July 1, 2020
Are you planning on discharging fireworks as part of your July 4 celebrations? If so, be a good neighbor and celebrate good citizenship by adhering to the rules in Scarborough. 

First, fill out the  Consumer Fireworks Notification of Intent Form. This is an electronic form that residents and visitors are required to fill out which notifies the public safety dispatch center of who will be discharging fireworks and where fireworks are planned to be discharged.  

Second, follow the Respect your Neighbors Consumer Fireworks Guidelines:
* Use fireworks strictly in accordance with the submitted notification form.
* Do not use fireworks after 10:00 PM on the days allowed.
* Do not use fireworks in any way that could unreasonably infringe upon your neighbors' safety or peaceful enjoyment of their property.
* Inform your neighbors in advance where and when you are planning to use fireworks.
* Do not use fireworks near animals or livestock that may become frightened.
* Only set off fireworks in areas where no fireworks debris will fall on your neighbors' property or any environmentally sensitive areas (e.g., beaches, marshes, or wetlands).
* Do not permit anyone under the age of 21 to use fireworks.
* Carefully follow the safety instructions provide by the seller of the fireworks.

Remember that fireworks can only be discharged from private property with the owner's permission. Fireworks cannot be discharged from the town's beaches or any public property.

If you have any questions you may contact Chief Thurlow by email or  by phone, 730-4201, or Chief Moulton by email or by phone, 883-6361.

Election Day July 14, 2020
Election Day is coming up on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. You still have time to request an absentee ballot online or by calling (207) 730-4020. 

Our Town Hall hours for in person early voting are:

Mondays 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesdays 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fridays 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

You can drop your sealed and signed absentee ballot off to us anytime, day or night, in the drop box to the right of our front doors.

The polls will be open on July 14 from 7:00 am - 8:00 pm at the Scarborough High School. Please come prepared to observe CDC guidelines while in the building. Leave plenty of space between yourself and others and please wear a face covering if you are able. 

Celebrate Parks and Recreation Month!
Jill Deering, Community Services
July is Parks and Recreation Month, and Community Services is celebrating all month long with the National Recreation and Park Association! It's a perfect time to get outside and explore our local parks, trails, and beaches. Check out our calendar for activities and be sure to join us at our free fitness classes at Memorial Park! 

Along with the fun activities planned, there's no better way to celebrate than by lifting up the people who have made it all happen. Community Services will also be highlighting their hardworking parks and rec professionals that make Scarborough a great place to live, work and play! We hope you'll love getting to know those who work behind the scenes just as much as we do.

Click Here for the July Parks and Recreation Calendar

Councilor's Corner: My Thoughts on the Budget
Paul Johnson, Town Council Chair
Like everything else this year, the Scarborough municipal/school budget process has been trying, tiring, and sometimes a bit confusing.  On June 24th, the Town Council passed the municipal budget (gross budget increase of .7% and net budget decrease of -1.1%) and sent the school budget (gross budget increase of 2.8% and net budget increase of 1.2%) to the voters.  This budget also includes $534,000 set aside for COVID-19 funding.  If the school budget passes on July 14th, the new mill rate is projected to be $14.88 (from the current $14.70) for an increase in the property tax rate of 1.22%. All things considered, this budget strikes a balance between the needs of our community and those of our taxpayers.  To put that in tax dollars, and including the increased homestead exemption for those that are eligible, a home valued at $300K will see an annual tax bill decrease of $20, a home valued at $400K will see an annual decrease of $2, and a home valued at $500K will see an annual increase of $16. 

Developing this budget was no easy task.  The Council found itself attempting to balance a predicted sharp decline in non-property tax revenue and a bleak economic forecast with increasing needs of our students due to the global pandemic and preserving jobs at the town and school level.   Did we do a perfect job?  Absolutely not.  There are inequities in pay cuts of staff, COVID-19 funding, and capital improvement investment between the proposed library expansion and proposed consolidated intermediate school.   But, 2020 is not a year of perfect.  It is a year of survival and minimizing harm.  This budget is able to preserve the vast majority of school and municipal positions.  This budget includes an increase in the Senior Property Tax Program from $600 to $750 to help our most vulnerable residents.  This budget begins to fund predicted costs of COVID while we wait for aid from the federal and state governments.  Lastly, this budget doesn't stop the work that has begun towards a new consolidated intermediate school.  

