2023.01.20--Falmouth Focus, Volume 5, Issue 2

January 20, 2023
Focus Masthead

Please note: This newsletter will be sent to subscribers of both The Falmouth Focus newsletter and Town News & Announcements. Please excuse cross postings. To change your General Information

Table of Contents

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News & Issues

Coffee with Councilors

Coffee With Councilors

It's back! Coffee with Councilors returns for a second year. The Town Council would like to invite all residents to join two Councilors at a time for an informal Zoom gathering. These meetings will be scheduled for one hour each with no set agenda. It is a chance for informal dialogue on whatever is on residents' minds. We will vary the days and times to try to be accessible to all. We hope to see you there!

The first Coffee with Councilors will be held on Thursday, January 26, from 8:00am until 9:00am. Councilors LaFond and Trickett will be available. Click the link below to join the webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82157493666
Or One tap mobile : 
    US: +13017158592,,82157493666#  or +13052241968,,82157493666# 
Or Telephone:
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        US: +1 301 715 8592  or +1 305 224 1968  or +1 309 205 3325  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 646 558 8656  or +1 646 931 3860  or +1 507 473 4847  or +1 564 217 2000  or +1 669 444 9171  or +1 669 900 9128  or +1 689 278 1000  or +1 719 359 4580  or +1 253 205 0468  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 360 209 5623  or +1 386 347 5053 
Webinar ID: 821 5749 3666
    International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcztPCifJg

Additional dates have been scheduled for: 

  • Wednesday, February 15, 12pm-1pm with Councilors Asherman and Kuhn
  • Friday, March 17, 8am-9pm with Councilors Kuhn and DeLima
  • Thursday, April 13, 12pm-1pm,Councilor Johnson and TBD

Links will be provided in advance of the meetings in this newsletter and on the events calendar at www.falmouthme.org.


Food Pantry Logo

Heating Assistance for Those in Need

As temperatures drop and winter sets in, many residents wonder what they can do to support their neighbors in need when high heating costs threaten their comfort and safety. Residents may not be aware that, in addition to regular food distribution, the Falmouth Food Pantry assists residents with heating and utility needs. Monetary donations to the Food Pantry make this possible. 

On January 4, Governor Mills signed the Winter Emergency Energy Relief Plan, which will provide heating assistance to Mainers. The measure provides $450 relief checks to an estimated 880,000 Maine residents. In the past, when the government distributed relief checks, the Food Pantry saw an organic up-tick in donations from residents who passed along their share to those less fortunate. With relief checks soon arriving in the mail, the Town of Falmouth wants to remind residents that the Food Pantry serves approximately 250 families and would gratefully accept any amount of monetary donations. You can donate by sending checks made out to the Falmouth Food Pantry to 271 Falmouth Road, Falmouth, ME 04105 or donate online via PayPal at: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1807575.  If you so choose, you may indicate in the memo line of your check: "to assist with utility bills." The Falmouth Food Pantry is a 501(c)(3) charity and all donations are tax deductible.


garbage collector

Curbside Trash & Recycling Collection: Friendly Reminders

by Susie Holt, Administrative Assistant, Department of Public Works

When you call the Publics Works Department you are likely to speak with Susie Holt, the department's Administrative Assistant. Susie is often the main point of contact residents have with the department. Last year, Susie compiled a great article which appeared in the January issue and we thought it was worth updating and printing it again. 

The Town of Falmouth contracts with Pine Tree Waste (also known as Casella) for trash and recycling collection services. During the winter months, calls to Public Works regarding trash collection frequently increase. Here are a few tips and reminders to help ensure your trash and recycling are picked up each week.

Put Your Bins/Trash Bags Out By 7:00am

The number one most important thing to remember is that bins and yellow trash bags must be placed curbside by 7:00am. But the garbage man always comes around 2:00pm, you say? That may usually be the case, but this is not a definitive schedule put in place by our waste haulers. Though on most days the drivers complete their routes at relatively the same time, many factors can impact when they will arrive at your house on any given day. In short, trash collectors may arrive earlier or later to your home depending on a variety of circumstances. Having your items out at 7:00am ensures that you are not missed. Let’s take a look at what impacts pick-up times.

