Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in our town-wide Community Survey! We received over 862 responses. On Jan. 5, survey vendor ETC Institute presented the results to the Town Council.

A few key highlights:

• 86 percent of residents were satisfied with the overall quality of life in Scarborough

• Scarborough scored significantly above the U.S. average in 59 of 68 categories

• Customer service from Town employees scored 42 percent ABOVE the U.S. average

Top Priorities identified for the Town to focus on were:


• Traffic flow and ease of getting around town

• Maintenance of streets, sidewalks and infrastructure

Top Issues Scarborough will need to address in the next five years include:

• Pace of growth/expansion

• Affordability of Town services

• Affordable housing


Details of the survey results can be found on the Town Website. Additional results from those who participated only online are still being tabulated.

I was impressed with the insights we can glean from this survey to assist in setting policy objectives. One of the proudest results was how highly the Town Staff scored in customer service — the highest score ETC Institute has witnessed among the hundreds of communities they have surveyed! This was truly remarkable and a testament to our town employees who are here and very committed to serving our community’s needs.

Our annual Council goal setting workshop took place Jan. 19, and these results were considered then.

The findings reinforce areas of focus that the Town Council has underway. For example, traffic and infrastructure maintenance is a vision statement to be addressed in our recently published 2021 Comprehensive Plan. Many projects are either underway or in our capital improvement plan for future financing. In areas surrounding Scarborough Downs, $13+MM of projects funded by the developer (required by the State) are planned through 2026 to address the planned growth and improve traffic congestion and public safety along Gorham Road, Route 1, Payne Road and Haigis Parkway. At our Town Council meeting on Jan. 5, we unanimously approved the Maine Turnpike Authority Memorandum of Agreement to support their process to establish a Gorham Connector to I-95 that will reduce traffic in North Scarborough, if the project proceeds. I encourage you to view our Transportation Committee website for more information on all of our major projects underway.

Affordability of Town services, affordable housing and the pace of growth will continue to be top of mind. Managed and deliberate growth in Scarborough as outlined in our Comprehensive Plan in our targeted high growth areas of Oak Hill, Dunstan and Scarborough Downs is a key strategy to bring more affordable housing to Scarborough while optimizing town resources to minimize the financial burden to the community. There will be a lot more to come on all three topics, especially as we evaluate the Growth Management Ordinance Exemption requested at Scarborough Downs, which will not only bring more affordable housing options to Scarborough, but other benefits such as a downtown and community center. However these benefits will need to be balanced against the real concern expressed in the survey on the pace of growth in the Town. This is why we’ve hired Levine Planning Strategies to support us as we evaluate the Downs proposal so we can determine the best outcome for the community with all these areas in mind — traffic, affordability, affordable housing and concerns of growth.

Your participation in this survey is much appreciated and your continued participation as we continue to work through these areas is encouraged. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Scarborough Town Council.

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