April 1, 2020
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Town Council COVID-19 Update
Town Council COVID-19 Update

You can keep up to date with all the Town is doing in response to COVID-19 on our website.

Shellfish Lottery Postponed
Due to the COVID-19 Virus and the closure of Town Hall to the public, the Shellfish Lottery that is usually held in April has been postponed indefinitely. Further information will be forthcoming.

COVID-19 Information for Our Community
Rich Kindelan, Deputy Fire Chief
The Scarborough Fire Department in collaboration with local Emergency Management, Town Officials, and the School Department has been closely monitoring the Novel Coronavirus 2019 outbreak, also known as COVID-19, since the first case was reported in the United States on Jan. 21, 2020. Please know the health and well-being of our community remains our top priority, and we will continue to work to bring you the latest information to keep our community and beyond healthy.

You can be assured that your first responders and emergency planners are tuned in.  Scarborough Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS, Communications) have been involved in background preparations for weeks. Most recently, our town operated PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point), has been directed to, and implemented, a 911 telephone screening tool. These brief questions will assist with processing 911 calls and provide critical information to protect the public and all of our first responders. 

Referencing guidance from Maine CDC, the following are sound practices to limit the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap.  Use hand sanitizers when soap and water are not an option.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are actively sick. (coughing, sneezing, fever)
  • STAY HOME from work and other locations as much as is possible. If you become sick with respiratory symptoms including but not limited to fever and cough contact your health care provider. It is vital that if you are exhibiting symptoms you stay home unless you need to access medical care.
Our town officials have worked hard to put our community in the best position possible to respond to any crisis.  Please stay informed and follow the simple guidance offered by the CDC, Emergency Managers, and your first responders. 

Rest assured, we are continually working with our public health partners to provide you with the latest guidance and actions you can take to support a healthy community.  If you have any questions about this article or any fire department or emergency medical system questions you may contact me by email  or by calling 207-730-4203.

Think Before You Flush
Leona Oceania, Public Works
As we are trying to navigate these difficult times, it is important to remember that we must all act with the community as a whole in mind. Not only by taking the obvious measures of social distancing, not hoarding supplies, and general acts of kindness wherever possible, but also in simple actions such as not flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper.

I know, I know, it is the absence of toilet paper that is the issue here. However, that doesn't change the fact that anything other than toilet paper cannot be flushed. Flushing things like baby wipes, cleaning wipes, paper towels, tissues, dental floss, etc. does nothing more than contribute to clogging the plumbing in your house, your septic system, or the public sewer system. While many of the above listed products may seem similar to toilet paper, they are not designed to break down like toilet paper. Once flushed, they can - and do - cause immense problems. (Even "flushable wipes" are suspect, and should be flushed with caution.)

When products such as these enter the public sewer system, they get caught up on each other (since they are not breaking down) and can cause very large obstructions in the sewer lines. When pump stations require repairs due to these obstructions it often results in backups, as well as the possibility of discharges of raw sewage into basements of homes and businesses, as well as into state waterways.

During times when staffing is already low due to precautionary measures in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, these repairs may significantly delayed. During this time of self-isolation with so many of us staying home, the LAST thing we want is to lose properly functioning sewer and septic systems.

2020 Comprehensive Plan is Ready to Review
Jay Chace, Planning Director & Karen Martin, SEDCO Director
The Town of Scarborough's Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) released a new draft of the proposed 2020 Comprehensive Plan for the public to review. The Comprehensive Plan articulates a vision of the community and provides a series of steps to support the vision. The Plan is aimed at being an expression of Scarborough's residents' hopes and thoughts on important issues that impact the day-to-day experience of what it means to live and work in Scarborough. In addition, this is an important process because of the requirements of the State's Growth Management Act and considerations granted by the State for having a Comprehensive Plan that is consistent with State goals.

At its very core, a Comprehensive Plan is a policy document that guides development based on a community vision. Though the Plan does not lay out all of the specific changes in ordinances or policies that will be required to articulate the vision; however, the Plan does provide guideposts for evaluating changes. And, central to most comprehensive plans, a future land use map generally defines a pattern of development that shows where growth can be accommodated in light of the vision. 

The five core Vision statements from the Plan are:
  • The Scarborough Marsh is central to the Town's identity, and therefore future land use will follow a pattern of development that is sensitive to protecting the Marsh as well as the town's natural resources.
  • Future land use patterns will create opportunities for the efficient delivery of municipal services and infrastructure, resulting in fiscal sustainability.
  • Our ordinances will support the diversity and character of existing and emerging neighborhoods, centers and open spaces.
  • Scarborough's economy will support a broad assortment of companies that provide stability for the tax base, that blend with the natural resource base, and that support opportunities for residents.
  • Scarborough's transportation network will support current and future land uses that create efficiencies which reduce the impact of traffic on residents and businesses
Click here for the complete article

Operational Changes in Planning and Codes
Brian Longstaff, Zoning Administrator
During this unprecedented situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we like other Town departments find ourselves in uncharted territory with regard to how we safely and efficiently continue to provide planning and code enforcement services to the residents, businesses, and land use development entities that select Scarborough as their community of choice. To meet this challenge, the Scarborough Planning and Codes Department has developed systems and procedures that, although not ideal, will allow land use planning and development to continue without unnecessarily placing staff or the public at risk. The public can keep up to date on any changes by viewing the town website, and specifically, the Planning and Codes department page.

