October 15, 2023

Town of Scarborough Newsletter

If the foliage wasn't enough of a tell tale sign that Fall is here, our Town updates sure will be! Check out the number of upcoming events that mark a sign of the changing seasons. There are also some ways to give back to the community, like through a Community Services food drive and marsh clean-up event mentioned below. We also share info from the school building committee regarding the unified school project—this has been a major topic of discussion among council and in town. Read more for details, and don't forget to vote!


Check our Town Calendar for a look at upcoming meetings. The next Town Council meeting is this Wednesday, October 18.

Upcoming Election: November 7, 2023

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2023 for the Municipal and Referendum Election. Candidates Night was held on Thursday (more below), and we've added election details to our website so you can learn more about voter information and what will be on the ballots. Check it out!

Early Voting Available at Town Hall

Save time and vote before Election Day! Early in-person absentee voting is now available at Town Hall, Monday-Thursdays from 7:00am-5:00pm. Early voting is available from Tuesday, October 10 through Thursday, November 2. If you have an absentee ballot, drop it off at the Town Clerk's office or in the ballot box in front of the entrance.


Watch a Recording of Candidates Night

The Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce host their annual Candidates’ Night last Thursday, October 12. This event is intended to allow voters to hear from the candidates about their goals and is facilitated by a moderator. Watch the recording on Youtube here.


If you have any questions, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office at (207) 730-4020.

East Grand Ave Paving

Weather permitting, the final coat of pavement will be placed on East Grand Ave starting Monday, October 16. This is a Maine DOT project that has been underway for the past couple of weeks.

Property Taxes Due Tomorrow, October 16

Tax bills are due October 16, 2023 and March 18, 2024 (interest rate 8.00%). Pay in-person at Town Hall, or for added convenience, pay online using credit/debit cards or E-check. Online payments have a third party convenience fee of 2.30% for debit/credit card payments and $1.00 fee for E-check payments. This is less than the processing fee in the Town Hall if you pay using a credit card.


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.

Sustainable Scarborough Day Was a Good One!

Sustainable Scarborough Day brought the community together on October 1 to celebrate conservation and sustainability. More than 25 businesses and groups set up informational displays on topics ranging from solar power and energy efficiency rebates to native plants and land conservation. There were also electric vehicle test drives, food trucks, giveaways, and workshops offered throughout the event. This was the first event of its kind for the Town of Scarborough and was brought forward as an idea by the Town's Sustainability and Conservation committees. We expect it to be an annual event on the first weekend of October!

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine brought e-bikes for test rides.

More than 25 businesses and groups set up informational displays.

The Scarborough Sustainability Committee hosted a prize drawing for a heat pump water heater ($1,200 value), donated by F.W. Webb.

Fiddlehead Center brought their Tinker Bus filled with arts and science activities for kids.

Share Feedback on Transportation and Traffic

The Town of Scarborough is conducting a Transportation Network Study in 2024. The public is invited to provide comments related to transportation and traffic in Scarborough. Use this form or email Town Engineer Angela Blanchette at ablanchette@scarboroughmaine.org.

Town Completes Study of Mill Brook Stream Culverts

The Town recently completed a grant from the Maine Department of Transportation to study two culverts along Mill Brook at Sawyer Road and Sawgrass Drive. During heavy rain events, these culverts restrict the flow of the stream, causing upstream flooding. The engineering study analyzed the size and condition of the culverts and redesigned the stream crossings to help reduce flooding. 

The Town is also looking at potential impacts to private septic systems in this area and is looking to partner with the Scarborough Sanitary District to expand the public sewer on Sawyer Road. Additional funding would be needed to upgrade and improve the culverts and to extend the sewer. The Town is exploring grant opportunities for this work.

Funding for the project was provided by MaineDOT’s Infrastructure Adaptation Fund, which provides direct funding to municipalities, tribes, and state agencies to adapt their critical infrastructure to reduce vulnerability to climate change resulting from extreme weather, sea level rise, inland and coastal flooding, severe heat, and other climate impacts. 

This undersized culvert along Mill Brook causes upstream flooding during heavy rain storms.

Know a friend or neighbor who should be getting these updates? Let them know! Simply go to www.scarboroughmaine.org/stay-connected to sign up. Thank you for helping to make our town more informed.


