April 7, 2022
It is budget season in the Town of Scarborough, and we want you to be a part of it. The proposed Fiscal Year 2023 municipal budget is outlined in a 249-page document, but we'll show you a few of the highlights here, along with resources to keep you involved. There are several ways to participate in the shaping of our town budget, from tuning into meetings to joining a Budget Roundtable discussion (returning after a two-year pandemic pause). Be sure to follow along over the next couple of months as it continues to take shape.

We value the trust you have in us on staff and council to be the stewards of your tax dollars and deliver high-quality public services. Read on for an insight into the process, budget details, and how to stay engaged over the next few months.
Budget Starting Point, Drivers, & Process
Getting Started
Our Town Charter grants the Town Manager authority to initiate the budget process. Last week on Wednesday, March 30, Town Manager Tom Hall and Superintendent Geoff Bruno presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2023 budget to Town Council. This was the first time Town Council viewed the budget, which was put together over months of preparation with individual town departments, Scarborough Schools, and the Board of Education.
The presentation is a snapshot overview of the proposed budget. Click Here to view the full 249-page budget document, which gives a high-level summary followed by the detailed line items by department. Both can be found on the Budget Portal.
Happening Now
During yesterday evening's Town Council meeting (Wednesday, April 6), the Council voted on the first reading of the budget (Timestamp 2:05:20-2:10:00). The order to be voted on included an initial tax request. This is a starting point, and the process will be driven by a Council goal made in January to have no more than a 3% increase to the mil rate with the final approved budget.
What's Next: Finance Committee Reviews
After first reading, the Finance Committee will complete a comprehensive, department-by-department review of the proposed budget throughout the month of April and into early May. Community engagement is highly encouraged at our committee meetings.
April 5, 4-7pm: Discuss Budget Process & Review Schedule (View Here)

April 19, 4-7pm: Review Public Services (Library, Community Services, SEDCO), & Public Works

April 25, 4-6pm: Review General Government (Executive Government, Town HR, Welfare, Finance, Collections, Assessing, Planning, Information Systems
May 3, 4-7pm: Review School Department, Public Safety (Police, Fire, Dispatch)

May 10, 4-7pm: Review Capital Equipment & Projects, Make Final Budget Adjustments

Links to participate in Finance Committee Budget Review meetings are available on the Town Calendar a few days prior to each event.
Town Council Meetings
There will be a joint Town Council/School Board audit presentation/budget workshop and public hearing on Wednesday, May 4. The Town Council is charged with final approval of the municipal budget at second reading on Wednesday, May 18. On that same night, the Council will also set the school budget tax request, which will go to the voters on June 14.
We Rely on Town Council & You
The Finance Committee relies on sentiment from the full Council to guide their work. We also invite and encourage resident participation and are happy to announce we are resuming our Budget Roundtable discussions that were put on hold during the pandemic. There will be four opportunities to attend these discussions, with both in-person and remote options:

  • Wednesday, April 20, 6:30pm - In-Person at Town Hall (Remote participation available)
  • Thursday, April 21, 12:30pm - In-Person at Town Hall (Remote participation available)
  • Saturday, April 23, 9:00am - In-Person only at Public Safety Building
  • Monday, April 25, 6:30pm - Virtual only

Links to participate in the hybrid/virtual Roundtables will be made available on the Town Calendar a few days prior to each event. You can also give feedback to the Council anytime at towncouncil@scarboroughmaine.org.
Responding to Community Needs
Last Fall 2021, the Town Council looked to residents for input in a community wide survey to assess the overall satisfaction with development and municipal services, and to provide a sense of direction on priorities that Town leadership should focus on in the years ahead. The community expressed opportunities for improvement among key issues facing our town, and Town leadership is using this as a guide to structure next steps on issues like infrastructure needs, traffic improvements, visibility of law enforcement, and capital investments that will benefit the community.
Key Highlights
Townwide Transportation Network Study
Residents have identified transportation demands as a major area of interest and concern. This study will identify existing and anticipated future demands, and provide a holistic review of opportunities to address long-term solutions, including infrastructure and operational improvements, transportation demand management, and more.

Traffic Signal Improvement Plan
The intersections and road corridors in North Scarborough consisting of Route 22 and 114 exhibit severe traffic congestion in the commuter hours and at other peak travel times. Plans are now in motion at the State, regional, and MTA level for significant transportation improvements to address this acute congestion issue. At the local level, the three signalized intersections in North Scarborough are in the short-term need of new controllers, signal hardware, interconnections, modernization, and coordination.

Road Construction & Paving Projects
The Public Works department has plans to improve Mitchell Hill Road—experiencing traffic beyond its design capacity—with proper vertical and horizontal alignment and address drainage issues. They will also pave sections of roads in tandem with the DOT’s schedule as a measure of cost savings.
More information on these projects can be found in pages 43-49 of the budget document.
Sidewalk Rehabilitation/Accessibility Improvements
Many of the Town’s nearly 50 miles of sidewalks were constructed in the 1990s and are showing their age. During the pandemic the number of residents utilizing the sidewalks increased, which raised awareness of the state of the sidewalks and led to an increased number of calls to Public Works to report sidewalk defects. The Town Survey also indicated that the state of the sidewalks was an area of significant concern. In addition to paving, a proposed new sidewalk machine will aid in winter snow removal.