Planning Board & Board of Appeals Applications
Although the Town Hall is closed to the public and to those staff that can are working remotely, we will continue to accept applications. Please visit the Planning and Codes Department webpage for instructions on how to submit applications. Please note that all submission deadlines as noted on the 2020 Planning Board & Board of Appeals meeting schedules still apply. 

Scarborough Public Library - Still Serving Residents
Lucy Norvell, Scarborough Public Library
The Scarborough Public Library is closed until further notice. In the meantime, many Library services can still be accessed through a home computer, device, or phone with an internet connection and some programming has moved online.

WiFi availability has been boosted in the Library's parking lot. Access it by selecting one of the following wireless network names: Library or Library5GHz.

A Scarborough Public Library card number is necessary to sign on to several online Services. For residents who do not have a Scarborough Public Library card, email the Circulation Manager, Mike Windsor. Please include an image of your photo ID with your Scarborough address or other proof of Scarborough residency (utility bill, car registration, lease, etc...)

Use your library card number to:
  • Learn technical and creative skills, business strategies, and more on Lynda.com.
  • Stream classic, independent, and documentary films, quality children's shows, and Great Courses for free, with Kanopy or Kanopy Kids. Much more is now available thanks to Kanopy's generosity.
  • Read Cloud Library eBooks or listen to eAudiobooks. The Library's account has been temporarily reconfigured to allow access to those who had been blocked because of unpaid fines. Additional electronic books have been acquired to accommodate the increased demand of our patrons.
  • Research your family history on Ancestry.com through Maine Digital Library. The Maine State Library has generously provided free home access to the world's most popular consumer online genealogy resource. 
  • Flip through digital issues of popular magazines on Flipster.
  • Catch up on newspaper articles you may have missed with our newspaper database.
Even without a library card you can:
  • Attend Online Story Time with our Youth Services Manager, Mrs. C.
  • Watch Listen Up! With Connie where Connie Burns reads one of her favorite middle grade novels.
  • Attend the adult book group, Books On Tap through video chat in April; email Tom Corbett, Systems Librarian, for details. 
  • See what is happening on the Library's social media on Facebook and Instagram
  • Learn more and discover additional Services on our website. For direct help with these resources, email us.
In place of the Census Party planned for Census Day, Wednesday, April 1, the Library has moved the festivities online in an effort to encourage ALL Scarborough residents to be counted! Self-report online and monitor the progress of Census self-reporting with us and see how Scarborough measures up to the neighboring towns' self-reporting percentages.

The Library staff encourages patrons to hold onto borrowed materials until the Library is open again. The Minerva system has automatically renewed materials until at least April 15. Due dates and fines after April 15 will be waived on all outstanding materials if necessary. Patrons won't be able to request materials online during this time when the Scarborough Public Library and others in the Minerva system are closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The interlibrary loan service will resume when the Library reopens.

Community Recycling Center Extended Closure
The Community Recycling Center has extended their closure by a minimum of an additional two weeks, to April 15th. At that time they will reevaluate the need for extending their closure. 

Riverside Recycling Center (910 Riverside Street, Portland) remains OPEN, and is available to the public. Their current hours are Monday - Saturday from 7:30 am - 3:30 pm. Their number is 797-6200.

Town of Scarborough solid waste pick up is on schedule and plans to continue uninterrupted. 

SPS Responds to COVID-19
Kelly Johnston, Scarborough Public Schools
What a roller coaster we have all been on over the past few weeks!

On March 2 nd we sent our first correspondence to families with some precautionary steps that we were taking in our schools, and offered some suggestions for staff and families to put into place to keep themselves and their families healthy and safe during these uncertain times.  A few short weeks later, on March 13 th , we announced to our school staff the postponement of all field trips, the suspension of all outside visitors entering our buildings, and the halting of all in-house performances,  as some of our ongoing steps to protect our staff and students from COVID-19. As things rapidly progressed in both our nation and our state, only 24 hours later (March 14), we declared that we would be closing our schools until at least March 20 th , and less than 24 hours after that (March 15), the decision was made to close schools until at least March 27 th and move to distance learning beginning on Monday, March 23 rd .  Since this date and in conjunction with area southern Maine superintendents, the school closure date has been extended to at least April 27 th .

Click here for the complete article

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
Stephen Kramer, Community Services Donald Begin, IT
Kailey Dubuque, 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