SOUTH PORTLAND — Officials in South Portland have announced a phased re-opening of services, and the city’s neighbors are following suit.

City Manager Scott Morelli said in a May 8 statement that city hall, assessing, planning/code enforcement and economic development offices will be reopened June 1 by appointment only, with a wider opening expected July 1.

The main lobby of the public safety building will remain open for in-person reports to the police, and the prescription drug drop-off box remains accessible in the lobby. The fire department will allow visits by appointment only beginning June 1.

South Portland’s main library will remain closed until at least July 1, but will begin allowing curbside service June 1. The branch library, Morelli’s statement said, will remain closed, with no date for re-opening indicated. The transfer station will re-open on Saturdays beginning May 16, and the municipal services facility will re-open June 1, as will the water resource protection office.

Morelli added, however, that all offices would still require visitors to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks. Staff, according to Morelli, will also be masked and follow the guidelines. He also indicated the public should still try to conduct business with the city via phone or online, only coming in to city buildings when absolutely necessary.

“Although these facilities will begin the reopening process to various extents, we continue to strongly encourage members of the public to avoid visiting us in person whenever possible,” Morelli said. “As much as we miss seeing our residents and business owners, in-person interactions still represent the biggest threat in spreading the coronavirus.”

In Cape Elizabeth, Town Manager Matthew Sturgis said, “We are actively crafting our re-opening plan.” As of this week, he said, plans are in place for allowing curbside service at Thomas Memorial Library starting June 1. He also said the community services department is expecting to open summer camp programs on June 22.

Right now, he said, there is no date set for when the planning, tax collector, and other offices will re-open, as the town is still working to put plastic shields in place and set up other guidelines, such as how many people can be allowed in town offices at one time. Sturgis confirmed visitors must wear masks, and those who weren’t would not be served by town personnel.

Sturgis pointed out that automobile registration is available by phone from the town clerk’s office. New registrations, he said, can also be done by phone in combination with exchanging the forms required via email.

Scarborough Town Manager Tom Hall said he is committing to fully opening town hall on May 27, with staff hours reduced to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. The public works and public safety buildings will also re-open that day, with more limited access to the general public.

Like Sturgis and Morelli, Hall said many town services are available by phone and online, and still encouraged residents to go that route if possible, but said services such as vehicle registration will need to happen in person.

“We expect there’s some pent-up demand for that as well,” he said.

Hall also said staff would be masked and observing social distancing requirements, and encouraged visitors to do the same.

Sean Murphy: 780-9094

Email: [email protected]

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