Sanford area residents who have concerns about local business compliance with Covid-19 safety measures now have a Team to call on. Members of the Surge Team, funded by a grant from the Keep Maine Healthy initiative, can be reached at (207) 206-1295. Leave a message, as the voice mail box is accessed by the entire team. They can also be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. A response time of one day or less is expected.
In July, the city of Sanford, in partnership with the York County Community Action Corporation and the Sanford-Springvale YMCA, received the grant of $355,500 in round one of the initiative, funded by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services with money from the federal CARES Act.
The bulk of the grant money is being used to fund the Surge Team, which in addition to handling concerns about business safety, will be providing assistance to essential businesses and insuring that necessary public functions, including public meetings and gatherings, voting, and public transportation, are uninterrupted. The Surge Team includes an administrator and five health officers hired by YCCAC who, for the term of the grant, will be able to provide assistance for businesses, public gatherings, child care facilities, congregate living sites, libraries, and public meetings in the Sanford area.
Ian Houseal, Sanford’s Director of Community Development, reports that the Surge Team positions have all been filled. Among their other duties, Team members may also be utilized to assist with the homeless population; to support individuals in quarantine; and to help with contact tracing if needed.
Although the grant term expires October 31, the city has applied for an extension to enable the Surge Team to work through the November election, providing support and staffing where needed.
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.