July 15, 2019
July is Parks and Recreation month and our Community Services team is bringing their A-game to you through a month of fun activities! Check out this calendar for ideas of how you can get out and get moving right here in Scarborough. 

Looking for a fun way to exercise with others in our beautiful Memorial Park? Choose a class from our fitness series flyer and then come join us for field games, yoga, or a back to basics class.

Councilor's Corner - Affordable Housing
Bill Donovan, Town Councilor
So what is Affordable Housing? Some people think it's low income housing. Others think it includes middle class housing or call it workforce housing. I like to think of it broadly, more what works for our community. Scarborough needs housing for everyone who contributes to our community and makes up our broad middle class.

Those of us of an older age still remember the struggle to make those rent or mortgage payments of early adulthood. I suspect many others feel the same and support Affordable Housing. That support has shown itself in the practices and policies the Town has followed. Let me explain two of the tools we have used to develop an effective program.

First, Scarbrough's 2006 Comprehensive Plan called for the strategic determination of neighborhoods that could accommodate affordable apartments, condos and compact clustered housing. For a decade after its 2006 adoption zoning reviews took place to accomplish these objectives. The result was to allow greater density in areas with sewer and water and exclude areas far removed from the center of town (primarily west of the highway). Reasonably priced apartment housing such as Carrier Woods off Mussey Road is an example of density zoning at work.

Second, the Town has been strategic in using Contract Zones (agreements to modify the zoning so long as the changes still conform to the spirit of the zone) and Tax Increment Financing zones (TIF's collect taxes from improvements in the district that can then be used to pay for infrastructure improvements like roads and sewer). Contract Zones have been used to create Affordable Housing reserve funds. The Beacon at Gateway contributed $700,000 last year and Piper Shores will soon be contributing $250,000, both under Contract Zones. Scarborough used funds from this account to allow the Southgate project at Dunstan to move forward. TIF's have provided tax rebates for both Bessey Commons and Southgate and $100,000 has been committed to building 40 additional units at Bessey Commons (called Bessey Commons II).

This is an important and complex topic that can be a lot to digest in one sitting. With that in mind, in the next edition of the newsletter I will talk about two more tools the Town uses to develop and promote affordable housing.

The Friends: The Heart of Our Library
Catherine Morrison, Scarborough Public Library
Every Wednesday morning beginning in January, a devoted group of volunteers gather at Scarborough Public Works. Some arrive with water bottles. Others bring a "to go" cup or thermos of coffee. Attire is casual: comfortable shoes are a must. The group catches up, reviews instructions, then settles into the task at hand - a routine that becomes second nature after a few weeks in. There are questions related to their work, but conversations are generally casual, and laughter is plentiful. It's a family of sorts...created by choice. You're likely wondering, who these people are and what they are doing. These dedicated volunteers are members of the Friends of the Scarborough Library. Their task: sorting thousands and thousands of donated books in anticipation of their annual Book Sale held every June.

Sorting is only one piece of a larger "well oiled" puzzle that begins in July when the Friends begin accepting donations of used books, audiobooks, and DVDs. Items are dropped off at the Library where they await another group of volunteers who collect boxes (and boxes, and boxes) and bring them to the Scarborough Public Works building on Washington Ave. Pallets upon pallets of books are stored in a mezzanine area in anticipation of the sorting ritual that begins in January.

