Sanford Area Granted Additional $726K From Keep ME Healthy

At its August 4 meeting, the City Council voted to accept funding in the amount of $726,676 awarded under Round 2 of the Keep Maine Healthy 2020 Municipal Covid-19 Awareness Campaign. The funds are being granted by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services with money from the federal CARES Act.

In addition to Sanford and Springvale, the area served by the grant money includes the towns of Acton, Shapleigh, Lebanon, Alfred, North Berwick and Waterboro. The City of Sanford is partnering with York County Community Action Corporation and the Sanford-Springvale YMCA in this project.

Ian Houseal, Sanford’s Director of Community Development, detailed in his report how the Round 2 money would be spent.

  • $71,365 for the Getting Safely Back to Work and School Media Education Campaign, including production of public service announcements; a print, video and web ad campaign; and message testing and optimization.
  • $123,605 for YCCAC’s Elder Support for Impacts of Social Isolation, Loneliness and Mental Health. $100,000 of this is earmarked for fifty clean-outs of hoarding situations. Mr. Houseal’s report pointed out that the city has documented a 14% decrease in trash disposal revenue, indicating that trash is remaining at some homes instead of being disposed of properly. The remaining funds would pay the salary and expenses for a health educator focused on communicating with, assessing, monitoring, helping find services for those experiencing isolation and grappling with hoarding disorder or other mental health issues.
  • $10,000 would go to YCCAC for PPE and physical distancing supplies.
  • $18,000 is earmarked for two Safety Ambassadors for Holdsworth Park in Springvale. The Park is a regional destination in the summer months, and this year in particular has seen rough use, with increased visitation and insufficient oversight. The two positions would be 40 hours a week for 12 weeks.
  • $45,350 is budgeted for the city to evaluate the economic, social, and health impacts of COVID-19 in the service area by hiring a health survey coordinator to establish key metrics including collecting survey data on food insecurity, domestic violence, access to internet, behavioral health, and mental health and suicide.
  • $384,712 would go to establish and support ten virtual learning, social, and recreational engagement sites and outreach aligned with elementary schools in the service area, to provide full day-care services and after-school programming or during-school programming for children and their families, essential for families needing to return to work and needing a safe and supervised setting for their children to thrive. The city of Sanford would partner with the YMCA on this project.
  • $73,644 in administrative fees, split between the city, YCCAC, and the YMCA.

In the first round of funding, the City received $355,500 in July. See separate story here.