Falmouth Focus, Volume 2, Issue 11

May 8, 2020

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.

Latest Updates

Town Services, Offices, & Facilities

How Can We Help?

As Town operations have stabilized, we want to hear your suggestions for what our residents need during this time. How can we help you and your neighbors? Call 699-5329 or e-mail [email protected].

We've also opened up our Senior Resource Hotline to all residents. If you have non-medical needs such as food and critical supply needs, food emergencies and general assistance, or personal assistance with Town services, please call 699-5302 Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm and Friday 8am-Noon. There are no predetermined qualifications to receive a helping hand for many areas of assistance – just call us and we will see what we can do to help.


Phased Reopening Plans

On April 28, Governor Mills extended Maine’s stay-at-home order with modifications to allow for certain activities to resume and businesses to operate safely. The plan establishes four gradual stages of reopening, the first of which began on May 1. To learn more about this plan, the businesses and activities included in Stage 1, and to read the Governor’s full statement, visit: https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/governor-mills-presents-safe-gradual-plan-restart-maines-economy-2020-04-28.

The Town of Falmouth has also developed plans to reopen certain services and facilities to Falmouth residents and began to do so this week (see articles below regarding the Transfer Station and trailhead parking). These plans align with the Governor’s new orders regarding Stage 1. As we continue to open Town facilities and offices and expand services, we will provide regular updates to residents via our website, social media, newsletter, and E-Alerts.


Transfer Station Update

The Transfer Station is now open on a limited basis to Falmouth residents only. Please read below carefully for extended hours of operation, restrictions on disposal items, safety precautions, and social distancing procedures that will be in effect.

NOTE:  Only the following items will be accepted at the Transfer Station:

  • Brush
  • Leaf Waste

No other disposal services will be available at this time. Curbside pick-up will continue for recycling and trash. Leaf bag pick-up will also occur curbside on Friday, May 8 and Friday, May 15.  Items should be placed curbside by 7:00am to ensure pick-up. Brush will not be collected curbside and should not be placed in the leaf bags.

Hours of Operation

  • Tuesday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (extended hours)
  • Wednesday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (new day/extended hours)
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (extended hours)
  • Friday: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM (same/normal hours)
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (same/normal hours)

Extended hours are in place due to the high volume anticipated and to further promote separation of residents using the facility.

Residency Requirement

Brush and leaf disposal at the Transfer Station is only available to Falmouth residents. Non-residents, contractors, landscapers, etc. will not be allowed to use the Transfer Station at this time. Residents must verify residency by:

  • Displaying an existing 2019 or 2020 Transfer Station sticker on their vehicle; or
  • Presenting their driver’s license indicating a Falmouth address. Licenses should be presented through the vehicle’s closed window by pressing it up against the inside glass so that the attendants may safely approach the vehicle to verify residency (see additional social distancing guidelines below). 

Social Distancing and Safety

  • Follow additional signage regarding new safety and social distancing rules.
  • Both residents and employees must follow social distancing rules.
  • Residents should not approach Town employees for any reason.
  • Town employees will not assist with handling materials. Residents will drop off their leaves and brush as they normally do.
  • Residents will have access to only the leaf and brush disposal areas.
  • Attendants will manage access to each area to ensure that safe social distancing can occur.

It should be noted that the Transfer Station has been closed for several weeks during a time when spring cleanup occurs. Therefore, a high volume of use is anticipated upon reopening. If the Transfer Station is crowded when you arrive, consider returning at another time.

All of the above is subject to change at the discretion of Public Works management. In the event it is determined that social distancing cannot properly be maintained, this procedure will be modified accordingly. Questions may be directed to the Public Works Department at 207-781-3919.


Falmouth Trail

Falmouth Trails Update

The Town of Falmouth opened trails on April 25. See details regarding social distancing and safe trail usage HERE. Trailhead parking restrictions were lifted on May 4, however social distancing precautions remain in place. To allow for better social distancing, parking at several locations will be limited to every other space. 

In addition, Community Park is now open for trail access and dog walking only. The gate will remain closed until fields and facilities are reopened. Follow directional signage at that site.   

Tennis courts at Huston Park and those next to the school administrative offices on Woodville Road are open for single play only. Only four players, playing on two separate courts, are allowed at the same time. 

Please note that Town and school fields and facilities remain closed. Basketball courts and playgrounds in Falmouth also remain closed.