Improved Bike/Pedestrian Use of Roads
The Planning department is proposing to fund construction for bike and pedestrian usage and safety improvements along the Highland Avenue corridor from Black Point Road to Chamberlain Road. This is a primary cyclist corridor within a developed neighborhood and adjacent to recreational fields.

Route 1 Marsh Crossing Evaluation/Analysis
Over the past decade, there have been an increasing number of flooding events at the Route One crossing of the Scarborough Marsh. This location was identified as one of the most vulnerable pieces of our Town infrastructure. The budget proposes funds to provide a local match for various State and Federal grant opportunities to analyze the hydrologic and hydraulic components of this crossing to inform future engineering design and construction.
More information on these projects can be found in pages 43-49 of the budget document.
Use of the funds below help offset costs that would otherwise come from local taxpayer support.
ARPA Funding
Scarborough has received $2.2M from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Some ARPA funds have been allocated for Premium Pay for essential workers and for new voting booths. The majority of the remaining funds are proposed to be used to support three capital investments: the purchase of two new ambulances, Spurwink Road pedestrian and safety improvements, and the replacement of the electronic message board at Town Hall.
TIF District Revenues
This year, the Town Council made key changes to the Haigis Parkway TIF and the Downtown TIF to maximize the tax shelter benefits. TIF revenues are being used to offset debt service costs for the Public Safety Building and the Haigis Parkway improvements, as well as offsetting the entire cost of Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO). TIF districts are expected to continue to capture new value, and additional TIF revenues will be available to offset operational and capital costs in the future.
Grant Funding
Staff initiative to seek grant funding helps to reduce the impact on taxpayers. For example, The Scarborough Fire Department was awarded a Federal grant of $397,727 to replace our self-contained breathing apparatus—extremely important pieces of equipment worn by our crew whenever they are fighting a fire or are in a situation where there are chemicals, smoke, or other hazards. After applying this grant award amount, the town is responsible for 10% to meet the total amount. Had it not been for obtaining this grant, the Town would've had to make the entire investment locally because the current air cylinders are at the end of their legal service life and can’t be used after July 2022.
Budget Drivers
Despite the challenging economic environment brought on by the pandemic over the last two years, we have restored back to pre-pandemic levels of programs and services while keeping tax rate increases to less than 1% for each of the last two years.

There are a few factors that drive cost increases in this year's budget: Health insurance will increase an estimated 6%, there will be a public safety investment to hire new staff in Police and Fire/EMS, and we are experiencing increases to energy and fuel costs. These total $772,000.
The budget document is 249 pages. To jump to a specific section, go to the Table of Contents on page 2 and click on a line to jump to that page. Additionally, click the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner of the page and select the "Find" feature to search by keywords.
Scarborough School Budget
This year’s proposal was presented by Superintendent Geoff Bruno and reflects current concerns around the wellbeing of students, staff and community. Learning recovery, social and emotional needs, and ongoing pandemic management protocols are considered as critical factors in all decision-making.
Key Highlights
This budget reflects current concerns around the wellbeing of our students with learning recovery and social and emotional needs. It intends to provide a district-wide balance of instructional support, strengthened student learning, and enhanced social emotional learning with additions like:
• New Positions: Student Support (Academic) Ed Tech positions, Social Workers, Special Services Ed Techs, Guidance Counselor
• New teacher positions to maintain smaller class sizes
• Specialized reading instruction for special services
• Summer academies in July-August 2022
In the two years following the start of the pandemic, Scarborough Schools is now in recovery mode but still experiencing the economic impacts:
• Staff shortages & hiring challenges
• Uncertainty around enrollment and community demographics
• Supply chain disruptions, shortages & cost increases
• Loss of federal grant support

These are large drivers of the budget and influence the need for increased personnel costs and thoughtful budget reductions.
Scarborough Schools strives for a continued impact on the development of K-12 learners. Their goals and initiatives include professional development efforts, curriculum alignment, innovative learning experiences, and community connections to strengthen learning in all schools and classrooms. They continue to make progress on goals around Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), and curriculum. Instructional Technology is one area of growth being invested in as part of this proposed budget.
More information on the School Budget can be found on pages 59-134 of the budget document. Please reach out with any questions at boe@scarboroughschool.org or participate in a Budget Roundtable discussion (dates above).
Follow Along & Stay Connected
The municipal budget process is just getting started and there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved. Here are some of the ways you can stay connected to the process this Spring:
Town E-Newsletter: Sign up to receive our twice monthly email newsletter for
ongoing updates.
Budget Portal: Visit the portal (accessible any time from our website homepage) for
budget-specific resources.
Attend Public Meetings: All accessible virtually; find links on the website Town
Attend a Budget Roundtable: Your Town Councilors and School Board members want to hear from you. Find a time attend one of the four discussions to learn more and share your thoughts. (Dates listed above).
Share Your Feedback: Email the Town Council at towncouncil@scarboroughmaine.org to express your questions or concerns.
Stay Connected
Click on the calendar event to view Town Council meeting Zoom links
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