City of Belfast reopens municipal offices, facilities; issues new guidelines

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 2:45pm
    The City of Belfast has continued to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and with the guidance from the Maine CDC and Governor Janet Mills, we are now reopening our offices to the public effective June 1, 2020 per the Governor’s mandate issued on April 28, 2020 (see below – Stage 2); thus the Belfast City Council, Mayor and City Manager have decided to take the following steps to provide an appropriate level of precaution for our staff and the community at large:

    Effective, June 1, 2020 City Facilities will reopen to the public.

    We encourage the public to continue to utilize what services they can online, over the phone, or through postal mail. All City phone and City email contact information is provided below, and all departments will continue to respond to phone calls and emails in a timely manner. If required, City Departments can make arrangements to make appointments.

    We have installed plexiglass in areas where counter services occur and we request that if you are conducting business in any of our City Facilities that you wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines.

    Committee/Council Meetings- Following the Council Meeting on March 17, 2020, the City has suspended all in person committee meetings through June 30, 2020.

    All City Council, Planning Board and City Committee Meetings will occur online using Zoom and can be streamed on the City website at
    All regularly scheduled Council Meetings and Planning Board Meeting will air live on BEL TV. All Council Meetings will air as on Belfast Community Radio WBFY 100.9. Members of the public who wish to submit announcements, questions or comment for the City Council or Planning Board Meetings can email or mail to City of Belfast, 131 Church Street, Belfast, ME 04915. We ask that you include your name and residence as comments will be included as part of the public record, and that all comments be sent prior to the date and time of the meeting, with a deadline of noon the day of the meeting.

    As City government progresses through June, City Council, Planning Board, and Committee meetings will allow for public participation through Zoom. The City will still be accepting comments via email and postal mail. Public Comments will be included in the minutes of the City Council Meetings and City staff will read the comments during Planning Board Meetings.

    The Zoom Webinar feature will allow for public input by allowing for virtual participation. There will be a website address that will serve as the link to the Zoom meeting and will be on Public Notices, Abutter Notices, and on the City website in advance of the meeting. There will also be a phone number next to the website address that will enable someone to participate, even if they are experiencing technical difficulties. There is no requirement to register for Webinars. The Chat function will be disabled.

    The public will be allowed to speak at the meeting, but only during the public comment period. When it is time for the person to have their opportunity to speak, the host will accept them into the meeting. The public will only have access to audio. Video uses large amounts of bandwidth, and City Staff feels it is best to be proactive with these technical issues.

    We have all heard of mishaps with virtual meetings. City staff believes the Zoom Webinar feature will enable public participation, but if there is a mishap, City staff reserve the right to eject any misbehaving or disruptive person.

    Transfer Station

    Beginning on June 2nd the Transfer Station will phase in recycling of residential cardboard, glass and tin cans. Beginning on June 16th the

    Transfer Station will phase in recycling of newspaper. Beginning on June 30th the Transfer Station will phase in recycling #2 plastic. Mixed Paper and Mixed Plastic should continue to be included in household trash until further notice. Recycling of scale demolition and cardboard from Belfast businesses will continue to be accepted. The Transfer Station will continue to suspend all recycling from other municipalities, in an effort to reduce staff contact and possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus until further notice as City staff responds to the surge that our

    The Transfer Station ask that you please STOP your vehicle at the end of he building (by the office) and wait for instruction by a City Employee before exiting your vehicle to remove waste from your vehicle.

    facility is currently experiencing. We will continue to accept all trash from households and businesses. However, payment for trash will be reduced from $3.50 to $3.00, only cash will be accepted and should be placed in a designated payment receptacle. The requirement for stickers on trash bags will be suspended during this time. Residents with questions or concerns should call the Transfer Station at 338-1817.

    Access to City Hall will be open

    City Clerk & Tax Office 
    Clerk’s Office hours will be Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. We will need to abide by the CDC recommendations for Social Distancing within our lobby, so signs will be posted for customers to abide by. Please be patient with our office and other customers as we transition back into open door business.

    We request that citizens view the list of items below to determine what can be performed online at, or postal mail. City employees will continue to be available by phone (207- 338-3370 ext. 114) and email to answer questions of any nature as well as to assist anyone with the process of performing transactions online with the City Clerk and/or Tax Collector:

    Vehicle re-registrations.


    All transactions to be completed online, can be accessed through our website under “How do I Pay Taxes”.

    The items below are transactions that will require an in person transaction:

    •   New Vehicle Registrations
    •   Marriage Licenses
    •   New Resident Registrations
    •   Notary Services
    •   Any New ATV, Boat & Snowmobile Registrations
      *Please see below the emergency legislation, that does cover some registration issues.


    All registrations, including temporary registrations for vehicles, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles and trailers that expires during the period of state emergency is deemed extended until 30 days after the state of emergency is terminated. (The important notice here is “expires during”. Registrations that expired before the state of emergency was declared would not qualify for the extension the way it’s worded (i.e. all boats which expired in December).

    “Temporary registrations” should cover Maine dealer sales but private sales and out of State dealer sales will not have a way to complete the registration process.

    The extension does not change the registration interval. All fees that would have been due are still due within 30 days of the termination of the state of emergency.

    The online renewal systems (Rapid Renewal and MOSES) are to be turned on for allAll interest accrued from March 18th to May 15th on sewer or tax payments will be deferred without penalty.

    Belfast Free Library

    The Library’s hours in this stage of reopening will be: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday: Noon to 5:30 p.m.

    When returning material, please use the book return slots at the front entrance. Any checked out items are not due until July 10th. No overdue fines will accrue during this time period.Public Safety – Access to the Police Department and Fire/Ambulance Department lobbies will be open to the public. If you have an emergency, please call 911.

