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KEEPING CURRENT: Today in Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland

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Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 12:44 pm

Custodian cutout: Prior to its regular meeting Thursday, the Scarborough Board of Education met in executive session for 90 minutes to discuss ongoing contract negotiations with the union representing custodians and kitchen workers in the district. Nearly a year ago The Current reported on a central office proposal to save money by outsourcing custodial work, which remained an issue months after the contract expired in July. After the meeting, Superintendent George Entwistle said the outsourcing idea "remains a focal point" of the board's negotiations with the union. School Director Jackie Perry, who chairs the board's negotiations committee, refused to characterize the talks, including how many custodian jobs, if any, may be lost. "All I can say is that everything remains on the table," she said. Perry's committee is scheduled to sit down with union representatives again "next week," said Perry.

No small Bon-Bon: South Portland has approved a building permit for the Bon-Ton department store which plans to open this fall in the Maine Mall space formerly occupied by Filene's. The company apparently plans a significant remodel. The estimated construction cost listed on the permit, according to City Assessor Elizabeth Sawyer, is $3,675,000.

Town makeover: Looking forward to Monday, the Cape Elizabeth Town Council will look to establish a five-person library planning committee, to include three councilors. Town officials have fretted over the future of library since November when a $6 million reconstruction bond was defeated at the polls. The council also will look to recreate the wheel on dreams of creating a traditional downtown in the area where Route 77 intersects with Shore Road and Scott Dyer Road. The town first accepted a town center plan in 1993 and adopted several enabling ordinances in 1995, but nothing more ever happened. A new nine-member committee is slated to get $10,000 to "articulate a vision for the town center," including how much of the original plan is still workable. The committee will include two town councilors, one school board member, on member of the Planning Board and five Cape residents, of whom at least one must live in the town center area and one must own a business there.

Today’s public meetings:

• Cape Elizabeth Ordinance Committee, 8 a.m. at Town Hall (Jordan Conference Room).

Monday’s public meetings:

• South Portland City Council workshop, 6 p.m. at the Community Center (senior room).

• Scarborough Conservation Commission, 7 p.m. at Town Hall (manager’s conference room).

• Cape Elizabeth Town Council, 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

• South Portland Board of Education, 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Welcome to the discussion.