The Portland City Council will meet in person Monday for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting, to be held at 5 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, will be hybrid to allow members of the public to participate remotely as well. The council’s last in-person meeting was held on March 2, 2020.

“I think we are ready to get back in person,” said Mayor Kate Snyder. “I’m encouraging everyone to bring your patience and bring your sense of humor. I mean that honestly. We’re going to have to figure out how we do this in person again.”

Space in council chambers will be limited but there will be designated overflow space in City Hall for people to access the meeting remotely. Snyder said she is encouraging people to continue using the remote option as the city figures out how to manage hybrid meetings.

“I think it’s the right thing to do to get back in person and get that system figured out and we will take it slow,” she said.

Masks are recommended but not required at City Hall, and Monday’s meeting will be mask-optional. The meeting is serving as a test run for future in-person council meetings and for other in-person meetings.


“We’re definitely looking at this as a pilot,” Snyder said. “We’ll see what’s working and what’s not and then understand both how to do it better for council and how to expand it beyond the council to boards and commissions.”

The council is scheduled to vote and take public comment Monday on a proposed list of up to $30.8 million in capital improvement projects for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The project list, approved 3-0 by the council’s finance committee last month, includes funding for a number of equipment and technology upgrades; the redesign of Congress Square; sidewalk and traffic signal improvements; the first phase of a roof replacement at Portland High School; and several sewer and storm water projects.

Financing for the projects would come from a variety of sources, including up to $21.1 million in general obligation bonds, but is not expected to impact property tax rates or increase net debt service related to capital improvement projects in future city budgets because of other capital improvement debt that is being paid off.

Snyder is proposing an amendment to the list to increase funding for the initial phase of the Portland Harbor Common project, which seeks to turn public land currently used for parking along the city’s eastern waterfront into a new park. She has proposed doubling the current recommendation of $75,000 from the city manager, and has suggested taking the funding from planned structural repairs at the adjacent Portland Ocean Terminal and replacing the funds for that project in a future year.

The mayor said her aim was not to increase spending on capital improvements in a tough budget year but to get the park project off to a strong start.

“I think we have an opportunity to preserve waterfront land in a way that will be an asset for generations and it’s the kind of project that will attract philanthropic investment, business investment and community investment,” she said.


The council also will also give initial consideration Monday to a spending plan for an estimated $6 million in community development funds. It also is expected to vote on an entertainment license renewal for Urban Farm Fermentory, which is among a handful of businesses in the Bayside neighborhood that have drawn noise complaints from neighbors over the last year.

Staff are recommending the license be granted with conditions that outdoor entertainment must end by 10 p.m. and indoor entertainment by 11 p.m. The city normally permits outdoor entertainment from 8 a.m. until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Indoor entertainment is typically permitted from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Eli Cayer, owner of Urban Farm Fermentory, said the proposed restrictions will hurt his business. He said he has been working with the city to mitigate sound levels, and he feels the conditions would be unfair. He said he plans to bring his concerns to the council Monday.

“I think it’s a bad idea,” Cayer said. “I don’t want that to happen and I want to know why they think it’s OK.”

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