June15, 2020
Scarborough Public Library Reopening Has Entered Phase Three:
Public Computer Access by Appointment
Public computers at the Scarborough Public Library are now available by appointment only. Four public computers have been moved to the Library's meeting room. For physical distancing purposes, the number of patrons who can access public computers at one time has been limited to four. The computers, keyboards, and mice will be fully sanitized between users and cleaning precautions will be taken daily for the entire room, following the COVID-19 checklists provided by the Maine State Library. Computer access will be strictly limited to 30 minutes per session. Schedule an appointment to use a public computer directly with Tom Corbett, Systems Librarian, by email  or by phone at 396.6271.
Curbside Pickup  is well underway with the hours of Tuesday - Friday: 2pm - 6 pm and Saturday: 11am -1pm. Telephone hours are Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm and Saturday 10 am - 1 pm. For details about requesting materials and much more, visit our website  or call the recorded line, 396.6286. Additional updates are available on the Library's Facebook page  and Instagram .

Absentee Ballot Information
Tody Justice, Town Clerk
Voters, we are asking for your assistance to help manage the costs associated with the July 14, 2020 election. In order to avoid the cost of providing envelopes for two separate mailings and to limit the cost of staff time to process separate mailings, we are encouraging you not to return your Ballots until the Town Council adopts the FY2021 School Budget on Wednesday, June 24th. Please return your absentee ballots on or after Thursday, June 25th. You can mail your ballots beginning on Thursday, June 25 but please remember the Town Hall is only open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
If you return your ballots prior to June 25th, the Town Council will not have set the budget amount and your School Budget Validation Referendum Ballot will not count.
Please Follow the directions on the ballot. Once you have cast your vote, please place the ballots [even if left blank] into the envelope and sign and seal the envelope.
The envelope must be signed so that your vote can be counted.
You can request an absentee ballot online or by calling the Town Clerk's office at (207) 730-4020. We must receive your ballots by the close of Polls (8:00 p.m.) on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at Alumni Gym in the High School.
Thank you for your support! 

Councilors' Corner: How are Your Tax Dollars Spent?
Don Hamill, Town Council Vice-Chair
Fellow Citizens, Neighbors and Friends,

Mainers have long been associated with traditional Yankee values of ingenuity, thrift, and common sense. In this spirit I thought it might be helpful to delve into some aspects about the budget and taxes. This year is both atypical and typical for the Scarborough budget. We have faced and will continue to face daunting challenges from the COVID-19 crisis including many municipal and school operational changes. There are ongoing threats to our health and economic security with business closures and cutbacks and record unemployment rates. Other issues are more familiar which we face year after year. They include sources and levels of revenues (state revenues, excise taxes, permits, etc.) and how to balance our spending for schools and town needs.

As of June 9, 2020, the Council is looking at an overall budget with an estimated 1.16% mil rate increase. Please note work is still being done and the final budget will be voted on by Town Council at second reading on June 24th. Here are where things stand for FY21 as compared to FY20. 
  • Municipal spending increase of 1%
  • School spending increase of 3.3% (not including nutrition and adult learning)
  • Net municipal decrease of -0.6% after applying non-property tax revenues and contingency fund balance 
  • Net school increase of +1.8% after applying state school share, revenues, and contingency fund balance 
  • New town borrowing of $4,095,000 / $10,000 to be paid in FY21
  • New school borrowing of $2,769,212 / $618,015 to be paid in FY21
For those who want the budget lower, it may be important to know that non-property tax revenue overall will be down due to the COVID crisis and the economic fallout. Exactly how much is unknown at this time, but all municipalities are factoring in revenue reductions which have a large bottom line impact on mil rate. Without expected revenue reductions, we would be looking at a mil rate decrease as of the June 9 budget review.

For those who want the budget higher, it may be important to know the median tax increase due to the town wide revaluation was over 11% for Scarborough home owners in 2019 and more than 60% percent of Scarborough residents saw their taxes increase by at least 10%, and many by 20%, 30%, or even more in one fell swoop. The reval tax increases largely fell on property values at the lower end of the range, and businesses were also affected greatly. Let's look at one actual example of many:

Click here for the complete article

Come Talk, We'll Listen
Robbie Moulton, Police Chief
Life is really hard these days. I am worried about the path that we, as humans, are on today. One of my biggest worries is our inability to communicate or even try to understand another person or group's point of view. I think there are a lot of people that are hurting. Some are sad, some are confused, some are angry, some may not even know what their emotions are or mean. Our communications these days seem to be limited to loudly and forcefully asserting why my opinion is superior to yours. I certainly don't have the answers but I feel like our only path out of this is to have real conversations, where we listen and try to understand. That has to start one conversation at a time. I want to help start those conversations. If you would like to join me I would like to make myself and our community resource supervisor available to talk about your thoughts, concerns, and questions. I know that a police station can be an intimidating place or a space that feels unsafe to some but we are very fortunate to have our new facility located right adjacent to Memorial Park. If you would prefer some fresh air and exercise we would be happy to walk and talk in the park. Sgt. Steve Thibodeau and I can both be reached through dispatch at 883-6361 or through our emails at sthibodeau@scarboroughmaine.org or rmoulton@scarboroughmaine.org.

Let's work toward understanding, one conversation at a time.

