Falmouth Focus, Volume 2, Issue 8

April 3, 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 emails in order to keep up-to-date on this rapidly evolving situation. Subscribe to Town News & Announcements and/or Emergency Management at www.falmouthme.org/subscribe. Alerts regarding COVID-19 will be sent to both lists.

Governor's Stay at Home Order

On March 31, 2020, Governor Mills issued a Stay Healthy at Home Mandate that requires people living in Maine to stay at home at all times unless for an essential job or an essential personal reason, such as obtaining food, medicine, health care, or other necessary purposes. Read more HERE. The Executive Order can be found HERE

Latest Updates

If You Need Medical Attention

Do you have symptoms of Coronavirus? Fever, difficulty breathing, tiredness, dry cough?
Don't immediately go to the hospital. Call your primary care physician or 211. 

If you are facing a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 

Do you need mental health care?
Maine Statewide Crisis Hotline: 1-888-568-1112 (Voice) or 711 (Maine Relay)
Mental Health Hotline (NAMI): 1-800-464-5767 (Press 1)

If you are a survivor of domestic violence: Call the Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-866-834-HELP (4357)

 

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.


Home

A Note on Property Taxes

Property tax bills were mailed out this week. The deadline for property tax payments is May 7. Town officials explored several avenues for extending payment deadlines. Currently, there is no statutory authority to move the date taxes are due or the date when interest accrues, even for emergency circumstances. Despite actions taken by other municipalities, neither the emergency bill recently enacted by the Legislature nor the Governor’s emergency declaration or orders have made any changes to the laws governing property taxes, due dates, interest accrual, or tax lien procedures. The Town of Falmouth and other communities, through the Maine Municipal Association, have petitioned the Governor for a legal remedy. If this occurs, the Town Council will likely take local action to extend the payment deadline. We will continue to provide regular updates on this issue via our website (www.falmouthme.org), social media pages, and E-Alerts. We strongly encourage you to subscribe to our Town News and Announcements e-mail E-Alerts at www.falmouthme.org/subscribe to keep up-to-date. 


Deadline extended

Registration Extensions

The Maine State Legislature has passed temporary provisions extending the following registrations until 30 days after the end of the State of Emergency:

  • Motor Vehicle Registrations
  • ATV Registrations
  • Watercraft Registrations
  • Dog Registrations.

Many of these transactions can still occur remotely. Learn more here. 


Closed Sign

Falmouth Parks, Playgrounds, Trails, and Trailhead Parking

In issuing the March 31 “Stay Healthy at Home Mandate,” Governor Mills directed Mainers to engage in outdoor exercise activities close to home. Following the Governor’s mandate and CDC guidelines, all Falmouth parks, playgrounds, fields, and trailhead parking areas are closed to the public. This includes tennis courts, basketball courts, athletic fields, playgrounds, etc. The Governor’s mandate precludes any unnecessary travel, therefore, parking areas at trailheads are also closed. Falmouth has also closed all playgrounds temporarily following CDC recommendations to promote social distancing. The Town of Falmouth does not recommend using playgrounds at this time due to the fact that they are not manually or chemically sterilized.

There are several areas in Falmouth available for open air recreation on multi-use paths (Route 1) and bike lanes. We also encourage residents to ride bikes and walk in their neighborhoods. We are asking everyone to respect the current trail closings, which occur every spring. With the current rain events and more in the forecast, trails remain vulnerable to damage. We anticipate opening additional trails as soon as conditions permits. The following properties remain open:

  • Pine Grove Preserve
  • Falmouth Nature Preserve
  • Presumpscot Falls Park (Portland Trails) 
  • Maine Audubon 
  • We encourage residents to consult the Falmouth Land Trust website for updated lists of their open trails.

Note: Mackworth Island closed on March 27, 2020


Transfer Station & Waste Disposal

The Transfer Station on Woods Road is closed until further notice. Curbside pick up will still occur. Trash and recycling bins must be curbside by 7:00am to ensure pick-up. Overflow bags and cardboard packaging that does not fit in bins may be placed to the side of the bin. At this time the Town is still requiring the use of yellow Town of Falmouth trash bags. Trash bags are available and in stock at local stores as usual. However, we understand it may be difficult or undesirable for some residents to visit a grocery store to purchase Town trash bags at this time, particularly seniors, those who are disabled, or those who are immunocompromised. If you are having difficulty accessing or acquiring Town trash bags, please contact the Public Works department at 207-781-3919 for assistance.

Residents have requested the Town reopen the Transfer Station during this time. While Town officials gave this careful consideration, Governor Mills’ recent Executive Order directing residents to stay home and maintain social distancing has led to the decision to keep the Transfer Station closed. Although the Governor’s Order does classify Transfer Stations as essential, we believe we are meeting essential services by providing curbside pick-up of trash and recycling to residents. Many municipalities do not offer this service to their residents. For more information on alternative disposal options, please contact Public Works at 781-3919.


Food Pantry Logo

Update on Falmouth Food Pantry

The Falmouth Food Pantry building is currently closed but volunteers are still meeting the Pantry's mission of getting food to those in need. For the next two weeks, March 30-April 10, Food Pantry volunteers will deliver pre-packed, non-perishable boxes to homes that need food assistance. 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.

