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Posted on: September 11, 2020

City News Round Up for Friday, September 11

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City News Round Up for Friday, September 11

Please check our agenda center as Committees, Boards & Commissions continue to meet remotely. The Council meets next on Monday, September 14 at 5:30 PM for a workshop on the FY21 municipal budget and Elections.  

City Hall remains closed to the general public at this time. Staff continue to serve customers via email, phone, and virtual meetings. The City Clerk’s Office and Parking Office are open for walk-in service via our Myrtle Street entrance. The Treasury Office is processing auto and boat registrations by appointment only via our Congress Street side-entrance. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 page.  Any questions? Please call 207-874-8300 or email info@portlandmaine.gov


City Honors 19th Anniversary of 9/11 with Wreath Laying Ceremony
The Portland Police and Fire Departments held their annual wreath laying ceremony at Fort Allen Park to commemorate the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.


1st - BE REGISTERED
2nd - REQUEST YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT
3rd - YOU CAN STILL VOTE IN PERSON
In-person or Absentee - Please VOTE 
You can request your absentee ballot now. Ballots will be mailed once they become available in early October. In Maine, ballots are not available until 30 days prior to Election Day. Once ballots are in, early in-person absentee voting will be available in the Clerk’s temporary office in the Merrill Auditorium lobby, accessible via the Myrtle Street entrance. Ballots must be returned to the Clerk’s Office no later than 8:00 PM on Election Day. You cannot return absentee ballots to your polling location. Make sure you sign the back of the envelope. You can drop your ballots off at Merrill Auditorium, where a drop box is available during business hours.

Portland Offers Enhanced Website 
In partnership with our web provider, CivicPlus® and technology provider Frase, we’ve launched a 45-day trial of a new chat bot feature for our website. Visit www.portlandmaine.gov to check it out (lower right hand corner). We know that you’ve been relying on our site more than ever, and so we hope that by adding the chatbot feature, you’ll be able to receive a near-immediate response and one-click resolution to your inquiry, thus avoiding phone calls, emails, and other service request channels that are inherently more time-consuming. Check it out today and let us know what you think. The more use it gets, the better we can train it and see if it will be a good long-term solution. 

Come Join the Barron Center Family!
New at the Barron Center is a unique employment opportunity to join our committed workforce. We are hiring Unit Assistants who assist our nursing team and care for our residents to create a homelike environment. Applicants must enroll in our free CNA class and become certified within 12 months. Join us on a pathway to your future in nursing! Question regarding the position should be directed to David Langstaff, Director of Nursing at 207-541-6549 or DLangstaff@portlandmaine.gov. Το apply please visit: https://www.portlandmaine.gov/1107/Current-Job-Opportunities.

Mayor Appoints 13 Members to Racial Equity Steering Committee 
Mayor Kate Snyder announced the appointment of 13 members to the Council’s newly formed Racial Equity Steering Committee at its September 9 meeting. The Council established the Steering Committee as part of a resolution that it passed at its July 13 meeting. The Committee will be tasked with developing recommendations to the City Council regarding the ways in which city government should address and respond to institutional racism and structural inequities through its approach to public safety. 

Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Bills Available in October
Fiscal Year 21 Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Bills are not yet available. It is anticipated they will be mailed out in early October 2020 following Council budget approval on September 21, 2020. The tentative due dates are October 30, 2020 and March 19, 2021.
Property Tax Info
Citizen Self-Service Portal

Portland Youth Council
The Portland Youth Council has four seats available, and we’re accepting applications through October 2. To learn more about the Youth Council and to access the application, use the link above.

Help Us Count Portland - Take the US Census Now!
It’s Not Too Late - You can still complete the census today.
The 2020 U.S. Census is more than a population count. It’s an opportunity to shape your community’s future. Your voice can make a difference. Click the link above to take the census now. It’s quick and easy. You can respond online, by phone, or by mail. Deadline is now September 30! 

City Simplifies Application Process & Increases Assistance Amount for COVID-Rental Assistance Program 
The City has streamlined the application process for the Rental Assistance Program. The City has also increased the amount of assistance available. The program is funded with supplemental CDBG funding made available through the federal CARES Act. The City is partnering with The Opportunity Alliance to help renters in Portland that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The program provides up to $1,000 in assistance for a maximum of 3 months, as well as up to $250 in utility assistance.  

Keep Up to Date with the FY21 Municipal Budget Process 
Given the significant revenue losses the City has faced in light of the pandemic, the City took several measures to reduce expenditures as it prepared the FY21 recommended budget. Despite getting some federal and state COVID-relief funds, the recommended budget includes cuts to services and positions given continued revenue losses combined with increasing costs outside of the City’s control.

Read the City Manager’s full budget letter, here. The Finance Committee held meetings on August 5, 6, 12, and September 2, 10. The Council will host a budget workshop on September 14. The first read of the budget was at the Council’s September 9 meeting and the final vote is expected at the September 21 meeting. To view agendas and budget materials, visit: www.portlandmaine.gov/agendas.

Amethyst Park Ribbon Cutting September 18
The City’s Parks & Recreation teams will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Park at Amethyst on Friday, September 18 at 11:00 AM. To learn more about this project, visit: https://www.portlandmaine.gov/2011/Portland-Landing




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