2013-10-18 / In the Know

In the Know

Community Services does it all

When it comes to the Scarborough Community Services Department, the services run the gamut, from our child care program, recreational offerings (youth, adult and seniors), sales of discounted amusement park and sporting event ticket, to the maintenance of town parks, fields and beaches, reserving indoor and outdoor space for local youth and adult groups and organizing free special events for the public, such as SummerFest.

Beyond these day-to-day operations, our department, and, more specifically, the director, is in charge of the management of projects throughout town as directed by the town manager.

As the town continues to grow, Community Services grows along with it, offering new programs, streamlining processes and improving its facilities for our residents’ use.

These are just a few of the current projects we have completed and new services we are offering:

Online facility reservations: Scarborough Community Services began accepting indoor facility and outdoor field requests online in September, eliminating the need for paper-based reservations. We encourage all users to go online to view available facilities, explore our interactive field maps, and access directions, fee information, and amenities for each site.

We hope this new process will not only save paper, but will save time for customers and streamline the approval process. We realize that this new process is going to take some getting used to, but we welcome any comment or concern through our new email address at reservation@ci.scarborough.me.us.

Passports: As of September, Community Services will have been accepting U.S. passport applications for one year, during which we processed a total of 459 applications.

Citizens planning international travel may apply for their passport book or card in our office located in the Municipal Building during the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

We also participated in our first annual Passport Day in the USA in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State. This special event was held at town hall on March 9 and gave people another opportunity to apply for their passport outside of our normal business hours.

This was a successful outreach event and we expect to provide this service on an annual basis.

For more information on the cost of a passport and the application process, please visit the official passport website at www.travel.state.gov.

Higgins Beach comfort station: We completed the construction of a restroom facility and public parking lot at Higgins Beach in April.

There are two restrooms, one for men and one for women, and both are handicap accessible.

The shower area is a covered section with two outside showers and foot washes. There is also one heated unisex shower room that can be locked for privacy.

Other features include solar panels on the roof to assist in heating the building and storage for cleaning supplies and other items used in the day-to-day operation of the parking lot. The facility is open from dawn to dusk year round.

Hurd Park renovations: This summer we finished renovating the ladies’ restrooms at Albion Hurd Park (Pine Point Beach). We converted the one large restroom (of three stalls) for women into three separate rooms, one of which is ADA compliant; this brings the facility up to code.

The modification allows our beach staff to shut down one restroom at a time for cleaning, a difficult task to complete on the previous group restroom because of the high demand and traffic.

We were also able to install security doors which helped reduce the amount of vandalism we faced during off-hours. We hope to start the same renovation on the men’s side this fall once the beach season ends.

Disc golf at Black Point Park: Community Services has installed three disc golf cages at Black Point Park.

The cages are free to use – just bring discs and play. We ask that anyone using the disc golf cages be respectful and cautious of other people using the park.

The cages will be in place during the spring, summer, and fall seasons but will be removed for the winter.

Community Services does not have discs to rent for use on these cages.

High school fieldhouse observation deck: One of our ongoing projects is the new observation deck at the High School fieldhouse.

Set to one side of the announcing booth, this addition to our sports complex not only provides adequate space for a cable crew to stream games live to Channel 2, it also gives the coaching staff an elevated position to view plays and discuss strategy.

SummerFest: With the support of community sponsors, we held SummerFest 2013 on Aug. 16.

We all had our fingers crossed for perfect weather – the year before brought a torrential downpour and ended the event just as the crowds were entering – and that’s exactly what we got.

Local organizations, service groups and businesses offered delicious foods, fun activities, and plenty of giveaways.

New highlights this year included Radio Disney, which kept the crowds busy with fun games, prizes and dancing to today’s hit music and Dunkin’ Donuts CommUNITY Crew, who offered free coffee, baked goods and prize opportunities to SummerFest 5K participants. We hope next year’s event will be just as successful.

As always, we are constantly trying to improve our practices and add to our offerings. If residents have ideas for new and different programming, we hope they will not hesitate in letting us know how we can better serve them. Compiled by Community Services staff.

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