With all that is happening in Scarborough at any given moment, following along is not always easy. We do our best to keep you informed of the high level happenings, and we invite you to dive deeper into matters that interest you most. The best place to see weekly updates is by clicking through our Town Calendar, where you'll have access to watch meetings, see what's coming up, and read through agendas to see what's being discussed. The What's Happening page is another useful reference to see the latest ongoing projects and supplemental resources. Below are some other updates on the upcoming election, safety, seasonal programs and more. Thank you for being an active, civic-minded follower of Scarborough news.
In their September 20 meeting, the Town Council approved a proclamation declaring October 1st as Sustainable Scarborough Day. Do something green, like attending today's Sustainable Scarborough Day event!
Today is Sustainable Scarborough Day
Stop by the Wentworth School from 10:00am-2:00pm
🌳 Test drive electric cars and bikes
🌳 Enter to win a heat pump water heater, rain barrel, or lobster trap composter
Sustainable Scarborough Day runs on Sunday, October 1 from 10:00am-2:00pm at the Wentworth School, 20 Quentin Drive. Free!
October is Fire Prevention Month
While Fire Prevention Week occurs during the first week of October, in Scarborough, our efforts to spread the fire prevention message encompass the entire month of October. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 2023 official theme for Fire Prevention Week is, “Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to Fire Prevention.” This year’s focus on cooking safety works to educate the public about simple but important steps they can take to help reduce the risk of fire when cooking at home, keeping themselves and those around them safe.
According to the NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of house fires, with nearly 49% of all house fires involving cooking equipment. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires and the associated injuries and deaths. Avoid accidents by taking the following safety measures when cooking in your home:
• Keep a close eye on what you are cooking
• Clear the cooking area of combustible items
• NEVER store combustible materials in your oven when not in use as you may forget they are inside when you preheat your oven
• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Keep a lid nearby when cooking.
• Create a “kid and pet free zone” of at least three feet around the cooking area
• Never leave food cooking unattended.
Throughout the month of October, Scarborough Firefighters will visit our daycares and grades K-2 to deliver tips on cooking safety. The children will be provided with kid friendly handouts, coloring activities and other items to bring home with them.
Returning Next Year...
The Scarborough Fire Department is excited to announce that the Scarborough Fire Department Open House will be returning in October 2024 with more details to follow!
Your Scarborough Fire Department is committed to ensuring that Scarborough residents and visitors remain safe and healthy. If you have any questions about our Fire Prevention Month activities or any other fire prevention related topics, please feel free to contact Deputy Chief John Brennan at email@example.com or (207) 883-4542.
Road Work Notices
East Grand Ave
Road work on East Grand Avenue began on Monday, September 25. Shaw Bros will be on site milling, crack sealing, shimming, and doing a base pave. This is a Maine DOT project and is expected to take 2-3 weeks.
Running Hill Road
The Maine Turnpike will be doing geotechnical work on Running Hill Rd between Green and Cummings Rd. This work will take place the week of October 9th. They will be using flaggers and there will be alternating traffic.
Ongoing work on Spurwink Road from Pleasant Hill Road to Ocean Avenue will create traffic delays, so please plan accordingly and take an alternate route whenever possible. The anticipated completion date of this first phase is early November 2023. The project includes a road realignment and the addition and improvement of pedestrian and bicycle amenities. It will also address the dangerous curves and intersections to the greatest extent possible, as well as improve road surface and drainage issues. Phase II will be completed next year for the remainder of the project to the Cape Elizabeth town line.
For more information on current and upcoming road work, please visit the new Transportation Projects page of our website.
Upcoming Election: November 7, 2023
Plan Ahead: Request Your Absentee Ballot
Request an absentee ballot by completing an Application for an Absentee Ballot. Please print and complete the form, then mail it to the Scarborough Town Clerk's Office at P.O. Box 360, Scarborough, ME 04070-0360 or fill out the e‑form request. Absentee ballots will be mailed when they are available.