    General Assistance – Anyone needing General Assistance should contact the administrator at 338-3370 ext. 120. Applications will be processed over the phone, email, postal mail and appointment if required. 338-3370 ext. 120 will also connect elderly residents of Belfast who are

    The Library will continue to offer curbside pickup during the same hours as the Library’s open hours. You can utilize the online library catalog – Minerva- for placing of hold for pick-up items owned by the Library. We will not be able to get material held by other libraries until statewide service is running. Please call 207-338-3884 ext.10 for more information or to assist with curbside pickup.

    The number of patrons in the library will be limited to ten people on the adult (first) floor and ten people in the children’s (second) floor. Reference, research, and technology assistance will be available by appointment on the third floor. Time spent in the Library will be limited to 30 minutes. In this stage of reopening, public computers and seating and the meeting rooms will not be available. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

    Belfast Free Library – On June 1, the Belfast Free Library will open to the public. Services and hours have been adjusted in the interest of best service and of safety for public and staff.


    municipalities even if they current do not participate and will stay on until 30 days after the state of emergency is terminated.

    homebound and need access to supplies, such as food or prescriptions through the Ring of Caring program.


    Parks and Recreation – Please contact 338-3370 ext. 127 if you need forms or assistance. Everything will be processed over the phone, email or postal mail. You may also download forms or applications from the City website. At this time our City parks and trails will remain open to the public but we would like to stress the importance of following the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 even in the parks, playgrounds, Skate Park, Dog Park and trails.


    Please contact 338-1142 if you need forms or assistance. The City Landing docks are in with power and water. Please be aware of the following changes as the Harbor becomes more active by boater and general public use:

    Rental moorings are available for use.

    Fuel is available – both non-ethanol gas and dyed diesel.

    The Harbor Public restrooms are open however the showers are not open at this time. Theon the vessel should be used if possible.

    showers may be opened later if necessary on an appointment basis. Heads and showers

    All vessels should contact the Harbor Office before coming to the City Landing or picking up rental moorings.

    All boaters and the general public should practice social distancing while on the docks or launch ramp and are asked to not gather in groups.

    The gangways used to access or leave the docks should be used by one person at a time if going in different directions.

    Frequent washing is recommended when handling vessel lines or fueling.


    Planning & Code Office 

    Questions for the Planning and Code Office can be directed to 338-3370 ext. 125.

    Due to limited amount of space the Code and Planning Department is requesting that only 1 person will be permitted at the counter in the front office at any point in time. We respectfully request that all other persons must wait in the hallway.

    Beginning June 1, the Department will accept building permit applications for interior improvements and renovations. All other protocols for inspections are intended to remain in place. Anyone who is seeking services that may warrant a significant amount of time (15+ minutes), should call or email ahead to arrange for an appointment with City staff.

    Assessing Office – Starting June 1st we will be open to walk-in business, due to social distancing requirements and our narrow hallways, we would appreciate if you would call with any inquiries, first, and then set-up an appointment for us to accommodate our meeting. This process will likely carry through until the Fall.

    As usual, we will continue to accept all Personal Property, Property Exemption, Current Use Land Classification, Street Addressing or Apartment Addressing requests, and other inquiries by phone, email or mail that same as if in person through this time period. Personal property filings are nearing past-due status so please contact us with questions. Since the deadline for all filings is approaching, please call us at (207) 338-3370 x177 or email us at with any questions regarding submission deadlines. Safety is our foremost concern and we will assist you in any way we can. Please allow for 24 hours as everything will be processed over the phone, email or postal mail.

    Wastewater Treatment Plant – The plant continues to operate, however there will be no public access until further notice. Residents that have questions or concerns can call the Plant at 338- 1744 during normal business hours, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. To report an emergency, such as sewer line problems, pump station alarms, or other emergency issues please call 338-2040.

    In an effort to reduce potential staff contact with raw wastewater and possible exposure to the Covid-19 virus the City is asking that all sewer users continue to refrain from flushing products, other than toilet paper, down the toilet. Disposing of other products can lead to sewer line blockages and plugged pumps that require direct contact by staff to resolve the issue.

    Additional trash receptacles have been placed back out in several locations throughout the City. In an effort to limit the amount of unintended trash and possible staff exposure to the Covid-19 virus we ask that all residents please utilize the Transfer Station or contracted services for household trash disposal.

    Public Works –Residents in need of assistance or to express concerns please call the Public Works Facility at 338-2375 and leave a message. Your call will be returned in a timely manner.

    City Manager’s Office – Please contact 338-3370 ext. 110. Everything will be processed over the phone, email or postal mail. If required, appointments can be made.

    Treasurer’s Office – Please contact 338-3370 ext. 111. Everything will be processed over the phone, email or postal mail. If required, appointments can be made.

    Economic Development – Please contact 338-3370 ext. 116 if you need forms or assistance. Everything will be processed over the phone, email or postal mail. If required, appointments can be made.

    BEL TV – Please contact 323-2430. Everything will be processed over the phone, email or postal mail. If required, appointments can be made.

    Cemetery – Please contact 338-2264. Everything will be processed over the phone, email or postal mail. If required, appointments can be made.

    Belfast Municipal Airport

    Physical access to the airport property and terminal building by the general public is governed by 17-A M.R.S.A. Section 402. Airport tenants, charter and medical transport passengers, aircrews and medical personnel have full access to the airport and terminal with the caveat the terminal is only staffed part time and may not be sanitized following every visit. Please call 207-338-3370 x 600 or 603-970-1947 if you need assistance.


    The following is a list of City of Belfast departments and how they can be reached during this time: