Cumberland rolls out welcome mat for new residents

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CUMBERLAND — The town is on its way to becoming a place where everybody knows your name, thanks to a new program held at Town Hall May 24.

The open house nature of the program allowed residents to talk with Cumberland officials and people from various town departments, learn more about services and activities the town offers, and meet other newcomers.

The program drew about 40 adults, and many accompanying children, Deputy Town Clerk Eliza Porter said in an interview May 25. Brochures for new residents – now available at Town Hall, 290 Tuttle Road – were distributed, containing information on town services.

“It was wonderful to welcome new families to our community, share with them all our town has to offer, and most importantly, make them feel at home,” Porter said. “Since the night was so well received by residents and town staff, we are looking to hold this event every spring, most likely the week before Memorial Day weekend.”

Even though town staff had considered holding a presentation at the beginning of the event, the loose open house forum allowed people to mingle at their own pace and swing by the tables where the department heads sat, “which I think helped (residents) get a lot more out of it,” Porter said.

Matie Little attended the orientation with her husband and 2-year-old daughter, “and we thought it was a great way to meet town officials and learn about the many services available to residents,” she said in an email May 25. “The orientation helped us feel even more connected to our new town and we appreciated the opportunity to meet and ask questions of a couple Town Council members, the Town Manager, and various other officials.”

The family moved last summer from Washington D.C. after Little was asked to join a trust and estates law firm in Portland. Cumberland’s small community drew them there, she said.

When they moved to town from Portland last July, Chris and Kim Anania signed up for Cumberland’s email distribution list, which is how they learned about the orientation.

“There’s a ton of information to read about what Cumberland has to offer,” Kim Anania said. “The orientation gave us an opportunity to talk to town officials and representatives who were able to put the spotlight on so many other resources, landmarks, and opportunities we had no idea existed. We left feeling even happier with our decision to move to Cumberland.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Representatives of Cumberland’s various departments, including Police Sgt. David Young, left, and Fire Chief Dan Small, met with new residents May 24.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.