Questions may be directed to Falmouth Parks & Community Programs at 207-699-5302.


Open Sign

Falmouth Business Update

Please visit our list of Falmouth food purveyors providing curbside, carryout, delivery, and drive-thru services. 

In an effort to further support our business community, all Falmouth businesses are encouraged to fill out the Town of Falmouth’s “Open for Business” Form, sharing their business operations, including any accommodations made to help continue to provide goods and services to the residents of Falmouth and the greater community. This information will be shared with the public on the Town’s website.

The Town of Falmouth also held a Falmouth Business webinar this past Thursday to discuss with Falmouth business owners the impacts of Covid-19 on their operations. Topics included business assistance programs, issues encountered in making applications, and how businesses may wish to handle the staged reopening. Additional business resources can be found HERE. We invite business owners to reach out to Town staff with questions, concerns, and ideas on how we can assist you. Please contact: Theo Holtwijk, Director of Long Range Planning and Economic Development, 207-699-5340 or e-mail:  [email protected] with any questions or comments.


FIre-EMS Badge

Second Annual Fire-EMS Scholarship

Call for Applications

Falmouth Fire-EMS is seeking applicants for the Second Annual Falmouth Fire-EMS Scholarship which recognizes students in the Falmouth community who plan to continue post-secondary education in the field of firefighting, emergency medical services, nursing, or a related field. The scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors residing in the Town of Falmouth who have been accepted or expect to be enrolling in a college or university to study firefighting, emergency medical services, nursing, or a related field. Funding for the $1000 scholarship comes from donations made to Falmouth Fire-EMS as well as monies raised by Fire-EMS members who sort bottles at the bottle bin at Central Station.

Applications can be found online at: https://www.falmouthme.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif556/f/pages/fire-ems_scholarship_application_2020.pdf. A panel made up of members of Falmouth Fire-EMS will review applications and select recipients in early July. Deadline for applications is 4pm on June 5.  

For more information on the Falmouth Fire-EMS scholarship visit: https://www.falmouthme.org/fire-ems-department/pages/falmouth-fire-ems-scholarship-2020, call 207-781-2610, or e-mail [email protected]. Donations to support the scholarship can be made to the Falmouth Fire-EMS Scholarship Fund and sent to Central Station, 8 Bucknam Road, Falmouth, ME 04105.


Food Pantry Logo

Falmouth Food Pantry To Offer Food Pick-Up

The Falmouth Food Pantry will once again distribute food for current food pantry clients and those in need of help. They will be in front of the Falmouth Elementary School on Tuesdays, May 12, and May 19, a little before 9:30am and will distribute until all the supplies have been given out or until 11:00am.

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. 

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 between 11:30am and 8:00pm at 2 Hat Trick Drive. Call 747-4020 upon arrival for instructions. 

Continuing Initiatives

Earth Month May Calendar

Earth Month 2020

Our celebration of Earth Month 2020 continues in May with virtual events and fun activities to get residents active, engaged, and safely celebrating our planet. Activities include attending a virtual film festival, planting seeds in the garden, taking up bird watching, enjoying virtual park tours, reading nature-related literature and poetry, and listening to Zoom lectures. Check out our Earth Month 2020 online calendar for May! 

Special thanks to our sponsor: OceanView Logo


 

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. Over the next several weeks, the Town will post healthy lawn care tips and tricks including requests for your lawn care provider, seasonal growing advice, soil care, and more on social media and in the Falmouth Focus Newsletter.

  • Tip #3: Healthy lawns need healthy soil! Healthy soil is the key to having a lush, green lawn. It is impossible to know what your soil needs without doing a soil test. Levels of pH, nutrients, and organic matter all impact plant growth. A soil test should be done at least every three years and before you decide to add any fertilizer or lime to your lawn. Test results will help you decide what your lawn needs. For example, nutrient levels that are too low will slow plant growth, and levels that are too high can pollute our waterways and may inhibit plant growth. Low pH means acidic conditions, and high pH indicates alkaline conditions. If the pH is too high, your grass cannot properly absorb nutrients. Ideal pH should be between 6.5-7.0, slightly acidic. Adding compost can naturally correct your pH. The ideal time of year to test your soil is mid to late spring or early fall. You can get a free soil test kit from the UMaine Cooperative Extension Office in Falmouth, or through the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District. Check out the Soil Management for Healthy Lawns and Environments PowerPoint (by Jason Lilley, Sustainable Ag. Professional with UMaine Cooperative Extension) on the Living Lawns website to learn about the soil food web, soil structure and more!
  • Tip #4: Start the mowing season strong with a great cut from the start. Your mower will cut faster and deliver a better quality of cut with sharp blades, so make sure your blades are sharp! Sharp mower blades are vital in preventing turf disease during hot, steamy conditions. A dull blade “rips” the top of a blade of grass, leaving a jagged edge, which invites pests and disease. A sharp blade provides a clean cut, which helps the grass to heal faster and promotes photosynthesis. Mow grass at 2” to start and increase to 3” for the rest of the season. Always leave grass clippings on the lawn for free, natural fertilizer!