This year has also seen the most emails both in support of, and against, the budget.  Many residents have taken a hard line on either side of the budget vote.  We cannot go to the polls this year with the intentions of "sending a message" - there is no message to send. There will be no ideological winners this year. I'm asking all of Scarborough to show up on July 14th (or, even better to vote by absentee ballot) and survive, and do minimal harm in this crazy year of 2020.  Simply put, though not perfect, this budget maintains priorities for both the Town and School, provides some certainty in an uncertain world and positions us to deal with the challenges ahead.  

Free Meals for Seniors
Jill Deering, Community Services
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 only $10! If you are under 60, and would like the meals, the cost for the three meals is $15.

Drive-thru pick up for meals will be at the Scarborough High School Lower Parking Lot from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on July 21st. Registration is required. Register by 4 pm on July 10th by calling 207-730-4173. Note: If you are not registered with SMAA, we will need you to fill out a form over the phone.

If you know anyone over 60 who could benefit from this program, please help us spread the word!

Grant Award for COVID-19 Awareness Campaign
Karen Martin, Executive Director, SEDCO
The Maine Center for Disease Control approved a $69,000 grant to the Town of Scarborough to develop and administer a COVID-19 awareness campaign at the local level.

The main components of the grant include:
  • developing educational material on COVID-19 prevention for residents, visitors and businesses
  • engaging the community through various social media channels on the prevention awareness
  • performing additional cleaning at public facilities and recreational areas
  • establishing a point of contact for questions and complaints, and
  • working with businesses to implement the state guidelines for keeping Maine Healthy.
The Grant will pay for additional help with cleaning. The grant will also pay for additional staff to serve as community ambassadors in areas with a high potential for crowding. The purpose of the ambassadors is to provide friendly reminders regarding social distancing and other strategies for COVID 19 prevention.

For questions regarding COVID-19 practices, please call 207-883-4893.

Your Public Library is Opening Soon!
Lucy Jackson Norvell, Scarborough Public Library
pile_of_old_books.jpg Beginning on Monday, July 13, the Scarborough Public Library will allow patrons wearing masks to come inside the building in the next phase of its limited reopening process. The Library continues to follow the strict guidelines laid out by the State of Maine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fifteen patrons at any one time will be allowed inside the Library to select materials. Each visit must be limited to thirty minutes or less, especially if other patrons are waiting to be admitted to the building. The Library will continue to offer public computer access (available by appointment only) as well as curbside pickup. Additional details about the limited reopening of the building and instructions for making requests for curbside pickup and appointments for public computer access are available on the Library website: www.scarboroughlibrary.org.

From July 13 through Labor Day, Scarborough Public Library hours are:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday: 10 am to 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 2 pm
As libraries across the state and country are just beginning to reopen, there are numerous considerations for health and safety given the nature of the lending process. Quarantining and cleaning books and materials takes a minimum of 72 hours, delaying their return to the stacks. July 10 is the due date for materials that were circulating before March 15, when the Library closed; fines have been suspended for these items. Fines will begin to accrue after July 1 for materials borrowed after June 10.

Nancy Crowell, Library Director, stated, "We look forward to seeing Scarborough library users in the building again, even though their visits to borrow materials will be strictly limited to thirty minutes. We have dearly missed serving our patrons in person."

Another Record-setting Year for Piping Plovers
Jami Fitch, Sustainability Coordinator
2020 is shaping up to be another good summer for endangered piping plovers in Maine. Maine Audubon reports at least 101 nesting pairs of plovers on the State's beaches from Ogunquit to Georgetown, a new record. The previous record was set last year, when there were 85 pairs of the birds on Maine's beaches.

Scarborough's beaches are also seeing a bit of a plover boom! As of June 26th, there were 21 pairs on our four beaches. Many nests have already hatched, resulting in roughly 42 fuzzy plover chicks scurrying around the beaches so far. Another dozen chicks could be added to that count this week.