For further information on Absentee Voting and Voter Registration, please contact the Scarborough Town Clerk's Office at 730-4020.
The Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Candidates’ Night on October 12 at the Scarborough Town Hall, starting at 6:30 in the Council Chambers. This event is intended to allow voters to hear from the candidates about their goals. They will also be asked a series of questions from the Moderator.
Kevin Freeman will be the Moderator for the event. Mr. Freeman has served as the Chamber’s moderator for the event for many years. The event will be broadcast live on the Town’s Youtube Channel. It will also be available later for viewing at a later date.
Please note that there are no School Board elections this November. School Board elections now take place in the Spring.
Volunteers in Police Services are the Real VIPS
Ralph Masciovecchio (left) and Ed Libby (right), two of the first members of the Scarborough Police VIPS program since it began in 2005.
The Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) program is now in its 18th year with Scarborough Police Department. VIPS was created to support the town with police/community activities throughout the year. The volunteers assist with school parking, traffic direction for road races, Higgins Beach parking, Drug Take Back days, Concerts in the Park, Election days, and more.
Ralph Masciovecchio (left) and Ed Libby (right) have been part of the VIPS program since its inception in 2005. They joke that they're still active volunteers because they're "too stubborn to quit". In reality, their good-natured demeanors have drawn them to decades of volunteerism in their retirement.
One of the highlights of their service with the Police department are when they have positive interactions with the community during their shifts. Masciovecchio shared a recent email from a parent at Wentworth School, who reached out to thank them for helping get parents reoriented during school drop-off on the first week back from summer vacation, “smiling and with a cheerful thumb’s up,” said the note. During a recent bike race, several cyclists thanked them for being there as they rode by. They’re also a face for the community, and are often sought out at Higgins Beach during their routine shifts by people asking questions from parking, to dog rules, and even restaurant recommendations. “I get back from my four-hour shift at Higgins and feel good,” said Libby.
"Our volunteers are vital to our mission to provide high quality law enforcement services to our citizens while making a positive impact in each of our interactions in the community," said Scarborough Police Chief Mark Holmquist. "We are proud of their willingness to readily assist us in maintaining strong bonds with our community while consistently representing the Scarborough Police Department with their professionalism, pride in service and dedication to our community."
The Scarborough Police Department is looking to add new members to our VIPS team. Community members who are interested in joining should contact Officer Eric Greenleaf at (207) 730-4314.
Scarborough Town-Wide Revaluation this Spring 2024
A Revaluation is the process of updating all property values in town to reflect their current market value. It will be conducted by our Assessor's office. See the Revaluation page on our website for more information.
Traffic & Transportation Planning
The transportation committee held an Open House last week to hear from the public before beginning a Transportation Network Study in 2024. Residents were invited to contribute their thoughts, concerns, and hopes related to Scarborough’s transportation network. The public is still welcome to provide comments related to transportation and traffic in Scarborough. Use this form or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revisioning Haigis Parkway
One of the renderings shown at the open house was a re-visioning of Haigis Parkway to be more bike and pedestrian friendly. Please help our transportation committee by providing your thoughts, comments, and concerns related to vehicle mobility, sidewalks, bike lanes, and access management along this high-speed limited access highway. Use this form on our website.
October Food Drive at Community Services Hub
Help us support our community members. During the entire month of October, Scarborough Community Services will be collecting non-perishable food items for the local food pantry. The items most in need include soups, stews, chilis, cereal, and proteins such as peanut butter, canned chicken, or canned tunas. Items may be dropped off during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Community Services Hub is located at 418 Payne Road (across from the old Shaw's/new Hannaford).
Due to limited capacity and high demand for our nighttime youth ski program to Pleasant Mountain, Community Services is running registration through a lottery system this year. The ski program lottery is open to any Scarborough Grades 4-8 student interested in joining the program, which runs for 5 weeks January through February 2024. The lottery deadline is October 17 by 11:59pm and does not cost anything unless your child's name is randomly selected beginning October 19. If selected, there will be options for lessons and rentals.
