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Portland City Council votes to extend outdoor dining to May 10

"This is not just for business owners, but for folks who work in one of our largest industries," City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau said.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland City Council voted unanimously Monday night to extend outdoor dining to May 10. The extension is part of the City's emergency proclamation.

"This is not just for business owners, but for folks who work in one of our largest industries," City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau said.

The City extended outdoor dining on public sidewalks and parking spots in October. That was set to expire Monday. 

City Manager Jon Jennings said he was concerned about extending it throughout the winter because of the snow, but said the city was able to manage plowing during the last snowstorm.

"We found that if we could manage it through a 17-inch snowstorm, we would be able to manage it going forward," he said.

Jennings said extending outdoor dining until the spring gives business owners time to plan.

"Being able to have some certainty in terms of your operations is critical in terms of making investments," Jennings said.

The City said it issued nearly 200 outdoor dining permits throughout the summer. The council will continue to discuss what to do beyond May 10.