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).


Age 55+ Trip to Wright Museum of World War II

Wright Museum of World War II 

Wolfeboro, NH

Thursday, October 19, 10:30am-4:30pm

$15 resident, $20 non-resident (Includes ticket and transportation; lunch on your own)

10 spots left! 

Explore the history of World War II at the Wright Museum, founded by David Wright in 1994. The museum aims to create a public understanding and appreciation of the exceptional contributions on the home front and the battlefields made by WWII era Americans. Afterwards we will dine at a local favorite, Morrisseys' Front Porch.


Register online (sign in or create an account to register), or call the Community Services Hub at (207) 730-4150.

Save the Date! Pumpkin Carving Night on October 20

Friday, October 20

6:00-8:00pm, Community Services Hub

$8 per pumpkin


Get in the spooky spirit by joining us for Pumpkin Carving Night! This event is perfect for families and friends of all ages to enjoy. We provide the pumpkins (courtesy of Highland Farm), 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. If you aren’t into pumpkin guts… No worries! Help yourself to the games and treats free of charge.

Youth Programs for All Interests

LEGO Halloween Fun

Saturday, October 28

9:00am-Noon, Hub (418 Payne Road)

$50 per participant, Register by 10/25

Join Tracy from Brick by Brick Maine for this ghoulish 3-hour Lego extravaganza where you'll celebrate the creepy creatures of Halloween! Participants will stay busy with individual builds which include a ghastly jack o' lantern, a wicked witch, a dramatic Dracula, and a wily werewolf. Lego challenges, games, and free-building time will round out the session. All Lego pieces will be provided.


Basketball Skills Clinic

October 23-November 8 (Mon & Weds)

5:30-6:30pm (Grades 2-4), 6:45-7:45pm (Grades 5-8)

$75 per participant

Come sharpen your basketball skills with Scarborough High School Varsity Basketball Coach, Phil Conley. We will work on shooting, ball handling, passing and rebounding! This is a co-ed program for grades 2-8 and will take place in the High School Gymnasium.


View all fall programs in our Fall Brochure

Detailed Look at New Unified School Design

Provided by Scarborough School Building Committee

Lisa Sawin, the lead architect for the project, walks through the concept plans and design of the new school and explains the thoughtful and research-backed choices made to create a school which fills the specific needs of Scarborough students today and in the future and meets the community-developed design statement of “an intimate community of innovative, flexible, and inspirational learning neighborhoods that fosters inclusivity, collaboration, and hand-on learning.”

Remember to vote November 7th.


Visit www.ScarboroughSchoolSolution.org/start-here to review all the information you need and see past Q&As, meeting recordings, and presentations.

November 2: Protecting Forests & Connected Habitat

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:

Protecting Forests & Connected Habitat

Thursday, November 2, 6:30pm

Scarborough Public Library; Register


Sally Stockwell, Maine Audubon

Maine has a lot of forestland, which we sometimes take for granted. But did you know our forests are globally significant? Come learn about the important role they play for wildlife, biodiversity and climate, and the special nature of older forests for fish, wildlife, carbon storage, and high-quality timber.

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


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

October 28: Prescription Drug Takeback Day

The Scarborough Police Department is hosting a Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It will be held at the Public Safety Building on Saturday, October 28 from 10:00am - 2:00pm. Use this opportunity to safely dispose of any unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medications.


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.


Town-wide Community Survey Coming in Late October

The Town of Scarborough is conducting a community survey in late October. This is an initiative of the Town Council and has been a critical tool for guiding council goals and prioritizing community investments (a similar survey was conducted in Fall 2021). A random sample of households will receive a mailed copy in the next few weeks and are encouraged to share feedback. An open online link will be available to all who did not receive a mailed copy in December.

Council Chair Message: Downs Tax Impact Clarification

By Jon Anderson

Recently it was reported taxpayers avoided a 1.7% tax increase over time the past 5 years, resulting in a home valued at $400,000 avoiding an additional estimated $528. Many figures were being presented by the Town in the Downs Annual CEA update. I requested the Town try to articulate a metric to aid taxpayers in understanding what those numbers mean to their taxes. This metric states how much higher tax bills could have increased if this new source of taxable value was spread out among other property owners in Scarborough if the Downs' properties were removed from taxation. It kept the tax levy of our budgets the same.  