  • Inclement weather may slow down the collection. On the other hand, collectors may finish the route more quickly if several residents opt not to put their bins out during a storm. 
  • Substitute drivers may choose to start or end a route at another location than the one your regular driver uses. These changes could affect pick up times.
  • Drivers in training also may start at another location where it is easier or safer to conduct training. New drivers can also be slower resulting in an altered pick up time.
  • Obstacles in the roadway could prevent the truck and collection staff from proceeding safely. Our waste haulers are charged with making sure that their vehicles and employees are conducting operations safely. In some cases, if a route cannot be completed and the schedule allows, Casella may add that route to its collections schedule the following day. Examples of roadway obstructions include:
    • Road construction or private construction at someone’s home (such as painters, driveway pavers, contractors etc.) can result in vehicles or machinery on the roadway. The driver may get to your home earlier or later due to detouring from a construction area or may not arrive at all if a particular street is impassable.
    • Another common missed collection issue is vehicles parked in the area where collection trucks turn around. If the driver does not think he/she can maneuver the truck safely without causing property or vehicle damage or keeping staff safe, a street may be overlooked. Leaving these areas clear on collection days and not parking your vehicles in turnarounds is a huge help to everyone in the neighborhood to ensure timely collections.

Trash Bags & Bins Must Be Placed Curbside

Bins and bags must be placed at the end of the driveway or on a plowed sidewalk, parallel to the street, to be picked up. This can be tricky during heavy snow events. Bins and bags covered in snow will not be collected, nor will bins and bags set part way up the driveway, even if the driveway is plowed. Some residents prefer to hold their items until the following week if their trash day takes place during or right after a heavy snowstorm. Or you can always bring your trash and recycling to the Transfer Station during opening hours.

Recycling Cannot Be Bagged

Recycling that is contained in plastic bags will not be collected. Plastic bags jam the sorting machines at the recycling facility. Place your loose recycling in an appropriately marked recycling bin. Remember to include only recyclables in the recycling bins. Waste haulers will not a collect a bin of recycled materials if they spot contamination. Click here for a list of recyclables. 

Holidays & "Snow Days" 

Generally, if your collection day falls on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day, collection for that day will be moved to Saturday. For example, if New Year’s Day falls on a Friday, trash collection for that day will take place on Saturday, January 2. In rare instances, everyone's collection dates could be impacted by a holiday. For example this year, in 2023, July 4 falls on a Tuesday, Casella plans to move everyone's collection forward by one day. Tuesday collection will take place on Wednesday and so forth with Friday collection occurring on Saturday. The Town of Falmouth sends E-Alerts and posts to its website and social media pages when holidays impact collection schedules. You can also find this information in our ads placed in the Forecaster.

Casella rarely cancels collections due to inclement weather. Roads would have to be nearly impassable. A snow day at school does not mean no garbage collection. It's best to assume they will be collecting rather than miss a pick up. We will work to notify residents if trash or recycling collection is canceled due to weather.

If Your Trash & Recycling Is Not Collected

If your bins were placed curbside by 7:00am but not collected, you may call Pine Tree Waste/Casella (our waste haulers) directly at their Customer Care Line at 207-883-9777. This is the most direct way to discover what issue prevented your pickup. If you have further questions or concerns, you may also call me, Susie Holt, at the Public Works office at 207-781-3919 and I will do my best to assist you.

Ongoing Initiatives

road closed barricade

Bucknam Road Bridge Project Update

MaineDOT has scheduled additional short rolling closures during the overnight hours of January 23, January 24, and January 25. The closures will take place between 10:00pm and 5:00am and last no longer than 25 minutes. Maine State Police will facilitate the closures. Advance warning will be posted on message boards to allow traffic to exit the interstate prior to the closure area. Additional short closures may be required in the coming weeks and additional notices will be sent upon confirmation of scheduling.

MaineDOT has also provided a new "look ahead" schedule for the Bucknam Road Bridge Replacement Project. You can find the schedule, additional information, and subscribe to E-Alert updates about the project at https://www.falmouthme.org/bucknam-road-bridge-replacement-project


Underwood Park

Underwood Park Improvement Public Forum Update

On Tuesday, January 10, the Town held a public forum at Holy Martyrs Church Hall to gather input from residents for enhancements to Underwood Park and the adjacent "Marion Brown" property at 260 Foreside Road. Approximately 60 people turned out for the event. Town staff and representatives from Aceto Landscape Architects presented preparatory work including existing conditions and site analysis. Attendees broke into small groups to discuss improvements and make suggestions about enhancements they would like to see and to voice objections to those they did not. No decisions were made at this information gathering meeting. All comments were documented and will be available for review via a project page on the Town's website soon. Additional steps in the project will be announced via the Town’s communications channels.  Please contact Maggie Fleming at 207-699-5329 or mfleming@falmouthme.org for more information.

