because we’re in Maine, however, that this type of mixed weather pattern is somewhat expected. Unpredictable is a little normal for us at this time of year, so we plan for it. Speaking of planning, we’re about to enter budget season in Scarborough and the Town Council and our Finance Committee are gearing up to take a deep dive into the proposals that will be brought forward by the Town Manager and Board of Education. There are 2 primary decisions that the Council needs to make in the budget process:

  1. How much spending will we allow for each department?
  2. How much will we direct the Town Assessor to collect from Property tax payers?

 We have had a long standing goal as a Town Council to maintain consistent and predictable tax bills, and to strive for the typical tax bill to increase by no more than 3%. We’ve been very good at sticking to this goal in recent years. In fact, our average increase over the past 4 years has been closer to 1.65%. Good news for our wallets… but not so good for building reserves or the capacity to address situations that we may not have planned for fully (like inflation going up 6% in one year). Recognizing that we’re ill prepared for the inflationary environment that we find ourselves in, the Town Council modified this long standing goal this year in that we want to end the budget process with as close to a 3% increase as possible. A subtle difference, but an important one. 

The question of how much spending to allow is one that we will focus on a little more closely with our department reviews. As a Council, we have a goal of capping spending at +5%. This cap does not include major capital improvements (like a school or community center) as those can only be approved by the voters, but it is a ceiling on the spending that this Council intends to authorize. We also plan to continue funding a growing portion of our Capital Improvements with cash and reserve accounts, as opposed to issuing debt.  

The Town Manager and Superintendent will present their budget proposal to the Town Council on March 29th. The first reading is scheduled for the following week and we anticipate receiving the Fiscal Year 2022 audited financial statements around that same time. It will be a lot for us to process and reconcile in a fairly short amount of time. The audit results will provide insights into our financial condition, which will inform how much capacity we have to entertain new initiatives. 

The Board of Education has begun their review process and will hold a first reading on March 16th. All budget related materials will be available online via the School Department and Town websites. There will be very detailed budget documents (very detailed), review schedules, prior year budget proposals, Q&A, and more. I invite you to follow along, ask questions, and share your thoughts as the proposed budget is publicly vetted, amended, and approved. The School Budget Validation Referendum is planned for June 13th.  

I’m excited to work with Councilors Shupe and Hamill, my colleagues on the Finance Committee, and the School Board Finance Committee as we work to ensure a balanced budget that is responsive to the Town Council’s goals, the Town’s established priorities, and the needs brought forward by staff.


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 Schools: What the Next 10 Years Look Like

Provided by School Building Committee

Rebecca Wandell, a school enrollment specialist with over 20 years of experience, joined the School Board meeting on March 2nd to present the results of the 2022-23 Scarborough Public Schools Enrollment Study. The results: Scarborough is growing but structurally our K-8 schools are not currently equipped to grow with the community they serve. 

The detailed study examined current and projected birth rates, school enrollment, and housing data to produce four projected models of what enrollment in Scarborough schools will look like over the next decade. Enrollment study data projects a 15-22% increase in K-8 enrollment over the next 10 years (and has the potential to go as high as 30% depending on future housing growth and development). 

This level of increase paints a concerning picture for teachers, parents, and school administrators, especially considering our K-8 schools already exceed their ideal capacity. This results in program inadequacies and scheduling inefficiencies that hinder student’s learning. 

The future of our schools is an important decision for every Scarborough resident. Community members are encouraged to review the enrollment study data in full and attend both the meetings and community discussions which will shape the direction and future for Scarborough Schools. 


Review the study, learn more about the unified school project, and see updated meeting schedules on the School website.

Scarborough Public Library News

Virtual Reality: A Tool to Enhance Empathy and Knowledge

With Dr. Marilyn Gugliucci, University of New England

Wednesday, March 15, 7:00pm

Virtual reality (VR) training is being used with University of New England students studying to be health professionals. They actually "embody" an older person through VR to experience what it is like to have various health issues, such as macular degeneration or dementia. This session will provide a 2D virtual experience for the audience and put this in context for how empathy and knowledge is enhanced by using this education tool. This talk is sponsored by the Friends of the Scarborough Library, as the third of their Emerson Lectures, supported by an endowed fund for lectures on topics in science and technology. More info.

The Many Faces of Grief

With Kelly Blanchette, CT, CCLS, Bereavement Services Manager

Tuesday, March 28, 6:30-7:30pm (This is the rescheduled date)

Join Hospice of Maine and the Scarborough Library for a presentation on the many faces of grief as we explore what grief is, when it can happen, and the many ways it affects us. We will talk about the entire spectrum of grief, from anticipatory grief experienced prior to a loss, to the ways we struggle when we experience loss. Grief is natural, normal, and happens to everyone and we will learn how to recognize grief in ourselves and in others. Kelly will provide helpful resources to all attendees.

This is a hybrid event, both in person and online. Registration required.

Ongoing Group Programs & Classes

French Discussion Group

Thursday, March 23, 5:30pm

Interested in French conversation? Join other French speakers every fourth Thursday from 5:30-6:30pm for casual conversation. Beginners and experienced speakers are all welcome.

ELL Classes

Wednesdays at 10:00am

Scarborough Adult Learning Center staff will host a FREE learning lab for ELL students in partnership with the Scarborough Public Library. Instruction will focus on improving skills in English as well as achieving personal language goals. Contact Marianne Doyle FMI or (207) 730-5045.


March 15 & 29 at 5:00pm

The Library's Pathfinder Society group meets in the meeting room on the first and third Wednesday evening of each month. Whether you are brand new or you have played Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder Society games, adults 18 and older are welcome! For more information, contact Alfred at

Library Knitting Group

Saturdays at 10:00am

Library Knitting Group, every Saturday at 10am. New knitters are welcome! The Library Knitting Group now meets in person. Those who prefer to participate virtually have the option to Zoom in, making it a hybrid meeting. At 10:30am, members of the group share their current projects with those participating in person and virtually.

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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