Falmouth Focus, Volume 2, Issue 14

June 19, 2020
Falmouth 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 subscription settings, visit E-Alerts

News & Issues

EMA Logo

Updates on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Town of Falmouth has updated its COVID-19 information page which includes all updates and information sent out by Falmouth's Emergency Management Agency as well as additional updates from the Town. We strongly encourage residents to subscribe to our E-Alert e-mails in order to keep up-to-date. Subscribe to Town News & Announcements and/or Emergency Management at www.falmouthme.org/subscribe. Alerts regarding COVID-19 will be sent to both lists.

Town Services, Offices, & Facilities


Phased Reopening of Town Offices & Facilities Continues

The Town of Falmouth’s phased reopening continues. New safety measures have been instituted at all locations. For everyone’s continued safety, we strongly encourage members of the public to avoid visiting Town buildings and facilities whenever possible and to continue to utilize our website and remote services when able. Visit https://www.falmouthme.org/home/news/town-services-during-the-covid19-pandemic for additional information regarding remote services.

TOWN HALL

Clerk’s Office

The Clerk’s Office is open to the public without the need to schedule an appointment. Current hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:00am-4:00pm. Follow additional signage regarding new safety and social distancing protocols.

Community Development/Planning/Code Enforcement

The Community Development Department (Planning and Code Enforcement offices) is open by appointment only Monday-Thursday, 8:00am-4:00pm. Virtual inspections may be available in certain instances at the discretion of staff. To schedule an appointment with Code staff, call 699-5310. To schedule an appointment with Planning staff, please contact staff directly. For Planning staff contact information, click here.

Other Town Hall Offices

All other Town Hall departments, including Administration, Finance, Assessing, Open Space, and Long-Range Planning & Economic Development, are open by appointment. Contact specific departments directly for an appointment. For a directory of departments, click here.

PUBLIC WORKS

The Public Works office is open for purchasing transactions only (disposal tickets, window stickers, replacement recycle bins, etc.). Residents are encouraged to use online, phone, and remote services when possible (for inquiries, service requests, and permits) and to schedule appointments for all other matters. For appointments, call 781-3919. Office hours are Monday-Thursday 7:00am-4:30pm.

TRANSFER STATION

The Transfer Station is collecting all disposal items, with the exception of two items: Bargain Barn and bottle donation drop-offs (please continue to use the bottle drop-off location at Central Fire Station on Bucknam Road). Residents and contractors who need to use disposal tickets must wear a protective face covering when making this transaction. Social distancing procedures are in place until further notice. Transfer Station hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00pm-4:00pm; Friday, 7:00am-5:00pm; Saturday, 9:00am-5:00pm. Note: Curbside pick-up continues as usual.

MASON-MOTZ COMMUNITY CENTER

The Mason-Motz Community Center office is open for registrations only. Residents are encouraged to use online and remote services when possible and reserve appointments for only those transactions that cannot be completed online, by e-mail, or by phone. Office hours during this time are Monday-Thursday 8:00am-4:00pm and Friday 8:00am-noon. Limited programming, including summer camps, has resumed. Please call 699-5302 for more information or visit https://www.falmouthme.org/parks-and-community-programs.

PARKS, TRAILS, PLAYGROUNDS, FACILITIES

Falmouth trails and trailhead parking are open. Social distancing precautions remain in place and parking at several locations is limited to every other space. Visit https://www.falmouthme.org/parks-and-community-programs/pages/falmouth-trails-and-playgrounds for guidelines regarding safe trail use.

Parks, facilities, and athletic fields are open with the exception of the tennis courts adjacent to Central Station.

WASTE WATER TREATMENT FACILITIES

The Wastewater Department and all related facilities are open to the public by appointment only. For appointments, call 781-4462. Office hours are Monday-Friday 7:00am-3:00pm.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Central Station and the Falmouth Police Station are open to the public by appointment only. For appointments at Falmouth Police Department, call 781-2300. For appointments at Central Station with Falmouth Fire-EMS, call 781-2610.