Events

Climate Talk Series Flier

Falmouth Climate Talk Series

Finding Hope in the Face of Climate Change with author and advocate Susan B. Inches. 

Please join the Town of Falmouth and Falmouth Memorial Library on Wednesday, February 1 at 6:00pm at the Library to hear Susan B. Inches, author and advocate, talk about how to find your power and take action for the environment. By working together, we can create a healthy future where all life is respected, revered and nurtured. This talk will show you how. 

Questions? Please contact Theresa Galvin, Sustainability Coordinator, tgalvin@falmouthme.org 

Take Note

apprel impact bin

Textile Recycling

A collection bin for recycled textiles is now available at the Transfer Station on Woods Road. There will be a sign on the bin indicating what items are accepted. The Town is partnering with Apparel Impact, a for-profit textile recycling company that works to reduce landfill waste by recycling used clothing. The company's goal is to provide towns and municipalities with the opportunity to reduce their landfills of textiles and recover them; creating more local jobs, reducing landfill waste, and reducing towns' overall budgets spent on the disposal of textiles. Click here to learn more. Please direct questions to Theresa Galvin, Sustainability Coordinator at  tgalvin@falmouthme.org or 207-699-5337. 


 volunteer

Board & Committee Vacancies

The Appointments Committee is seeking volunteers to fill vacancies on a number of Town boards and committees. If you are interested in getting involved, please consider the following openings:

Follow the links above for more information on each committees' role and function. For a board and committee application, click here.


dog

Dog Licenses 

All current dog licenses expire December 31, 2022. According to Maine State Law, any dog over age 6 months must be licensed by January 1. A late fee of $25 will be assesed after February 1, 2023.

Cost: Neutered/Spayed Dog - $6.00; Unaltered Male or Female - $11.00 (note: an additional fee of $1.00 is charged for online registrations)

Two Ways To Register!

  • In person: Registration is available at the Clerk’s Office at Falmouth Town Hall. You must present the following at the time of registration: a current Maine rabies certificate and a neutering certificate if the dog has been altered
  • Online: Register online here. Online registrations require a credit card, a rabies certificate, your veterinarian’s information, a license/tag number (if a renewal), and a spay or neuter certificate (if your dog has been altered).

Falmouth Public Schools

Navigator Logo

Highlight: Falmouth student earns spot in national science competition

Patrick Wahlig, a Falmouth High School senior, was recently announced as a "Regeneron Science Talent Search Top 300," one the most prestigious competitions for high school seniors. He is Maine’s only student to receive the recognition this year.  Patrick’s research, conducted in collaboration with MIT scientists, is titled, “Towards a System for Modeling the Impact of Ocean Acidification on Sea Scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) in Massachusetts Bay.” Both Patrick and Falmouth High School will receive $2,000 for being named a finalist. The Top 40 finalists will be announced on January 24, and the winner named in March.

CBS 13 WGME interviewed Patrick at Falmouth High School last week. The story aired on January 12.

NEWS CENTER Maine WCSH 6 also aired their interview with Patrick, which was broadcast on January 11


Focus: School budget development process underway

The annual school budget development process is underway. In December, members of the District Leadership Team and School Board met with the Town Finance Committee and Town Manager to exchange the unique budget opportunities and challenges both the town and school are facing as budgets are being developed.  In early January, school leaders shared with the School Board more details about the needs and opportunities in each school and department.  Over the next several months there will be additional materials shared with the community, and a number of finance meetings to discuss and review the FY 24 School Budget.  The process is fully transparent and the timeline of meetings and publications, as well as past years’ budget information, can be found on the Falmouth Public Schools website, under District Information: BudgetWe welcome your interest and engagement in our process.


Upcoming: Events & Meetings

School Board Meetings

A schedule of upcoming 2023 School Board meetings, and agendas and minutes from prior meetings, are available. All Board Reports, as well as documents associated with the next School Board meeting can be accessed through the agenda. Past meetings can be viewed on Falmouth Community Television (FCT).

  • The next School Board meeting is a combined regular business meeting and budget workshop on Monday, February 6, 2023 at 7:00 PM in the Falmouth Elementary School Cafeteria.

Athletic Events

Keep up to date with Falmouth Athletics online   Go Navs!  