Save the Date! Pumpkin Carving Night on October 20
Friday, October 20
Community Services Hub
Registration coming soon!
Our annual pumpkin carving event is coming soon! We provide the pumpkins, the carving equipment, the decorations, as well as treats and beverages for all in attendance. Come create a seasonal masterpiece and leave the cleanup of guts and seeds to us! Registration information will be posted soon on our website and Facebook page.
SEDCO Announces Slate of 2023 Outstanding Businesses
Each year, the Board of Directors of the Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) select a slate of businesses to honor at their Annual Meeting. This year, the Annual Meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Black Point Inn.
The Board is pleased to announce that for 2023, they will honor the following businesses:
• The Dump Guy
• Pat’s Pizza
• Small Steps School of Dance
Each of these businesses has made a positive impact on our community and the clients that they serve. In addition to these businesses, the Board also selects a project of the year. For 2023, the Board chose The Meadows at Piper Shores, which opened this year.
Sue O'Reilly and Patrick O'Reilly received an Outstanding Business Award in 2022 for their restaurant O'Reilly's Cure
The Board’s Annual Meeting is a time to bring people together to celebrate the creativity and vitality of the Scarborough business community. This year we have 24 business sponsors of the event, including Hannaford as our Lead Sponsor. The Board would like to thank all the sponsors for making this event possible.
The Risbara Brothers and Piper Shores are Platinum Sponsors. M&T Bank and NorDx are Gold Sponsors. Our Silver Sponsors include Bangor Savings Bank, LandryFrench Construction, Maine Community Bank, The Boulos Company, Ducas Construction, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Atlantic Federal Credit Union.
Contributing Sponsors include Abbott, Gawron Turgeon Architects, Enterprise Business Park, Central Maine Power, Town & County Federal Credit Union, The Dunham Group, Roxane Cole Commercial Real Estate, Saco & Biddeford Savings, Northeast Civil Solutions, Katahdin Trust Company, Androscoggin Bank, and Ace Hardware.
We look forward to celebrating the great work of these outstanding businesses.
The Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) develops, supports and promotes sustainable economic development practices leading to a healthy, diverse and resilient local economy for the Scarborough community.
Get Your Questions Answered About the Unified School Project
Provided by Scarborough School Building Committee
Early voting opens October 10th, which means now is the time to get the information you need about the K-8 Strategic Project and Unified Primary School. Join one of the upcoming Q&As to dive deep into the most frequently asked questions about the project and get your questions answered.
The Scarborough Conservation Commission, Scarborough Land Trust, Scarborough Public Library, and Friends of Scarborough Marsh invite you to learn about how our critical natural resources may be impacted in the future and how groups are working to protect them. Coming up is the second program in the 3-part speaker series:
Scarborough Marsh & Sea Level Rise in a Changing Climate
• Peter Slovinsky, longtime Scarborough Conservation Commission member and Marine Geologist with the Maine Geological Survey
• Kristen Puryear, Ecologist at Maine Natural Areas Program, part of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
As Maine's sea level rises, tidal marshes and the species that depend on them are faced with an urgent and unprecedented challenge. This presentation will provide an overview of the extent and condition of Maine's tidal marshes, projections for marsh migration, and important considerations for supporting marsh resiliency.
Attendance is free, but registration with the Library is encouraged.
Save the Date: Scarborough Marsh Cleanup on Oct 21
Scarborough Marsh Fall Clean Up
Saturday, October 21
Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center
Registration coming soon
Fall is here and it’s time to clean up the marsh and beaches after a very busy summer. We also need help preparing the Nature Center for a long winter ahead. Join Maine Audubon, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, and the Scarborough community for a work day, and help make our corner of the earth a better place. Groups are welcome!
FOSM is partnering with Project G.R.A.C.E. to collect food. Bring some nonperishable food or a grocery store gift card to the clean up and help the human inhabitants of the marsh.
