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Posted on: September 4, 2020

City News Round Up for Friday, September 4

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City News Round Up for Friday, September 4
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. 

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

Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Bills Available in October
Fiscal Year 2021 (Fy21) Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Bills are not yet available. It is anticipated they will be mailed out in early October 2020.

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.

Economic Recovery Grant Program - Informational Webinar
This program provides grants for businesses and non-profit organizations that demonstrate a need for financial relief based on lost revenues or expenses related to the disruption of business operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This informational session will provide you with the information required to apply for this grant program. Here are a few helpful links that may help you navigate through the grant process.

Grants will be distributed based on a business/organization’s demonstrated losses as a pro-rated percentage of the total losses reported by qualified applicants.
For more information please visit: https://www.maine.gov/decd/ 

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. Households may receive follow-Up visits From 2020 Census Takers visits serve as quality checks to ensure everyone Is counted.

The City of Portland Parking Division is Now Touchless
The Spring Street and Elm Street Parking Garage are now touchless. To receive a ticket upon entry simply wave your hand near the ticket button on the machine and it will dispense a ticket. Touchless payment options upon exiting the garage include Google Pay, Apple Pay, Paypal, and any credit and debit cards that have the contactless logo on them.

For touchless payments for on street parking go to PassportParking.com and download the app. This will allow you to pay for parking from your phone. 

Mislabeled City Purple Trash Bags
Some stores are reporting that City trash bags labeled as 15 gallon bags were in fact 30 gallon bags. If you purchased mislabeled City trash bags, please call Wastezero @ 1-800-866-3954 to report the issue. The stores are working with Wastezero to correct this issue and will exchange any bags you have purchased. 

Volunteer for Local Parks!
Portland Parks Conservancy (PPC) is a new nonprofit organization with a mission to support Portland’s public parks. The PPC is focusing this summer and fall on recruiting volunteers to help the Portland Parks, Recreation, and Facilities staff with picking up trash, raking, weeding, clearing brush, and other light maintenance that will allow City staff to do their jobs more efficiently. Email Jesse (info@portlandparksconservancy.org) for a list of upcoming volunteer opportunities!

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.  

Request Your Absentee Ballot Today!
There a two ways to request your absentee ballot:

Ballots must be returned to the municipal clerk no later than 8:00 PM on Election Day.
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.

Ballots will be available in early October. Once the ballots are available, we will also conduct early in-person absentee voting at Merrill Auditorium. 

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. The Committee will meet again on September 10. The Council will host a budget workshop on September 14. The first read of the budget will take place at the Council’s September 9 meeting with the final vote expected at the September 21 meeting. To view agendas and budget materials, visit: www.portlandmaine.gov/agendas.





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