Currently, 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: https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1807575 

Rivaliries Fundraiser Flier

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. The Food Pantry is not accepting donations of food until further notice.  


Volunteer badge

Volunteer Opportunities

Many Falmouth residents have inquired about volunteer opportunities to help neighbors during this difficult time. While there are no current needs for volunteers in Falmouth, the Town would like to begin compiling a list of potential volunteers for any future needs that may arise. If interested, please CLICK HERE to sign up as a potential volunteer. By signing up you are only indicating an interest and are not committing to any service at this time.

Governor Mills has also launched a new website outlining ways in which Maine people can support efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The new resource, which will be updated regularly, outlines four predominate ways Maine people can address immediate needs: 1) financial assistance; 2) health care and medical assistance; 3) small business assistance; and 4) connections with family, friends, and neighbors. Visit https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/covid-19/maine-helps for more information.

Upcoming Meetings & Events

Town Council Virtual Meeting, April 13, 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 Town will use “Zoom” to conduct this meeting. This application will allow attendees to connect via computer or phone. A meeting link and instructions will be provided in advance of the meeting via the Town website homepage, E-Alerts, and social media that will allow you to join the meeting via computer or phone, as well as, a phone number to dial in. An agenda will also be posted in advance of the meeting. If you have questions, please call (207) 699-5329. 


Other Meetings

All Town meetings (including board and committee meetings), forums, and events have been cancelled until further notice:

  • April 5 Conservation Commission meeting has been cancelled.
  • April 7 Planning Board meeting has been cancelled.  
  • A Council Finance Committee meeting may be scheduled via Zoom.  Details forthcoming.

Note:  We will continue to assess the situation and may adjust current plans accordingly. 


At the Most Recent Town Council Meeting...

The Town Council held a meeting on March 27 via Zoom in which they discussed the necessity of issuing a proclamation that declares a local civil emergency. After receiving input from other Councilors, Chair Kuhn declined to issue a proclamation at this time. As a result, Item 2 on the agenda (an extension of the proclamation) was rendered moot, at this time. The Council concluded with a discussion about directives, orders, and other actions that could help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and directed Town staff to draft a resolution encouraging residents to stay at home, as well as a stay at home order to have at the ready in the event the Town deemed it appropriate to act upon such measures. 

Resources for Residents

Red phone

Resources for 55+

Last week the Town of Falmouth established a Senior Resource Hotline managed by the Falmouth Parks and Community Programs Office. Seniors, caregivers, and family members of seniors may call 207-699-5302 Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm and Friday 8am-Noon for assistance with non-medical needsCLICK HERE for our Senior Resource Fact Sheet for more information about this service. The Town would also like to encourage residents of any age with non-medical needs to feel free use this number should they require non-medical assistance. As always, in an emergency situation, call 9-1-1.


Business work space

Business Resources

The Town of Falmouth is very aware of the disruption that COVID-19 has caused our local businesses. We want to help where we can. 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]. In the meantime, we have compiled a Business Resource Fact Sheet which includes a list of resources including information to help your business recover from losses as well as best practices to protect the safety of your customers and the health of your employees.  


Resources for Workers

For Unemployment, Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), or other info, visit:


Resource Sign Post

Falmouth's General Assistance Program 

The General Assistance (GA) program in Maine is administered by each municipality in order to provide immediate help to eligible people who do not have enough money for basic needs, such as rent/mortgage, food, heating fuel, medications, non-elective medical care, and other items that are essential to maintain themselves or their families. CLICK HERE for more info.


For Those with Disabilities

The following resources may prove useful to residents with disabilities. 


Restaurants Offering Carry Out, Curbside, and Delivery

Governor Mills’ most recent Executive Order allows restaurants and food purveyors to remain open for curbside, take-out, and delivery services. Click here for a list of local restaurants currently offering these options. Please note this list is subject to change and it is advisable to call ahead to confirm. Town staff made every effort to ensure this information is correct and up-to-date. If your establishment is not listed, or information is incorrect, please e-mail changes to: [email protected].


Staying Engaged

Falmouth Parks and Community Programs offers a variety of ways to stay engaged and even active during this stay at home period.  CLICK HERE to learn more

Take Note

 

construction cone

Route 100

Construction work on Route 100 (Gray Road) has resumed. Visit the Route 100 Project webpage for more information. Updates are listed at the right of the page. You can also receive weekly e-mail updates about this project and its impact on traffic by subscribing to the Route 100 Project E-Alert at: www.falmouthme.org/subscribe


Pesticide and Fertilizer Ordinance

At its March 9 meeting, the Town Council adopted a pesticide and fertilizer ordinance which requires any sole proprietor, or business entity whose use of pesticides and/or fertilizer is provided as a service for which compensation is received, to register before any applications are made. The Ordinance also requires annual summary reports to be submitted by January 31 of each year. The Town has also created documents for the Annual Summary Reports, which can be utilized to track applications throughout the season. Lastly, the Ordinance prohibits the applications of fertilizers December 1-March 31. For more information on the ordinance, registration, and reporting visit: https://www.falmouthme.org/business2


 

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 email 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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