September 15, 2023

Town of Scarborough Newsletter

It's a time of transition as we reacquaint with back-to-school routines, off-season beach rules, and a final wave of road work before winter comes. The Library has just announced their new Director and the November election will determine new elected official seats and the outcome of the K-8 Strategic Project and Unified Primary School. There are also several upcoming events, from Sustainable Scarborough Day to a conservation speaker series and more. In the meantime, stay safe this weekend with Hurricane Lee impacts.


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Hurricane Lee is Expected Tonight Through Saturday

Message from Fire Chief Kindelan

Scarborough Public Safety, including local, county and state emergency management agencies have been working closely over the last 72+ hours to plan for the arrival of Hurricane Lee on the coast of Maine. We are all but certain that this storm will have impacts in our local community and some of those impacts could be widespread. 

As of Thursday, it is expected that Lee will affect Scarborough in the form of a tropical storm. Locally we are expecting strong storm force winds, beginning overnight on Friday and through Saturday. These winds will likely result in power outages and the public should be prepared for loss of power for a minimum of 24-48 hours. Public Safety departments (Fire, Police, Dispatch) will be adding additional staffing on Saturday through Sunday morning to ensure an effective and consistent response for the duration of the storm. 

In the event of power outages, please report them directly to CMP through their call center or phone app. Keep in mind our emergency dispatch center will not be able to provide you information on the length of time for power outages. We recommend that any use of generators is done so in a safe manner and not operated inside structures. ie; garages.

We will do our best to keep the community updated through social media platforms used by Scarborough Fire, Police and Town of Scarborough. Maine 211 is also a great resource for post storm information. If you have an emergency always dial 911.

Expected storm path as of Friday morning


September is National Preparedness Month

During September we recognize National Preparedness Month, a great opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of personal and family preparedness. This year’s theme is to “Take Control in 1, 2, 3”. The Administration for Children & Families’ Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) is leading the charge to motivate individuals, households, communities and service providers to engage in preparedness activities to support disenfranchised communities most at risk from disaster impacts. Our Scarborough Emergency Management office reminds you to follow these steps: Have a family plan in place, build a kit, know what natural disasters could occur, and talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies. Here's a resource guide to support these efforts.

Road Work Notices

East Grand Ave

Road work on East Grand Avenue is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 25. Shaw Bros will be on site milling, crack sealing, shimming, and doing a base pave. This is a Maine DOT project and is expected to take 2-3 weeks.

Spurwink Road

Work on Spurwink Road from Pleasant Hill Road to Ocean Avenue began on September 5. Construction will create traffic delays, so please plan accordingly and take an alternate route whenever possible. The anticipated completion date of this first phase is early November 2023. The project includes a road realignment and the addition and improvement of pedestrian and bicycle amenities. It will also address the dangerous curves and intersections to the greatest extent possible, as well as improve road surface and drainage issues. Phase II will be completed next year for the remainder of the project to the Cape Elizabeth town line.

For more information on current and upcoming road work, please visit the new Transportation Projects page of our website.


Sept 26: Transportation Network Study Open House

Tuesday, September 26


Public Safety Building, 275 US Route One

What are your thoughts on Scarborough's bike and pedestrian network? Roadway safety? The Town's Transportation Committee wants to hear from you! Join them for an Open House to help plan the future of Scarborough's transportation network. Public input will help inform an updated Townwide Transportation Study being developed in 2024. The goal is for this study to provide direction and focus for the Town's future capital spending related to traffic and transportation needs.

The Transportation Open House will focus on specific topics: Bike & pedestrian network needs and strengths, mobility corridor needs and strengths, roadway safety, and re-envisioning Haigis Parkway. Residents are encouraged to stop in at any time within the 4-hour window to contribute their thoughts, concerns, and hopes related to Scarborough’s transportation network. Community feedback is crucial as this group begins to formulate the needs, desires, and expectations related to the study. 

The last Townwide Transportation Study was completed in 2006. Over the past two decades, infrastructure, development patterns, and priorities have changed. The updated study will look at broad categories within Scarborough's transportation system. Over the past year, the Transportation Committee has discussed these topics and provided feedback, but more public input is needed to ensure all aspects of the Town’s transportation network are being considered. 