New Rules for Visitors to Maine
Karen Martin, Executive Director, SEDCO
This week gave us several big changes in business openings and visitor management.  As of June 12, residents of New Hampshire and Vermont may travel and stay in Maine lodgings without a 14-day quarantine or a COVID-19 test.
Out-of-state visitors (other than Vermont and New Hampshire) will now be allowed to visit as of June 26. These visitors have the option of having a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their visit or they must quarantine for 14-days.
Visitors are allowed to take a test once they reach Maine, but they must quarantine while they wait for their test results. Visitors are allowed to quarantine in their lodging accommodations. Lodgings include hotels, motels, individual rentals done privately or through a service, and campgrounds.
Please be patient with our businesses as they find their stride in the reopening plan. Guidance from the state is updated weekly, usually on Wednesdays, and businesses are trying to keep up and respond to changes.  You can also help our businesses by doing your part in wearing face coverings and keeping a safe distance from other customers and staff.

Click here for the complete article

Have You Submitted Your Exemption Application?
Emily Behn, Assessing Assistant
Due to an executive order signed by Governor Mills,  exemption applications are still being accepted. The current due date for exemptions is now Monday, August 10, 2020 (30 days after the termination of the declared emergency). This date will change if the civil state of emergency is extended.
The following exemptions are included in the extension:
We must have a hard copy of the application. You can submit the application in-person, by mail, or in the drop box to the right of the front Town Hall entrance. We will honor any applications that are emailed to us by the due date, but you will still need to turn in the hard copy of the application as soon as you can.
Please contact our office at (207) 730-4063 or  send us an email if you have any questions.

A Letter to the Community   
Kathy Markan, President, Friends of Scarborough Library
At this time of year many of you are eagerly awaiting the Friends of the Scarborough Library Book Sale. You have donated books, marked your calendars and made ready a list of favorites you hope to find at the sale. Our volunteers have sorted thousands of books and they are packed and ready to go. Unfortunately, in mid-March everything came to a screeching halt because of the pandemic. Sadly, the Friends will not be having a book sale this year.

We are all disappointed especially the many volunteers who generously give their time and energy to make the sale run smoothly. Each year I am amazed at the cooperation and community spirit of so many people. We could not have a successful sale without the assistance of the Public Schools and high school students, Department of Public Works, Community Services, the Library staff, members of the Friends and most importantly YOU the people of Scarborough who support the sale.

In spite of our disappointment we will plan a book sale next year. In the meantime, please take advantage of the Scarborough Library. The staff continue to work hard to bring as many services as possible to all of us. The Library web page is a gold mine of information.
One last request, please do not bring donations to the Library until further notice. We will let everyone know when the library can take them. If necessary, we ask you to donate them to other area charities.

Thank you all for your continued support of the Friends of the Scarborough Library.

It's Time for the Summer Reading Program
Lucy Norvell, Scarborough Public Library
Summer Reading at the Scarborough Public Library has begun! This summer there are TWO fun ways to participate:

Option 1: Use our paper reading log, to keep track of books you've finished reading to yourself, books someone's ready to you; or books you've read to someone else. Beginning the week of Monday, June 15, reading logs will be available at Community Services in Town Hall, Oak Hill Hardware, and via curbside pickup at the Library.

Option 2: On the go this summer? Why not try our digital summer reading platform called Beanstack. Download the free Beanstack app on either Apple or Android devices to get started.

At the Scarborough Public Library, we strongly believe that reading during summer should be enjoyable. We encourage parents to help children set a realistic goal. A feeling of "I Can Do It' creates an atmosphere of celebration...and fun! We want children to LOVE reading, and look forward to visiting the Scarborough Public Library. For more information on how the reading program works, check out our FAQs

Special thanks to the Friends of Scarborough Library for being our awesome Summer Reading Program sponsors.

Unemployment Fraud Alert
Kim Sperlich, Scarborough Police Department
As if we weren't already stressed enough during this time of COVID-19, we wanted residents to be aware that we have had an increase in people being notified that an unemployment claim has been falsely submitted in their name.  Please be extra vigilant in checking all of your accounts for any unusual activity.

If you believe that your identity has been compromised, you should contact the law enforcement department in the jurisdiction that you live in and make an identity theft report.  

You can view an Unemployment Fraud and Identity Theft Poster and additional information on the State of Maine website.

Explore Our State
Lucy Norvell, Scarborough Public Library
Our popular Armchair Traveler Series will kick off with a presentation from Rich Bard: author, wildlife biologist, and executive director of the Scarborough Land Trust. Bard will provide a virtual presentation based on his book, Beyond Acadia:  Exploring the Bold Coast of Downeast Maine, which is the very first travel guide covering the area of coast roughly between Acadia National Park and Canada. "Right now is a perfect time to dream about places you'd like to explore, including some that are not so very far away. As the world reawakens from sheltering-in-place this summer, the Bold Coast offers a place to recapture a connection with wild nature and the authentic Downeast way of living." Rich spent more than a decade as a state wildlife biologist, hiking, paddling, and snowshoeing on a nearly daily basis. At this talk, he will discuss the countless ways to engage with the natural world in the Bold Coast area. Highlights will include little-known hiking trails; paddling options; and how to access locally grown food, arts, and music that evoke the landscape in which they were created. This program is free to attend. To register and receive the Zoom link, please email us  with the names and email addresses of those who wish to attend via Zoom.

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