The Scarborough Marsh. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

The proposed budgets for the town, school, and capital budgets of Scarborough have been under review and is available publicly. The municipal budget was presented by the town manager and the superintendent of schools to the town council on May 29. The budget was put together over months of work with Scarborough schools, the board of education, and individual town departments.

“I view a budget as a series of choices,” Town Manager Tom Hall told the council in the May 29 meeting. “And those choices are now in your hands, and we’ll help you understand the consequences of those choices. And again, I’m confident that collectively we can get through this.”

The proposed budgets go through a review process by the town council finance committee per department. The full council is to review the budget before approval after the committee’s examination. There was also a public hearing on May 17 and budget roundtable discussions to involve the public in April and May.

“This is a critical period each year, as the budget is a representation of our town’s priorities for residents,” according to the town’s website. “We respect the responsibility the residents have placed with the town council and staff to be the stewards of your tax dollars and deliver high-quality public services.”

Major factors affecting the proposed budget include inflation, an increased demand for social services, and a competitive job market. The budget accounts for the effect of inflation on factors such as wages, utilities, electricity, and more.

The fiscal year 2024 budget includes funding for two more law enforcement officer positions and four more full-time firefighters.


According to town officials, the need for social services has grown in Scarborough over the last year. The demand for housing, food, and more needs is growing . The proposed budget would expand the general assistance budget and hire a full-time social services coordinator who would support the social services navigator.

“In the past year, we have seen an extreme increase in the need for folks accessing our general assistance program which can help community members with basic resources such as support with housing, food, and other public assistance,” said Social Services Navigator Lauren Dembski-Martin. “This increase is highly correlated to increased inflation, the end of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and the lack of affordable housing statewide.”

In the changing housing market, property valuations in Scarborough are likely lagging behind their true market value, according to town officials. Scarborough is also planning to a full in-house property revaluation in 2024. The last revaluation was done in 2019.

The town will also amend the 2011 Red Brook Watershed Management Plan to improve the water quality of the stream. The area is designated as an Urban Impaired Stream by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

In a joint effort with Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough is looking at Sawyer Street, which crosses Spurwink Marsh. The street frequently floods. The towns examined the work needed to upgrade the road for resiliency in sea level rise scenarios and found the upgrades needed would cost several million dollars. The towns are looking into removing the road and restoring the marsh.

Further parts of the budget include Eastern Trail maintenance, traffic improvements, a Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system upgrade for public safety, the replacement of the catch basin truck, and more.

The town council held a meeting with a second reading in the meeting on June 7. For more information on the proposed budget, visit

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