The public is also encouraged to share comments on other transportation-related items by emailing Town Engineer Angela Blanchette at

Scarborough Town-Wide Revaluation this Spring 2024

The Assessor’s office is conducting a town-wide property revaluation in Spring 2024. A Revaluation is the process of updating all property values in town to reflect their current market value (i.e., to maintain reasonable estimates of what each property could sell for on the open market). The last revaluation was performed in 2019.

Why conduct a revaluation?

The intent of the revaluation process is to appraise all property at its current market value, creating a more equitable and fair distribution of the tax burden among taxpayers. Sales that have taken place in the last three years indicate that the market value of property has increased. When the real estate market has higher prices, the ratio of assessed value-to-sales price grows further out of alignment. This leads to a reduction of State reimbursements and exemptions that are based on the “Certified Ratio”. A Revaluation can bring State reimbursements and exemptions back to full value. If we do not conduct a Revaluation, the homestead exemption, as well as several other exemptions and State reimbursements, will continue to decrease.

Why now?

The 2019 revaluation was performed by independent contractor KRT Appraisal. Post-revaluation public workshops conducted by Town Leadership and Assessing to review the process concluded that revaluations should be performed more regularly. They have since been planned to occur once every 5th year, unless special circumstances necessitate otherwise. This routine cycle will help to maintain a fairly apportioned property tax burden and provide predictability for taxpayers.

In-house vs. contracted service?

Another outcome after the 2019 revaluation was to use in-house Assessing staff to conduct future revaluations, rather than an independent contractor. The Assessing department has a Scarborough-specific base of knowledge of Town properties and the real estate market. The department will be also able to provide a higher level of customer service throughout the process and the overall cost is largely reduced. The estimated cost related to the 2024 in-house revaluation totals $44,000, as compared to $391,000 for the one performed by KRT Appraisal in 2019.

How will it be conducted?

The 2024 market update revaluation will be based upon existing property data and sales data from the preceding two years, avoiding on-site property inspections except to confirm validity of data for a sample of properties. The reassessment project will establish market value as of April 1, 2024 and will be reflected in the tax bills issued in the Fall of 2024.  

Will my taxes go up?

By itself, a revaluation does not increase or decrease total tax revenue collected by the Town. The amount of taxes raised only changes if the Town, School, and County budgets change. Revaluation itself is a revenue-neutral process—it does not raise more taxes, rather it redistributes the existing tax base according to current property values so that all property owners pay their fair share based on the market values of their property. Your assessed value may go up, but the tax rate will most likely go down. Some owners will see increases, others will see decreases, and some will see no change in their taxes owed. Typically, a sizable tax increase could happen if the property has been undervalued for some time, relative to other properties, or improvements have been made.

Property owners will receive a preliminary notice of the new assessed value of their property upon completion of the revaluation process in Spring 2024. The Assessor’s office will afford all property owners a chance for an informal meeting where you can appeal your new assessed value and ask questions about the assessment process before the new assessments go into effect in August 2024.

Learn More

Website: Visit for more information, including commonly asked questions, infographic educational materials and a project schedule. There will continue to be public outreach in the months ahead. 

September 20 Presentation: The Town Assessor will present about the 2024 revaluation during a Town Council workshop on Wednesday, September 20 at 5:30pm. Attend in person at Scarborough Town Hall or view remotely (links on the Town Calendar).

Sunday, October 1: Sustainable Scarborough Day

The Town of Scarborough is hosting its first ever Sustainable Scarborough Day on Sunday, October 1, bringing together everyone from the environmentally conscious to the eco-curious for a day of learning and fun. The inaugural event will be held from 10:00am-2:00pm at Wentworth School, 20 Quentin Drive on the municipal/school campus. This is a family friendly event with activities for all ages!

  • Meet with experts, local businesses, nonprofits, and enthusiasts tabling at Wentworth
  • Attend one or more of the six workshops scheduled throughout the event.
  • Test drive an electric vehicle, attend one of the several workshops, and learn more about saving money with new state and federal efficiency rebates and tax credits.
  • Food available for purchase from Falafel Mafia and Empanada Club
  • Enter to win a heat pump water heater, valued at $2,400!

View the lineup of 25-minute workshops on a variety of sustainability topics!