Click here for the complete article

Improving Recycling in Scarborough
Julie Gourlay, Recycling Intern
This summer, Scarborough is working with ecomaine and other local communities to implement a community outreach program to promote better recycling. My co-intern, Thorvald Arnell, and I spend time at the Town's silver bullets each week, chatting with residents about what should and should not be recycled and why. Tuesday mornings, we work along the recycling route, checking recycling bins and tagging them based on what is in them: green tags mean the bin only contains recyclables, yellow tags mean the bin needs a little work, and a red-tagged bin will not be picked up because it contains too many things that can't be recycled. Things that can't be recycled are called contamination.
By far, the biggest contaminants we have seen in bins and silver bullets are plastic bags or wrappings. The tricky thing is that they are recyclable, just not with ecomaine. They can be brought to stores, like Hannaford, Walmart, Shaws, or Target to be recycled.
We've also seen a lot of bagged recyclables. I understand why so many people bag their recyclables, and I used to do it, too. I thought bagging recycling made it easier to handle and sort. I know now that I was wrong. Ecomaine staff don't know what the bags contain, and for their safety, they do not open the bags to see what's inside. The bags and their contents are treated as garbage and not recycled. Please keep your recyclables loose in your bins so they can be properly recycled.
Thorvald and I have had a great time working for Scarborough so far. We're happy to see that so many residents are very receptive and understanding about our positions and what we're doing. People are willing to listen and learn, and we've been so glad to talk with residents who didn't have the greatest bins and help them understand the recycling process. We're very excited to continue with our work, so if you see two official looking, vest-wearing folks driving and walking around Tuesday mornings, or sitting under the sun at the silver bullets, do not be afraid to come up to us and talk or ask questions! Let us know your concerns - we are here to help!
An Invitation to Civil Discourse
Janice Cohen and Dana Morris-Jones, Scarborough Community Connections

To our fellow Scarborough Residents,

We are writing to tell you about a group called Scarborough Community Connections. SCC has emerged out of the work we've been doing for almost two years to build our capability as a community to resolve conflicts through civil dialogue and engagement.

After hosting a community conversation last December at Camp Ketcha, we were encouraged by the number of people who wanted to continue the work we had begun. A small group of people stepped forward to lead the initiative. We have spent the last few months refining our mission, vision, and values and are now starting to plan actions and events.

SCC is a neutral convener that plans to create opportunities for dialogue and engagement on topics that are of interest and are potentially divisive in our community. We will also provide opportunities for residents to experience constructive conflict resolution and identify ways in which we can participate in Scarborough's policy making processes.

We envision our town as a place in which all topics are approached with understanding and openness, we have the ability to embrace diverse opinions and effectively 'agree to disagree' while seeking sound outcomes to the complex challenges we face. We recognize that public decision making is an untidy process, but that by approaching it with skill and respect for one another, our community will become stronger.

We do not have an online presence yet, so please watch The Leader and the Scarborough Town E-Newsletter for announcements of events and activities. We welcome your comments and involvement. If you would like to receive notices and are not currently on our email list, please send your email address to Janice Cohen or Dana Morris-Jones.

Janice Cohen & Dana Morris-Jones

Join us for the biggest event of the year! The Town of Scarborough will be celebrating in style on the Scarborough High School grass fields, with games, festival food, activities, and more! This year, the Northeast Buccaneers will be on hand to train up-and-coming pirates, and HelloNewman will be rocking the stage from 7-9 pm. 

Friday, August 16 
5:00 to 10:00 pm 
Clifford Mitchell Sports Complex 

Please Note: While there are no parking or admission fees to the event, some activities and games may have a fee as this event serves as an opportunity for local groups to fundraise.
Scarborough Fix-It Discontinuance
Larissa Crockett, Assistant Town Manager
As of July 20, 2019 the Scarborough Fix It app will no longer be available. This decision was not made lightly and we thank those who did so for using the app to share ways we could improve our community and our residents' experience in it. In the two years the app has been available it has attracted only 122 registered users and has only been used to post just over 300 reports. The annual cost of maintaining the app is too high to justify continuing at this level of use. 

While we work to find another way for engaged community members to share information with the Town on-the-go please know that we are available by phone or by email if you have an issue to address. Our general phone number is (207) 730-4020. We are proud that our phones are answered by real people that will know which department to connect you with to best handle your call. For general roadway concerns you can email Public Works Park and beach concerns can be emailed to Community Services . If you have general concerns please feel welcome to email them to me directly

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 Catherine Morrison, Public Library
Audra Keenan, Community Services Sean Bushway, 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

2019 Scarborough Town Council
Peter Hayes, Chair
Katy Foley, Vice Chair
Jean-Marie Caterina
John Cloutier
William Donovan
Don Hamill
Paul Johnson