SOUTH PORTLAND — Work to improve conditions along Trout and Kimball brooks should begin this spring after councilors accepted at $70,000 Maine Department of Environmental Protection grant on Wednesday.

The grant covers work in the city and Cape Elizabeth and requires matching local grants of $48,000 for in-kind services, staff time, and $2,000 cash. The grant will be used to build increase natural buffers and educational outreach about restoring the waterway.

Councilors also approved spending about $106,000 for four police vehicles. Two Dodge Charger sedans and two Ford Police Interceptor SUVs will be added to the fleet as the department begins replacing Ford Crown Victoria sedans, which are no longer produced.

A one-year contract through June 30 with emergency dispatchers was approved unanimously. City Human Resources Director Don Brewer said eight dispatchers will receive 1.5 percent raises retroactive to July 1, 2012. One dispatcher will be retiring next month.

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