We're looking ahead... to summer, to the next fiscal year, and to planning for the future. The Town Council is in the process of reviewing next year's budget by department. The Town is also seeking members for a new Ad Hoc Community Center committee, to consider a future community center. Meanwhile, our helpful staff is here to serve you at Town Hall—it's beach pass season, after all! Read on for more.
What are your summer plans? Scarborough is hiring for seasonal positions across several departments. Check out our Job Board for current opportunities and check back routinely for your best fit.
New Town Hall Hours Effective Today, May 1, 2023
Reminder: The new hours of operation for Scarborough Town Hall are Monday through Thursday, 7:00am-5:00pm, effective May 1, 2023. Town Hall will be closed on Fridays and weekends.
Will my access to services be limited? Why the change?Are employees working less hours? We answer these questions and more on our website.
Apply: New Ad Hoc Community Center Committee
Accepting Applications Until June 7, 2023
The Town of Scarborough is now accepting applications fora new Ad Hoc Community Center Committee. The committee is charged with the further exploration of the 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 to be considered. Applications will be accepted through June 7, 2023. Find the application form and details on our new Community Center project page.
Scarborough Public Works has scheduled three collaborative, multi-town opportunities to safely dispose of your household hazardous waste materials. These events are a free service to residents of Scarborough, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, and Biddeford for all three events (proof of residency is required).
The dates for the 2023 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days are:
• Saturday, May 13 (8am-Noon), Scarborough (20 Washington Ave)
• Saturday, July 8 (8am-Noon), Saco (15 Philips Spring Road)
• Saturday, September 9 (8am-Noon), Biddeford (371 Hill Street)
These are a collaborative cross-town events: Disposal is free for residents of Scarborough, Saco, and Biddeford at all three events. Please reference the flyer for a list of accepted materials and paint
The Finance Committee has started their series of meetings to complete a comprehensive, department-by-department review of the proposed budget. On Wednesday, April 26, they heard from the Library, Community Services, SEDCO, and Public Works. In their next meetings, the committee will review budgets for General Government (Executive, ATM, Town HR, Welfare, IT, Finance, Collections, Assessing, Planning, Engineering), the School Department, Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS), and on Capital Equipment & Projects. View their full schedule on our FY2024 Budget page (dates are subject to change). Community engagement is highly encouraged at our committee meetings.
The FY2024 proposed municipal budget includes funding for a new Catch Basin Truck for the Public Works department totaling $550,000. The truck would replace the current unit being used, a 2003 Camel Model 200, 10-yard capacity Catch Basin Truck. The recommended replacement schedule for a municipality catch basin truck is generally 10 years, and we just completed our 20th year of usage.
The catch basin truck is a critical piece of infrastructure to help the Town meet its stormwater permitting requirements. In order to remain compliant with our MS4 permitting with the DEP, the Town is required to clean all of its catch basins at least every other year. Those in high traffic areas are to be cleaned annually. Scarborough has a total of 2,880 catch basins.
The FY2024 proposed budget includes a town-wide revaluation to be conducted by the Assessing department. A Revaluation is the process of updating all property values in town to reflect their current market value (i.e., to maintain reasonable estimates of what each property could sell for on the open market). The Assessor has proposed that an in-house town-wide Statistical Market Update Revaluation commence in the Fall of 2023 for new market values as of April 1, 2024.
Sales that have taken place in the last three years indicate that the market value of property has increased. When the ratio of assessed value-to-sale price grows out of alignment, the State reduces many reimbursements and exemptions, like the homestead exemption. The Assessor recommends performing a revaluation as outlined in the FY24 Budget (Pg 72, Exhibit #7).
Election Day is Tuesday, June 27, 2023 and includes the School Budget Validation Referendum Election and the Special Municipal Election for the Portland Water District to fill a vacancy to expire in 2023. Voting will be held at the Scarborough High School, located at 11 Municipal Drive on Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Request your absentee ballots early for one to be sent to you. Use this online form or fill in this application and mail to the Scarborough Town Clerk's Office at P.O. Box 360, Scarborough, ME 04070-0360. Ballots will be mailed to you when they become available. All absentee ballots must be received no later than 8:00 p.m. EDT on Election Day.
For further information on Absentee Voting and Voter Registration, please contact the Scarborough Town Clerk's Office at 730‑4020.
On April 19, the Town Council welcomed the Conservation Commission and the Parks and Lands Conservation Board to talk about Scarborough’s conserved lands and the need for more land to be placed in conservation. One of the Town Council’s 2023 goals is to understand how Scarborough can achieve 30x30, or conserving 30% of the Town’s area by 2030. There are many international, national, and state commitments related to 30x30. The Conservation Commission developed a fact sheet that details these commitments and the need for Scarborough to have a 30x30 goal.
The Conservation Commission started advocating for Scarborough to set a 30x30 goal in 2022, given the Town’s rate of development and the anticipated population growth. Scarborough’s land area is approximately 31,404 acres. Roughly 5,400 acres (~17% of town) are conserved by State agencies, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Scarborough Land Trust, and other groups.
To reach the goal of 30% of Scarborough’s land conserved, an additional 4,000 acres need to be protected. Conserving 4,000 acres over the next seven years is a lofty goal, especially when only 400 acres have been conserved in the last 10 years. “The time to act is now,” said Randi Hogan, Conservation Commission Chair.