As we head into the busy July 4th weekend, please keep in mind that beach activity can be harmful to plovers and other shorebirds birds. Please follow these general rules when enjoying the beach:
  • Dogs on the beach (May 15 - Tuesday after Labor Day):
    • Dawn - 9:00 am: Allowed off-leash (under voice control) in non-restricted areas
    • 9:00 am - 5:00 pm: No dogs allowed on Scarborough's beaches
    • 5:00 pm - Dusk: Dogs allowed on-leash in non-restricted areas (exception is on Pine Point, where dogs are allowed on-leash in the restricted area)
    • Dusk - Dawn: No dogs allowed on Scarborough's beaches
Keep dogs at least 200-feet away from stake and twine areas or nests enclosed in fencing
No kite flying, kite surfing, and parasailing within 650 feet of nesting plovers
Fireworks are not allowed on any beach in Scarborough
Fill in all holes dug on the beach

We'd like to thank our diligent volunteer monitors who visit our beaches to educate residents and visitors about the plovers and our local ordinances. We'd also like to thank residents and visitors for obeying the ordinances that are in place to protect these endangered birds.

Transitioning to Organic Lawn Care - Summer
Rita Breton, Co-chair, Pest Management Advisory Committee 
Jami Fitch, Scarborough Sustainability Coordinator
Thanks to the Pest Management Policy passed in 2011, all those who use Scarborough parks, playgrounds and sports fields have greatly reduced exposure to pesticides. (See the 2019 PMAC Report  FMI). Families, pets, wildlife and waterways will all benefit as more and more homeowners learn about organic lawn care, and like the Town, choose not to use weed and bug killers. Here are a few simple things you can do this Summer to begin a transition to a healthy organic lawn that is safe for people, pets and pollinators. 
  • Mow Better - Mow high by setting mower blades between 3 and 4 inches . Taller grass develops stronger roots and shades out weeds. Make sure mower blades are shape to ensure a clean cut. Dull blades tear grass, making it more susceptible to disease. Cut only the top 1/3 of grass blades and leave the clippings , which is free, natural fertilizer for your lawn. Mow in the early evening, after the heat of the day and vary the mowing pattern every time you mow to prevent soil compaction.
  • Water Wisely - Lawns need between 1 and 1.5 inches of water per week during the May to October growing season. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on rainfall. Use a rain gauge to measure the amount of water from rainfall. Water between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. to allow the water to soak into the ground before it can be evaporated during the heat of the day, and avoid watering at night to prevent fungal disease.
  • Over-seed - Generously spread a mix of endophyte-enhanced fescues and perennial ryegrass seeds (look for a shady grass seed mix) all season long to reduce weeds and pests, and be sure to add seed in thin or bare spots before weeds begin to grow.
  • Grubs - In northern New England, the best way to treat grubs naturally is by using beneficial nematodes (microscopic critters that live in the soil). They are available through North Country Organics ( www.norganics.com ).  For nematodes to work, carefully follow package instructions when using these living creatures. Nematodes are best applied in late July/early August when grubs are small and near the surface of the soil.
  • Lawn Alternatives - Identify shady or wet areas not suited for growing grass. Consider replanting these areas with native ground covers, moisture-loving shrubs or shade perennials. Native plants are best suited to Maine's climate, growing season and soils. And because they have natural defenses against insects and disease, they require very little, if any, fertilizer or bug killers. They also attract beneficial pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. To learn more, visit Cumberland Soil and Water . There is also lots of helpful information at the Wild Seed Project , University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Audubon Native Plant Database .

About the Scarborough Town Newsletter
Welcome to the official newsletter of the Town of Scarborough, Maine.  Brought to you by a team of Town staff, our mission is to keep you informed about town events and activities.  

Please note that the newsletter articles are intended to be brief and will often point you back to a link on the Town's Website or Facebook page. The website is the heart of the communication network within town and is the central repository for information on Town government.

Thanks for reading!  If you have ideas for stories, please email us.  

Your newsletter team:

Tody Justice, Town Clerk Lucy Norvell, Public Library
Stephen Kramer, Community Services Donald Begin, IT
Heidi McNinch, Human Resources Brian Longstaff, Codes & Planning
Kelly Johnston, Scarborough Public Schools
Michael Thurlow, Fire Department
Kim Sperlich, Police Department Ruth Porter, Finance
Leona Oceania, Public Works Larissa Crockett, Administration
Magdalena Slawiec, SEDCO

Scarborough Town Council
Paul Johnson, Chair
Don Hamill, Vice Chair
Jean-Marie Caterina
John Cloutier
Betsy Gleysteen
Peter Hayes
Ken Johnson