This estimate only considers the new taxable value collected from the new Downs properties and is not stating the total net impact to a taxpayer for the Downs Project. It does not include costs such as CEA payments to the developer or the cost to serve the new development. It also excludes new excise tax revenues collected, impact fees collected, tax shift benefit from being located in a Tax increment financing district, and any tax benefits resulting from shifting our tax base to more commercial.  

Calculating a precise net impact of the development on an individual taxpayer is complex. The Town plans to refine our modeling for future estimations and will make assumptions readily available so the information being conveyed is clear. Public input is always welcome!  

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.

Council Corner: Taxes

By Jean-Marie Caterina

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.

I can’t remember who said the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. Goodness knows, I do not wish to write about death. I will, however, write about taxes -in particular, property taxes, the boogeyman for all of us who pay them. 

Some folks think that the less taxes paid the better. Others speak of making sure the wealthy pay most of the tax. I think we all need to make sure we are each contributing towards the benefits that accrue to all of us. This levy must be equally applied according to valuation.

In our case, as a municipality, the valuation is based on property owned. It is the ONLY taxation allowed to us by the state. It is the primary source of funding for all that we value in town – public safety, public works, and the education of our children being the primary focal points.

Personally, I am frustrated as heck by those who think reducing taxes is a good thing. Starting in 2013, when I was first elected to the Council, we were asking people to increase taxes by 7.0%. As a Council, we were making up for some prior minimal tax increases (1.59%, 0.0%) and poor planning on the part of some previous Councils. (Haigis Parkway comes to mind). It was a time of playing catch up and plugging holes. It was not a great time to be a decision maker in Scarborough! 

Since 2013, the Town Council has worked diligently to stabilize taxes by keeping increases to as close to 3% as possible. We have been blessed by having members with financial backgrounds. Those councilors used their expertise to analyze data and use facts to assist all Councilors develop budgets that have been the envy of neighboring municipalities. Scarborough has consistently been in the lowest quartile of mil rates in the county. (Median Maine >15 K population-2020 -19.95.- Scarborough -14,69). This has been a boon to Scarborough taxpayers, particularly as property values have skyrocketed.  

Facts matter. The higher the total valuation of a town the better. The higher the commercial base of the town the better. It is up to the Town Council to keep putting forward budgets that balance providing quality services to our citizens and keeping taxes stable. I am proud of our work. I thank all the councilors with whom I have served over my terms for their hard work. We all win as taxpayers.

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

An Evening with Poet Wesley McNair

Tuesday, October 24, 7:00pm


As part of the Ann P. Hammond Memorial Literature Series, Scarborough Public Library is pleased to welcome Wesley McNair, Maine's Poet Laureate from 2011 to 2016. McNair is the author and editor of more than twenty books. He has been awarded, amongst other prizes, the Robert Frost Prize, the Theodore Roethke Prize, the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal for distinguished contribution to the world of letters, and the PEN New England Award for Literary Excellence in Poetry. A teacher for several decades, he is currently professor emeritus and writer in residence at the University of Maine at Farmington. With a plain-spoken tenderness, Wesley McNair’s story-like poems celebrate the dreamers and the misfits, the small but hard-earned triumphs of everyday life.

A Read Aloud and Bird Drawing Workshop

With Rebekah Lowell, Author/Illustrator

Saturday, October 28, 1:00-2:00pm


Join acclaimed author/ illustrator Rebekah Lowell for a special story time featuring her picture book "Catching Flight." Following the read aloud, Rebekah will lead us in a bird-drawing workshop where even the youngest participants will learn how to draw birds and then make up a completely new species together! 

It's a Barbie Party at the Library!

Friday, November 3, 6:30pm (Movie at 7:00pm)


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.


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

Stay Connected
Click on the calendar event to view Town Council meeting Zoom links
Find us on Facebook! Get the inside scoop from the Town of Scarborough on your newsfeed. Give us a like today.
About Our Newsletter
Our mission is to keep you informed about town events and activities.
Please email us if you have ideas for stories. Note: Our website is the central repository for Town information.