Town Council Commits to Review Racial Equity Issues in Town Government

On Friday, June 15, Council Chair Amy Kuhn issued a letter to the community regarding the Town's plan to evaluate Town policies in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in police custody and subsequent protests across the nation. Councilor Kuhn outlined the following actions the Council has already taken or will take in the coming weeks and months:

  • A Community Discussion has been scheduled for July 8 via Zoom. Residents are invited to join the Town Council, Town Manager, and Falmouth Police Department regarding Falmouth Police Department training, transparency, policies, and current challenges. Details are forthcoming.
  • In response to resident questions regarding training in use of force, Officer accountability, and statistics about use of force Falmouth Police Department created a question and answer sheet which can be found here
  • Earlier this year, the Falmouth Police Department began reviewing all policies and training protocols in preparation for an accreditation process this fall. This timely internal review will now include a greater focus on policies and practices encompassing all operational standards for the Department, reflective of best practices for law enforcement within Maine and across the country.
  • Relevant Falmouth Police Department policies have been posted on the Town’s website, to enhance transparency and provide important information for the public. Those policies can be found here
  • At the Town Council's annual summer work plan retreat, the Council will plan additional efforts and community-wide discussions to better understand the functions, policies, and practices of all Town services. 

See Councilor Kuhn's full letter here


Tree City USA Plaque

Falmouth Receives Formal Recognition as a Tree City USA

It was quite fitting that during Maine Arbor Week, the Town of Falmouth received its formal recognition as a new member of the Tree City USA community. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry provided Falmouth with a plaque along with street signage to award the Town on its efforts in 2019. The Arbor Day Foundation plaque is proudly displayed at the Town’s Public Works Department in recognition of becoming a Tree City USA community. In addition, new street signs were provided and installed, entering Falmouth on Route 1 and on Route 100. 

tree city signage 

Although the planned Tree City USA event for 2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19, the Town moved forward with tree plantings planned for year two of the Tree City USA program.

workers plant trees

On June 3, the Public Works Department installed three Eastern White Pines in the island on US Route 1 near Route 88. The white pine was designated Maine’s official state tree in 1945.

Tri-centennial pine grove

This planting also marks the commemoration of the State’s bicentennial this year. The State Bicentennial Commission encouraged the planting of these tree groves as a gift to future generations. Each white pine represents a century in Falmouth's history: past, present, and future. When Falmouth marks the State's 300th anniversary these small trees will have grown to towering pines.


 2020 Elections

Election News and Information

The July 14, 2020 State Primary, Referendum, and Regular Municipal Election is just around the corner. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic residents have a lot of questions about voting at this time. We've prepared an election fact sheet with questions and answers to help you understand your options when it comes to exercising your right to vote.

The Clerk’s Office is now accepting requests for absentee ballots through the State of Maine Absentee Ballot Request Service at https://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl. Absentee ballots will be mailed out 30 days prior to Election Day.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, Maine's chief elections official, has released an informative video talking with voters about the July 14 primary election and absentee voting. Watch the video here. Another video from the Secretary of State's Office on absentee voting can be found here

Continuing Initiatives

Living Lawns Logo

Living Lawns Education Campaign

The Falmouth Conservation Commission, in collaboration with Falmouth’s Energy and Sustainability Office and the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District, have launched the Living Lawns education campaign to share healthy lawn care practices with residents. 

  • Tip #9: Consider exhaust from small engines such as chainsaws, leaf blowers, and lawn mowers. Two-cycle engines tend to burn fuel and oil less efficiently than 4-cycle engines or electric motors. An older model, out of tune 2-cycle engine can produce as much pollution as a car or truck. As a general rule, if you can see the exhaust from your equipment, it is running inefficiently and needs a tune-up. Make sure your power equipment is in good working order (tuned up, blades and chains sharp, and all parts lubricated). If your equipment is getting old, consider upgrading to a modern 2-cycle engine with a fuel injector. You may also consider upgrading to electric power equipment. Many modern electric motors are nearly as powerful as their gas-powered counterparts. 