Changes to Beach Rules After Labor Day

Change is in the air! The Town switches to off-season beach rules after Labor Day, and that means:

• No parking fees are collected at Town beach lots

• Dogs are allowed on beaches, on or off leash (under voice and sight control)

• Dogs must be on leash from 1-3pm

We soaked up summer and now we’re diving into the “off” season…enjoy!

Upcoming Program: Conservation Speaker Series

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:

Scarborough Marsh & Sea Level Rise in a Changing Climate

Thursday, October 5, 6:30pm

Scarborough Public Library

Speakers: Peter Slovinsky, Coastal Geologist with the Maine Geological Survey and Kristen Puryear, Ecologist at Maine Natural Areas Program 

Pete & Kristen will discuss the monitoring and measurement methods they use to predict the potential impacts of climate change on Maine’s and Scarborough’s tidal marshes, and possible ways to manage our shoreland in the face of more intense storms and sea level rise. 

Overview: K-8 Strategic Project & Unified Primary School

Provided by Scarborough School Building Committee

The K-8 Strategic Project & New Unified Primary School project is a holistic strategic solution for our K-8 schools to solve facilities inadequacies and inefficiencies by reorganizing grade levels, aligning our student populations, and building a new unified primary school that addresses educational equity, operational efficiency, population growth, flexibility, safety & security, and 21st century learning and teaching methods. 

The Town Council voted to put the K-8 Strategic Project and Unified Primary School on the November 7th ballot, which means now is the time to make sure you learn about the project so you can decide how to vote. 

Why Do We Need This Project?

We have already exceeded the capacity of our existing schools. Our infrastructure does not support our students’ basic educational needs. We need a sustainable solution to house our current and growing population.

Learn More and Get Your Questions Answered

There are many Q&As being offered (both in-person and online) to make sure you are able to get your questions answered. You can see the full schedule of weekly Q&As here, as well as follow the project Facebook page as new events are scheduled. You can also check out the project’s Start Here page for videos, project flyers, and links to all the meetings and presentations you need to deep dive into the background and details. 


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.

Fire Department to Use New Burn Permit Website

The Scarborough Fire Department offers a no cost, online burn permit option. Effective September 1, the Fire department changed from its former service with the Warden's Report website and will now be utilizing the website directly.

As a reminder of standards for burning in Scarborough, burning must be conducted according to the terms and conditions of the permit and may not create a nuisance. A permit is required for the following types of recreational fires:

• Recreational campfires kindled when the ground is not covered by snow

• Fires in conjunction with holiday and festive celebrations

• Burning of leaves, brush, deadwood, leaves, grass, and tree cuttings

When burning please also be considerate of your neighbors by keeping your piles small, and your fires hot to minimize smoke and so the smoke that is generated quickly dissipates and doesn’t create a nuisance. For any questions, please contact the Scarborough Fire Department Administration at (207) 883-4542.


New Affordable Housing Apartment in Scarborough

Scarborough is the site for a new housing project administered by South Portland Housing Authority (SPHA). Jocelyn Place, a 60-unit building, located at 41 Little Dolphin Drive, Scarborough, is dedicated to persons 55 years and older. The building consists of affordable housing and project-based voucher units. Its expected opening is this fall/winter.

SPHA is currently accepting applications for the one-bedroom apartments. Applicants who live or work in Scarborough will receive higher preference.


Summer Photo Contest: And the Winners Are...

After two months of the summer season and over 250 submissions, we are excited to announce the winners of our "Summer Outdoors" photo contest—chosen by your vote! Winners will be notified directly and will receive a gift certificate to one of several Scarborough businesses: Highland Farm, Oak Hill Ace Hardware, The Dairy Corner, Scarborough Grounds, Nonesuch River Brewing, and Dunstan Tap & Table.