Have healthy lawn care questions or tips you would like to share? E-mail Kimberly Darling at [email protected].

Upcoming Events & Meetings

Memorial Day Flag

Memorial Day Observance

In accordance with the Governor's Executive Orders and in consultation with the American Legion and the Emergency Management Team, the Town of Falmouth has cancelled its Memorial Day parade scheduled to take place on Monday, May 25. Instead, the Town is working to create a virtual commemoration and tribute to Falmouth veterans. The tribute will include pictures of past parades and ceremonies as well as individual pictures of Falmouth veterans. We invite you to submit high resolution digital photos of past Memorial Day events and Falmouth veterans to Diane Moore at [email protected] by Sunday, May 17. Please contact Diane at 699-5350 or 781-2366 with questions. Stay tuned for additional information on our virtual commemoration as plans develop.


Computer scrren

Town Council Virtual Meeting, May 11, 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. At this meeting, the Council will consider an order to adopt the fiscal year 2020-2021 General Fund budget and associated budget orders. The Town will use “Zoom” to conduct this meeting. 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. 


Planning Board, Tuesday, May 12, 6:30pm

The Planning Board will conduct a virtual meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. This meeting is a continuation of the Planning Board’s May 5, 2020 meeting. The Planning Board will take up items that were not able to be heard at the May 5, 2020 Planning Board meeting. An agenda can be found here. The link to join the meeting via computer and phone instructions will be posted the day of the meetingVisit our new information page here on how to participate in virtual public meetings.


At the Most Recent Town Council Meetings...

The Town Council held a meeting on April 27 via Zoom. 

  • The Council decided to table an order to establish tax collection dates, interest rates, and payment application methods for 2020-2021 property taxes. The Council will revisit this item at its May 11 meeting. 
  • There was a workshop discussion on the FY21 Proposed Budget.
  • The Council passed an order to postpone (i) the Town’s regular municipal election for members of the Town Council and the School Board, and (ii) the school budget validation referendum to vote on the 2020-2021 school budget as adopted by the Town Council, from June 9, 2020 to July 14, 2020 with polling hours from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. This Order is made pursuant to emergency legislation, P.L. 2019, Ch. 617. 
  • The Council discussed COVID-19 updates and issues.

The Council held a Public Hearing on the FY21 Proposed Budget on April 29 via Zoom.

  • Staff and the Finance Committees of the Council and the School Board presented the FY21 Proposed Budget.
  • The Council heard public comment on the FY21 Proposed Budget.
  • A special virtual meeting of the Falmouth Town Council had been scheduled for April 30 for the Council to consider an order to adopt the fiscal year 2020-2021 General Fund budget and associated budget orders. At the Public Hearing, councilors expressed a desire for additional time to consider public comment and information presented at the meeting as well as to continue to observe how economic circumstances progress. The Council decided to postpone consideration of the budget orders until the May 11 Council meeting.

View past council meetings online here.

Take Note

2020 Elections

Absentee Ballots

The Clerk’s Office is now accepting requests for absentee ballots for the July 14 State Primary and Referendum and Regular Municipal Election through the State of Maine Absentee Ballot Request Service at https://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl. Absentee ballots will not be mailed out until 30 days prior to the July 14 election.


Curbside leaf bag collection May 15


Construction Cone

Route 100 Construction

Construction work on Route 100 (Gray Road) has resumed. You can receive weekly e-mail updates about the Route 100 Project and its impact on traffic by subscribing to the Route 100 Project E-Alert at: www.falmouthme.org/subscribe


 

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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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