For more information:
(207) 781-2330 x213
Fire Department Hosts 2nd Annual Jr. Firefighter Muster
Sunday, October 29
Rain Date: Sunday November 5
Scarborough Fire Department, 275 US Route 1
The Town of Scarborough Fire Department is excited to announce we will be hosting the Second Annual Maine Junior Firefighters Muster. This event is open to all Maine Fire Departments, and Vocational Technical Schools with junior and/or explorer firefighter programs ages (14-18). These programs are critical to the sustainability of our departments and are a great way to show these aspiring firefighters how important they and their programs are to Maine's Fire Service future. This event will be free for all. Lunch, snacks, and drinks will be provided.
Precautionary Protocol for Public Meetings
The Town of Scarborough has been made aware of municipalities across the State of Maine experiencing offensive and inappropriate participation in public meetings via Zoom, specifically during the public comment period. While Scarborough has not yet experienced this firsthand, the Town is considering implementing an additional registration step (providing name and address to staff administrator) for those intending to make a public comment during meetings. Please be aware of this possible administrative step for Zoom participants in future meetings.
Council Corner: Townwide Survey Coming Soon
By April Sither, Town Council, Communications Committee Chair
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 the fall of 2021, the Town conducted a community survey to better understand the overall satisfaction of town residents and identify areas of improvement to inform the Town Council's goals for 2022/2023. The statistically valid survey prepared by ETC Institute was mailed to 4,200 households, selected at random, and was considered statistically valid upon the completion of a minimum return of 600 surveys. In addition to the statistically valid paper survey, an online link was also provided for all residents wishing to participate. (The results of the online survey were made available to the public but were not included in the statically valid data).
The results of the statistically valid survey were presented to the council in January of 2022. More information on the timeline, process, and results, a comprehensive dashboard can be found on the town's website here.
In August of 2023, the Communications and Community Engagement Committee began discussing revisions that could be made to the survey for distribution in the fall of 2023. The primary goal of the committee was to leave much of the survey the same in order to gather year to year data for the purposes of comparison. That said, there were several questions related to Covid responses that we felt were no longer relevant and were removed. Additionally, we decided to remove several questions related to the Community Services Department, given that they were able to conduct their own statistically valid survey in 2022 as part of the Parks and Facilities Master Plan. Removing the aforementioned questions freed up some space on the survey for the committee to add a number of questions related to the Library, as well as questions dedicated to the perceived impacts of growth.
The next step for ETC institute is to pilot test the survey, format it for printing and mailing, and build the online survey. This process will take about two weeks. Once it is complete, the survey (paper and online) will be sent to town staff for one final review before they begin printing and mailing the survey in mid- to late October. We anticipate that the survey will be about 7 pages long and take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Again, this time around, once the statistically valid survey has been completed by 600 individuals, an online version will be made available for those who did not complete a paper copy. The survey itself is completely confidential, and at no time is any of the respondents’ personal information, such as name or home address, shared with anyone from the Town.
Understanding your satisfaction with Town services, departments, and issues is critical to helping us better serve you and will inform our council goals for 2024! I can confidently speak for the council when I say we value your opinion and greatly appreciate your willingness to share your feedback for the benefit of our community. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
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.
Project Linus provides handmade blankets to children 0-18 in the United States who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. With chapters in every state, blankets are distributed locally. Learn about Project Linus and how to participate from local Chapter Coordinator Pam Beckey, and stick around to work on a blanket or learn a few knitting or crocheting basics. Bring your own materials, or use some of the materials provided. Beginners & experienced artisans are all welcome.
Beginner Crochet for Teens and Tweens
Every Thursday in October, 3:30-4:30pm. Kids in grade 5 and up are invited to one or all sessions of this beginning crochet class. Learn More.
Directors' Open House
Thursday, October 12, 12:00-3:00pm
Stop by the Library Meeting Room between noon and 3pm for a meet and greet with our new library director, Chip Schrader, and Nancy Crowell, retiring director, on her last workday.
For those that missed the USM students last time, or need a refresher, join the student experts and their professor for lessons on phishing, identity protection, social media safety, and everyday cyber safety.