Scenic/Natural Landscape Category Winner

"Summer Sunrise Over Scarborough River" by Amy Taylor

Pets Category Winner

"Summer Time to Paws and Reflect" by Amaury Sablon

Parks & Paths Category Winner

"Footpath to Pine Point Beach" by Pamela Evans

Beaches Category Winner

"Patience at the Beach" by Emily Loder

Wildlife Category Winner

"Just Swinging Through" by Michelle Blake

Families & Fun Category Winner

"Just a Girl and Her Berries" by Samantha Beaton


Upcoming Election: November 7, 2023

Plan Ahead: Request Your Absentee Ballot

Request an absentee ballot by completing an Application for an Absentee Ballot. Please print and complete the form, then mail it to the Scarborough Town Clerk's Office at P.O. Box 360, Scarborough, ME 04070-0360 or fill out the e‑form request. Absentee ballots will be mailed when they are available.

For further information on Absentee Voting and Voter Registration, please contact the Scarborough Town Clerk's Office at 730-4020.


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

Register for Community Services Fall Programs

Check out the Fall Brochure for our wide selection of community programs for kids, teens, and seniors. Registration is now open! Register for programs online by creating an account through our Community Services portal. Registration can also be done by phone (207-730-4150) or in person. 


Community Services Participates in Meals for Maine

Community Services staff took part in a momentous event on Tuesday called "Meals for Maine". Aimed at combatting food insecurity, the event brought together community members to assemble a goal of 50,000 nonperishable meal kits for individuals across Maine who are at risk of hunger. This was hosted at UNE's Portland campus and was part of a national day of service and remembrance for the 9/11 terror attacks. Together they exceeded their goal and made 51,000 meal kits to be distributed across the state. Community Services has reserved a portion to distribute to our community members in need.

Community Services staff members Audra Keenan and Steve Kramer were all smiles for their day of hands-on service to put meals together.

Council Corner: Updates from Ordinance Committee

By Nick McGee, Town Council, Ordinance Committee Chair

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.

It has been about 9 months since I’ve become Chair of the Ordinance Committee. I sit with Councilors Caterina and Sither – and together, we have tackled quite a few important issues in the last nine months. Keeping up to date with the ongoings of our busy community is no small task – so here’s a cliff notes version for 2023 to help you get up to speed.

Marijuana/Cannabis – In late 2022, it became clear the Council would need to address our Marijuana Ordinance. 

Residents adjacent to one of our overlay zones had been experiencing frequent issues with a facility nearby that impacted the enjoyment of their property and the neighborhood in general. A working group made up of business owners/cultivators in the industry along with residents were asked to help review and seek solutions to some lingering odor issues, among other concerns. After the collaborative efforts of all the stakeholders involved, we were able to implement a clear process for filing complaints, clearly delineate enforcement procedures and strengthen odor mitigation standards in cannabis facilities.  

Marijuana/Cannabis – Part II – Earlier in the year we received a request from a cultivator that wished to use their property located in a RF Zone (rural farmland) for marijuana cultivation. Some would surely argue that cannabis is a crop, and a farmland zone seems to make sense as an allowable use of the property. However, the committee is also fully aware that most of our neighborhoods are located in RF zones. The committee denied the request of the applicant ultimately signaling any expansion of the cannabis industry outside of our already designated areas (industrial zones) was not in the best interest of the community. The committee was clear – we intend to protect our neighborhoods.

Zoning Cleanups & Maps – Zoning is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of community living. It dictates the activities and structures that are allowed on a property, quantity, location, as well as design standards and much more. The Ordinance Committee played an important role in helping clean up our maps, as well as a herculean effort from town staff to conduct an accuracy check of our maps dating back decades. The result was a new standardized process for making alterations to zoning maps and an update to our maps our residents can rely on for accuracy when contemplating their next projects.

Sexual Offender Registry Ordinance – The committee was able to develop an ordinance outlining the process of notification to community members as well as impose limitations where an offender could live in town. A special thanks to community members bringing this topic forward as well as for the thoughtful approach by Police Chief Holmquist and his team. This ordinance provides our law enforcement officers with the tools needed to keep our community safe. 

LD 2003 (a.k.a. the “Accessory Dwelling Unit” law) – In 2022, the State of Maine passed a law prohibiting towns from preventing owners the ability to add an ADU to their homes (e.g., In-Law Apartments). While paved with good intentions, this law presented large challenges for many communities in Maine. Specifically, the law allowed for 2.5 times more dwelling units per parcel than what local zoning would designate. To make matters worse, the law also prohibits towns from restricting ADUs, basically usurping local authority when it comes to zoning, growth, and development. Furthermore, it also dictated that units under the ADU law would not count toward our growth permit limits here in town. For a community already struggling with the impacts of growth, this law had major implications for us. Thankfully, we have an incredible Town Planner in Autumn Speer. With her assistance, we were able to craft an ADU ordinance that complies with the State law and maximized our local control to the largest extent possible.