  • Tip #10: Reduce high maintenance lawn areas to the greatest extent possible by increasing the proportion of the property devoted to ground covers, shrub beds, and woodland. Reducing the size of your lawn also saves time and energy on lawn maintenance. In addition, smaller-sized lawns will reduce the use of herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers. Varied plantings offer shelter and feeding opportunities for wildlife. Another benefit is that attractive, low-maintenance landscaping adds value to the home. Be sure to plant native species whenever possible! 

Learn more about living lawns at: https://www.falmouthme.org/environmental-initiatives/pages/living-lawns-education-campaign


Food Pantry Logo

Falmouth Food Pantry Summer Operations

The Falmouth Food Pantry building is currently closed, but volunteers are still meeting the Pantry's mission of getting food to those in need. Food Pantry volunteers continue to deliver pre-packed boxes of non-perishable food to homes that need food assistance. In addition, the Food Pantry is continuing to distribute food for those who need help. Volunteers will be in front of the Food Pantry building (271 Falmouth Road) on the following Fridays at 9:00am: June 19, July 3, July 17, August 7, and August 21. They will distribute until all the supplies have been given out or until 10:30am. 

If you have a food emergency, please call the Falmouth Food Pantry emergency line 632-2687 (primary) or 781-2996 (secondary). Leave your name and phone number. The Food Pantry is not accepting food donations at this time nor, given current operations, are they seeking additional volunteers.

At this time the best way to support the Falmouth Food Pantry is through monetary donations. Donations should be made payable to the Falmouth Food Pantry and mailed to: 279 Middle Road, Falmouth, ME 04105. Donations can also be made online via PayPal at:

Additionally, Rivalries restaurant in Falmouth is collecting donations of grocery store gift cards on behalf of the Food Pantry. Safe drop-off is available during opening hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 am-9:00 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 am-10:00 pm. Call 747-4020 upon arrival for instructions.

Upcoming Events

Urban Run Off Poster

Urban Run Off 5K Race & Walk

The Cumberland County Water and Soil Conservation District has shifted their annual Urban Runoff 5K to a virtual event taking place the weekend of June 20-21. Be a water hero! Support your community by participating in this local fundraiser to bring hands-on water education lessons to your schools. Sign up today at urbanrunoff5k.com.


concert goers at Village Park

FCP Summer Concerts Cancelled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions regarding assemblies of greater than 50 people, Falmouth Community Programs has cancelled its 2020 Summer Concerts in the Park series usually held in Village Park on Mondays in July and August. 


red cross blood drive sign

Falmouth Fire-EMS Blood Drive

Due to COVID-19 and delayed opening of the Library, the blood drive sponsored by Falmouth Fire-EMS had to be cancelled. Fortunately, the American Red Cross was able to find another facility in Falmouth. A blood drive will be held at The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary, 43 Foreside Road in Falmouth on June 30. This particular drive is a Power Red donation drive which collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. These donors must meet specific eligibility requirements and have type A Neg, B Neg, or O blood. You can schedule a donation time here

Take Note

paving ahead sign

Updated Paving Notice

Annual roadway paving will begin the week of June 22. The tentative scheduled is as follows:

  • 6/24: Mast Rd 
  • 6/25: Susan Ln. and Hardy Rd. 
  • 6/26: Hardy Rd.
  • 6/29: Lunt Rd.  
  • 6/30: Foreside Rd. 
  • 7/1 through 7/3: Driveway aprons and other miscellaneous areas on all roads. 

Note: This schedule is weather dependent and, therefore, subject to change. 

