2023 Wrapped: A Year by the Numbers
2023 Wrapped: A Year in Scarborough by the Numbers
That’s a wrap on 2023! Every year here in the Town of Scarborough proves to bring new initiatives, investments, and council goals. And we wouldn’t have it any other way—it shows that we have an engaged community of residents who either come out to vote, share their thoughts with the council, or choose to serve on our committees. 2023 was no exception to year-round action and engagement. Check out some of the biggest stats and accomplishments from the last year:
July 1: New Rate of Growth Ordinance went into effect
The Rate of Growth Ordinance is a tool to manage the pace of development within our community and regulates how much of the allowable growth in an area can occur in a designated time period, within a set framework. It was approved by the Town Council to replace the former Growth Management Ordinance, placing new parameters on residential development and directing growth to our designated growth areas while preserving the rest of Scarborough.
1.9 miles: Length of Spurwink Road Improvement Project
The Spurwink Road Improvement Project began in September and its first phase (Ocean Avenue to Pleasant Hill Road) was completed this fall. The project enhances pedestrian and cyclist amenities with the addition of sidewalks and bike lanes. It also addresses blind corners and vertical alignment issues for improved visibility, and fixes drainage issues for climate change resiliency. Phase II (Pleasant Hill Road to Spurwink River) will occur this spring.
6 years: Time spent on Gorham Road project
The ongoing Gorham Road (Rt 114) construction process began with its first phase in 2018 and has addressed road surface replacement, drainage, visibility, and pedestrian improvements. The final phase of the project will be completed this spring with CMP and utility work at the intersection of Gorham Rd and Maple Ave. The Town values your cooperation and patience through the duration of this extensive project.
Municipal Drive: Starting point for new adaptive traffic signal installation
Last July, new adaptive traffic signals were installed along Route One from Municipal Drive to the 701 Connector by the Maine Medical Center campus. The system is able to detect and adjust in real-time to traffic flow and demand, working to improve commute times with fewer red light stops for traffic on Route One. Ongoing upgrades have been made to adaptive traffic controls since 2019. There will be one final phase of adaptive traffic signals installed on Route One in 2024.
1978: Year when Scarborough first expressed interest in a community center
This fall a new ad hoc community center advisory committee convened to further explore the opportunities for a community center. The committee is tasked with studying, evaluating, and analyzing opportunities for a multi-generational community center that would meet the recreational and cultural needs of all demographics in Scarborough. They are working with architectural design firm UTILE and will meet monthly through 2024.
October 1: First Sustainable Scarborough Day was held
The Town successfully hosted its first ever Sustainable Scarborough Day. Held at the Wentworth School, it was an event made up of local businesses, experts, nonprofits, and environmental enthusiasts to share ideas on topics around sustainable living, transportation, conservation, climate action, and more. The idea for the event was a collaboration of Scarborough’s Sustainability Committee and Conservation Commission, with support from Scarborough Public Library and Project GRACE.
30%: Percent of land to conserve in Scarborough by 2030
In June 2023, the Town Council unanimously approved a resolution called “30x30”, a goal to conserve 30% of our land by 2030. This federal initiative was adopted on a local level due to Scarborough’s unique natural resources, rate of growth, and vulnerability to climate change. The Scarborough Land Trust is a major partner with the Town on land conservation, and funding has been made available through the Town’s Land Acquisition Reserve Fund. The fund is managed by the Scarborough Parks and Conservation Land Board, which supported a number of SLT land purchases in 2023.
600+: Number of referrals Social Services division has received since launch in 2019
This year the Town hired a full-time General Assistance Coordinator to join its Social Services division. The division, embedded within the police department, was first launched in 2019 to provide intervention, advocacy, and facilitation services for individuals facing adverse challenges. The needs have been exacerbated by the pandemic and regional/national economic strains. The new GA coordinator is now the third in this division, bolstering the level of social services we offer to address housing insecurity and our unhoused population through the general assistance program.
$2.3M: Amount of capital expenditures being funded using cash instead of debt
The Town Council set a goal for 2023 to give more attention to monitoring the financial health of the Town. During the budget process last spring, the Town made a meaningful step toward reducing our reliance on debt for recurring, anticipated capital investments (i.e. replacement vehicles and equipment). The Town is utilizing cash, not debt, to fund roughly $2.3M of capital expenditures, compared to around $1.3M last year. “The financial health of the town is strong and something we need to sustain in 2024,” said Councilor Jon Anderson in his January 1 Council Corner article.