Up Next: Short-Term Rentals. It was actually LD 2003 that codified municipal authority to adopt regulations around short-term rentals “in order to achieve the statewide or regional housing production goal”. The ordinance committee is in the process of understanding what other communities are doing, what is effective, what if anything should be done and how big is the issue locally. The committee has already heard from many residents on this topic. On one hand, we have families that count on the income; on the other hand, we have families having to confront a revolving door of new faces in their neighborhoods. We look forward to continued thoughtful discussion with the community on this topic and many others as we finish out the year.

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: New Director Announced

The Board of Trustees of Scarborough Public Library is pleased to announce the selection of the library’s new director, Richard “Chip” Schrader. Schrader brings years of experience in library work, most recently as the director of the Louis P. Goodall Memorial Library in Sanford, Maine. Schrader is replacing Nancy Crowell, who is retiring after 46 years of exemplary service at Scarborough Public Library. Schrader will join the organization on October 1.

“After a national search – we found our best candidate right next door,” said Nancy Crowell. “Chip has family in Scarborough and knows the community and our library’s great reputation. He is genuinely excited to be joining us.” Library President, William Donovan, concurred, adding, “The breadth of skills Chip brings to Scarborough makes him a worthy successor to our esteemed Nancy Crowell."

New Scarborough Public Library Director Chip Schrader, beginning October 1.

As the Library Director of Scarborough Public Library, Schrader will oversee an organization dedicated to providing access to a variety of materials and services in a welcoming community-centered facility, a staff of 19 including professionals and paraprofessionals, and a building in need of expansion.

Part of Schrader’s appeal is his successful application for a Community Project Funding grant for library expansion in Sanford. The project is sponsored by Representative Pingree, Senator Collins, and Senator King, and the Goodall Library will receive $3 million to renovate and expand the building to supplement a bequest and the library’s fundraising efforts. He is planning to bring similar energy and results to Scarborough.

Schrader spent his childhood and early adulthood in a small town in New York, the northern boundary of the Appalachian region, Florida, Ohio, and then Pittsburgh, where he received his Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He has found a permanent home in Maine since 2004 with his wife, his dog, and a substantial vinyl record collection.

As for a new working life in Scarborough, Schrader says, “To say I’m shocked and over the moon sounds cliché, but it nearly does justice to how I feel. Nancy is a super star among librarians, and the staff at Scarborough are known throughout the state for their innovative work. I am honored.”

Upcoming Library Programs

An Evening with Betsy Sholl

Maine's Poet Laureate, 2006-2011

Tuesday, September 26, 6:30pm


Please join us as we welcome poet Betsy Sholl as part of our Ann P. Hammond Memorial Literature Series. Betsy Sholl’s tenth collection of poetry, As If a Song Could Save You, was published in Fall 2022. She will be reading from this book, and talking about her life and writing. Books will be available for purchase and signing. 

Podcast Club: Libraries, Challenged Books, Censorship, and Curation

Thursday, September 28, 4:00-5:00pm


Please join us for a meeting of the Scarborough Public Library Podcast Club. It's like a book club, but for podcasts! This month we will focus on podcasts that explore libraries, challenged books, censorship, and curation. The field of librarianship promotes the freedom to read, but librarians also make choices that shape what is available for patrons. Additionally, the number of banned and challenged books has increased significantly over the last few years. The selected podcasts provide some background and analysis.

Puzzle Palooza

Saturday, September 30, 1:00-3:00pm


It's a Puzzle Race! Join a team, win a trophy!

Teams race against each other to finish a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle. The first team to complete the puzzle wins a prize! All ages welcome. Register your team before Monday, September 25 by calling or emailing Elsa Rowe (396-6279 or


Monday – 9am to 5pm • Tuesday – 9am to 7pm • Wednesday – 9am to 7pm • Thursday – 9am to 7pm • Friday – 9am to 5pm • Saturday – 9am to 1pm • Sunday – Closed

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