Motorists can expect delays, with one-lane of traffic open, during paving activities. Please contact the Falmouth Public Works Department at 781-3919 for more information.


browntail moth caterpillar

Browntail Moth Caterpillars Spotted at Community Park

Residents have reported browntail moth caterpillars at Community Park, particularly around the picnic tables in the last set of athletic fields (1-C) and adjacent to the parking lot. While attempting to clear that area, FCP staff noticed many of the caterpillars were dead or “lethargic” and, after consulting with Lucas Tree, determined that it is likely they have been affected by entomophaga aulicae, a fungus that attacks browntail moth and has helped to severely diminish the infestation throughout Maine. Parks staff urge residents to take precautions to avoid coming into contact with the caterpillars while visiting Community Park. For more information on browntail moth, click here.

Town Council, Board & Committee Meetings

Volunteers needed

Falmouth Boards and Committees Resume Work

Meetings of Falmouth Boards and Committees, which were suspended at the outbreak of the pandemic, have now resumed. For a list of Boards and Committees, click here. Scheduled board and committee meetings can be found on our events calendar located on the home page of our website. 

Several Town of Falmouth boards and committees have vacancies to be filled. If you are interested in getting involved, please consider the following openings:

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


Computer scrren

Town Council Virtual Meeting, June 22, 7:00pm

The Falmouth Town Council will conduct a virtual meeting using emergency legislation, Sec. G-1 MRSA §403-A, that allows cities and towns to conduct meetings online. The meeting will be held on Monday, June 22 at 7:00pm using Zoom. This application will allow attendees to connect via computer or phone. A meeting link and phone instructions will be provided in advance of the meeting via the Town website homepage and E-Alerts that will allow you to join the meeting via computer or phone, as well as, a phone number to dial in. An agenda can be found here. Check out our Guide to Participating in Virtual Public Meetings. If you have questions, please call (207) 699-5329. 


Board of Zoning Appeals, June 23, 6:30pm

The Board of Zoning Appeals will conduct a virtual meeting using emergency legislation, Sec. G-1 MRSA §403-A, that allows cities and towns to conduct meetings online. The meeting will be held on June 23, at 6:30pm.  Anticipated agenda items include: 

  • 368 Blackstrap Road – Stacy Taylor - Request for Conditional Use Approval under Section 19-54 for a home occupation.
  • 44 Lowell Farm Road – Afterglow LLC - Request for Conditional Use Approval under Section 19-84 for a tear down of existing dwelling and rebuild new home.
  • 22 Edgewater Road – Paul & Isabella Bergkamp – Request for Conditional Use Approval under Section 19-77 for renovations to existing home and the extension of an existing deck.
  • 35 Johnson Road – KR Builders Inc representing Ted Ross – Request for Conditional Use Approval under Section 19-77 for an addition on the back of a kitchen.

The link to join the Zoom meeting via computer or phone will be provided the day of the meeting at https://www.falmouthme.org/board-of-zoning-appeals.  Visit our information page on how to participate in virtual public meetings here

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


At the Most Recent Town Council Meeting...

The Town Council held a meeting on June 15 via Zoom.

  • The Council approved an order to approve the FY21 School Department Budget as required by M.S.R.A. Title 20-A §1485, §1486, §2307.
  • The Council approved an order to sign the June 14, 2020 Budget Validation Referendum and the Municipal Official Election warrant.
  • The Council approved an order to amend the previously approved memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Town and the Library, dated September, 2016 and amended April, 2018, to allow the Town to install up to two electric vehicle charging stations in the Library parking lot. 
  • Staff provided an update on the outdoor eating areas and outdoor retail display emergency ordinance. 
  • The Council discussed the July 8 Community Discussion regarding Falmouth Police Department training, transparency, policies, and current challenges.
  • The Council entered into Executive Session pursuant to the Laws of Maine to discuss negotiation parameters associated with the Maine Association of Police current collective bargaining agreement, pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D). The Council did not return from Executive Session. 

View past council meetings online here.


 

information symbol

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. 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. Over 70% of respondents to our Communications Methods Survey found E-Alerts to be an effective means of getting info about Town activities. 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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