Learn more about Falmouth Public Schools at their website, and stay connected through social media, calendars, and Principal’s Notes here.    

Town Council, Board & Committee Meetings

public meeting icon

Town Council Meeting, Monday, January 23, 2023, 7:00pm

The Town Council will meet on Monday, January 23 at 7:00pm. The meeting will be held in person at Town Hall in the Town Council Chambers as authorized by Section 28, Policy Eight of the Town Council Rules and 1 MRSA §403-B. Members of the public may participate in the meeting by either attending the meeting in person or via Zoom. The agenda and Zoom link can be found here. The Zoom application will allow attendees to connect remotely via computer or phone. The public may also watch (no participation option) the meeting on Channel 2 or on the Town website streaming channel. Check out our Guide to Participating in Virtual Public Meetings. If you have questions, please call (207) 699-5335


At the Most Recent Town Council Meeting…

The Town Council held a meeting on January 9. An agenda and video can be found here.

  • There was an update from the PACPAC Committee.
  • There was an update regarding the future management of Town owned open space by the Falmouth Land Trust.
  • The Council approved an Ordinance to Amend Ch. II-9, Art. II-9-4., Coastal Waters Ordinance, Section 9-94, of the Code of Ordinances Regarding Marina and Yacht Club Mooring Assignment Numbers.
  • The Council approved an Ordinance to Amend Ch. II-2, Art. II-2-3, DIV. II-2-3-1 of the Code of Ordinances Regarding Boards, Committees, and Commissions.
  • The Council approved an Order to establish the Town Council Ad Hoc Comprehensive Plan Committee.
  • The Council approved the 2023 Shellfish License Allocation Order.
  • There was an update regarding LD 2003, "An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions."
  • The Council approved an Order to go into Executive Session pursuant to the Laws of Maine to discuss negotiation parameters associated with the IAFF Local 5306 (Fire/EMS) collective bargaining agreement, pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D).

Planning Board 

At the February 7 Planning Board meeting, the board will consider the following items. An agenda can be found here in advance of the meeting.

  • planning board 1  177 Gray Road – Southpaw Sign Studio – Request for Sign Permit Approval for 1 new free-standing sign.  Map/lot U42-037-B.
  • Planning Board 2  12 Northbrook Drive – Addison Capital LLC – Request for Pre-Application Sketch Plan Review for a 12,000+ sf two-story commercial office building.  Map/lot U59-010-A1.

Please note: Planning Board agendas for upcoming meetings may not always be complete at the time of this newsletter's publication. Within the agendas, when possible, links will be provided to direct users to any additional information available on projects at the time of publication, including building elevations, plans, and images when available. Information on Planning Board projects and activities, including agendas and minutes, can be found at: https://www.falmouthme.org/planning-board. For additional information or questions, contact Lisa Sangillo at 207-699-5303 or lsangillo@falmouthme.org


Board of Zoning Appeals 

The next meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals will be held on January 24. The board will consider the following items. An agenda will be posted here in advance of the meeting. 

  • 21 Casco Terrace – Michael Maines representing Janet Dooley & Kathryn Bell – Request for Conditional Use Approval under Section 19-84 for a teardown and rebuild of a garage. Map/lot U17-052; Zoned RA, RCZO, SZ-LR, WVOD.

For more information please visit: https://www.falmouthme.org/board-of-zoning-appeals


information sign

Stay Informed with the Town of Falmouth Website and E-Alerts

There are many Town committees and boards that meet on a regular basis. The events calendar on the Town of Falmouth website homepage lists upcoming board, committee, and Town Council meetings. We send E-Alerts when Town Council, Planning Board, and Board of Zoning Appeals meeting agendas and minutes are posted to the website. Subscribe via E-Alerts to those that most interest you. Agendas and Minutes for these meetings are also posted online and can be accessed from the home page. Town Council, Planning Board, and School Board meetings are live-streamed on Falmouth Community TV Channel 1301 (Former Channel 2). Recordings of these meetings are also available for viewing online. Board of Zoning Appeals Meetings are not broadcast live but can be viewed online within 24 hours after the meeting. E-Alerts allows you to subscribe to specific e-mail lists about Town-related issues that interest you. The Falmouth Focus, this bi-weekly newsletter, is another way to stay in the loop. Subscribe via E-Alerts. Please let us know what kind of information you would like to see included in your town newsletter. 

Town of Falmouth, 271 Falmouth Road, Falmouth, ME 04105

207-781-5253
www.falmouthme.org

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