To understand how to achieve 30x30 in Scarborough, the Conservation Commission is encouraging the Town Council to include $50,000 in the upcoming budget for an Open Space Plan. This plan will identify areas of Scarborough where land conservation is critical and outline strategies for increasing conserved lands. The Conservation Commission also asked the Town Council to pass a resolution committing to 30x30, and Councilors indicated their support for the resolution. The Council also plans to include questions related to land conservation in the upcoming community survey to gauge residents’ support for a potential future land bond.
Beach Passes Are Now Available
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).
• Pine Point (Hurd Park)
Passes do not apply to Scarborough Beach State Park.
Dogs on Beaches
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.
Reminder: Restricted Beach Areas to Protect Plovers
Plovers are busy making their nests—we have 7 nests already on both Higgins and Western Beaches. Restricted areas on our beaches went into effect on April 1, which means there are areas where dogs aren't allowed (Higgins and Ferry/Western) or need to be leashed (Pine Point). Piping plovers are protected by State and Federal laws, and there are significant penalties for harassing them. Thank you for following the rules on our beaches.
The Scarborough Fire Department is hosting a blood drive in honor of Madison, the niece of one of our firefighters. After being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March 2021, Madison went through a 2-year treatment plan where she received numerous rounds of chemotherapy. She also needed many blood and platelet transfusions. Madison had her last chemotherapy treatment on March 15, 2023. She continues to remain cancer free and will finish up with two more antibiotic infusions in June! She will continue to have her labs monitored for years to come. She is currently thriving and finally getting to enjoy just being a toddler! Please consider donating blood in her honor as there are many others who depend on it.
Can't make it that day? There will be another blood drive the next day on May 18th at St. Maximilian Church from 12:00-6:00pm. Sign up here.
No Mow May Starts Today!
The Scarborough Conservation Commission encourages residents to practice “No Mow May” this year. No Mow May is a grassroots effort that encourages people to delay mowing for the benefit of pollinators. Early in the spring growing season is a critical time for native bees because food sources are hard to find. Allowing lawns to grow longer and flowers to bloom provides nectar and pollen to help bees thrive.
Come dressed to impress with the entire family for our night "Under the Stars" as we transform the Wentworth School cafeteria into a dance to remember. Professional photography will be offered on site by Bruce Haskell Photography, as well as a selfie station for those fun and silly poses. We will have dancing and entertainment provided by Dionne Entertainment, with refreshments and goodies provided by Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Scarborough Community Services and Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) work together to offer a Meals to Go program. Seniors age 60 or older, you can get 3 pre-cooked freezer meals to enjoy when you need them for a suggested donation of only $10. If you are not registered with SMAA, we will need you to fill out a form over the phone.
Thursday, May 11
Thursday, June 8
Thursday, July 13
Thursday, August 10
Pickup is at the Community Services Hub on 418 Payne Rd from 12:30-1:30pm. Register by the Wednesday prior, by 2:00 pm. To register, please call (207) 730-4173.
Scarborough Public Library Director Announces Retirement
Nancy Crowell, Scarborough Public Library Director, announced her intention to retire in September 2023.
The Director of Scarborough Public Library, Nancy Crowell, has announced her retirement after 45 years at the library. The Board of Trustees has appointed a Transition Committee to aid in the search for a new library director. Ms. Crowell intends to retire in September 2023.
Ms. Crowell’s career has seen a dramatic shift in libraries, from the small wooden Scarborough Public Library of 1977 with a card catalog and no computers, to the bustling hub that it is today. To quote Ms. Crowell, “I have witnessed tremendous change- not only in how library services are delivered, but in how libraries are perceived within the communities they serve. 21st Century libraries are the heart of their communities. They are equalizers. They are learning centers. They are business partners. They are advocates for strong schools. They are champions of community organizations. They are resilient. And most, importantly, they are essential.”
Nancy has served as the Scarborough Public Library’s Executive Director since 1977. During her tenure, the Library moved from a wooden structure on Black Point Road to its current home as part of the town’s administration and educational campus on Gorham Road, with its budget growing from $35,000 in the late 70s to over $1 million today. Under her leadership and direction, the Library has grown to become an integral part of the town fabric, becoming a center for children, adults, and retirees to not just browse and read, but also to gather and take advantage of the Library’s many resources - much more than the humble beginnings Nancy found when she joined 45 years ago.
The Scarborough Public Library has a full variety of upcoming programs! Here's a look at just a few, or view the full lineup on their website for additional events like a Teen Job Fair (May 17), Lawns to Landscapes program (May 11), Board Game Night (May 19), and more.
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. Our goal is 100 miles in 100 days (through July 31), and all walks count.
Presented in partnership with the National Digital Equity Center (NDEC)
With online content, we have a constant flow of information as well as misinformation. In this class we will look at ways to distinguish “real” news from “fake” news; and then explore how to find high-quality news & information using blogs, podcasts, online publications, and much more. Registration is required.
Chasing Childhood is a feature length documentary that explores how free play and independence have all but disappeared from kids' lives, supplanted by relentless perfectionism leading to record rates of anxiety and depression, a situation now compounded by the pandemic. Free play, unsupervised by adults, is critical for developing essential life skills: grit, independence, and resourcefulness. Many young adults may appear more accomplished on paper, but by the time they get to college they are emotionally struggling and lacking the tools needed to live independently.
The film explores how and why helicopter parenting became the norm in many communities across the United States. The film features experts and advocates in the area of free play including Julie Lythcott-Haimes, former Stanford Dean and author of How to Raise an Adult, and Peter Gray, biological psychologist. Not Rated, age 10+ suggested; 80 minutes.
There will be an optional discussion after the movie. Due to limited space, registration is required. Register on the library website or call 883-4723 option 4.
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.