Welcome to SARPC's digital newsletter. Our goal is to publish a newsletter once a month that provides highlights of projects and activities being undertaken at the agency. If you have any questions or would like to request additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
In This Issue
                    Leslie Johnstone
            Community Development

I'd like to start by reminding everyone that SARPC has gone social. We're on Facebook!  Please like our page

We'll be providing timely updates, reminders, event notifications and general information. Please note that all our posts may not show up in your timeline so please check our page directly for updates as well.

We're getting close to the launch of a training 
program that has been in development. This new program will 
provide the employees of our member governments valuable employee development training year round.  Featured within the program will also be an  elected officials leadership training series offered later in the year.  Look for details in our upcoming newsletters, on our  website and   Facebook.

Congratulations to our February employee of the month,  Leslie Johnstone.



The Mobile MPO apportionment was increased with the passing of the new FAST ACT Transportation Funding Bill.  The per capita amount was $6.8 Million per year under the bill MAP-21. That has been increased to $7.1 million per year, which equates to being able to program almost $9 million per year once the 20% local match is included. Our Attributable funding schedule has been moved around a bit; however, even though we had an increase in potential funding, we are still negative in terms of budgeting projects in year 2020 and 2021.

FTA 5310 (Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities)

The Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is the Designated Recipient for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 5310 Urban Area Funding for the Mobile Urban Area.  We are well underway with this program, and have already purchased our first vehicle for Mercy Life.  Congratulations to all that have been awarded. We are working diligently to get all procurements completed as fast as possible. We will most likely advertised in April for the new call for projects for the FTA 5310 Urban Program. Our funding under the FAST ACT has been increased to $314,000 annually.


The FHWA has required that every city and county in the state have an ADA Transition Plan, and Urban Areas will have a one year deadline (July 20th, 2016).  Each City in the Mobile MPO Study Area and Mobile County now has an appointed ADA Coordinator which creates a nine member ADA Subcommittee of the MPO.  The inventory is complete for all urban local governments within the Mobile MPO, and the consultant is now working with the ADA Coordinators on the text of each of the ADA documents, grievance procedures, and the potential for a full ADA Transition plan, not just Public Rights of Way. The deadline for Mobile County and the cities within the Mobile MPO to have an adopted ADA Transition Plan for public Rights of Way, is July of this year.
(for areas outside the boundaries of an MPO, ALDOT is working on a time line for you, and you will not follow the same timeline as the Urban areas)

ALDOT Launches ALGOtraffic.com to Give Drivers Road and Traffic Info Before They Go

MONTGOMERY- Today the Alabama Department of Transportation launched ALGOtraffic.com to help motorists plan their route on Alabama highways before they hit the road. ALGOtraffic.com is a website that consolidates up-to-the minute traffic information, road conditions and work zone updates in one convenient location.
"We are pleased that ALDOT now has a new tool in ALGOtraffic.com to improve the safety and reliability of Alabama's transportation network," said Allison Green, Drive Safe Alabama coordinator with ALDOT. "The features we're providing can help travelers avoid congestion and have a safer drive to their destinations."
The home screen for ALGOtraffic.com is a map of Alabama where users can zoom into Birmingham, Mobile or Montgomery maps for road information specific to those areas. Additional features and geographic coverage will be added to ALGOtraffic.com during 2016.
From the menu on the left side of the screen, users can select which details they want to see, including:
Traffic cameras
Electronic highway information signs
Incident information
Road construction updates
Highway travel speeds
ALDOT asks motorists to use ALGOtraffic.com responsibly. Drivers should "know before you go!" by checking traffic conditions before leaving for their destination. Motorists should never text, tweet, or use a mobile device while operating a vehicle.
ALDOT's mission is to provide a safe, efficient, environmentally and economically sound transportation network across Alabama. For further information, visit 

Grant Opportunities

Recent grant opportunities that have been announced which may be of interest to you and your regional stakeholders include:

USDA announces funding for Conservation Innovation Grants

USDA announced funding and is seeking applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG).  This grant program is designed to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) into NRCS technical manuals and guides or to the private sector. CIG is used to apply or demonstrate previously proven technology in order to increase adoption with an emphasis on opportunities to scale proven, emerging conservation strategies. CIG promotes sharing of skills, knowledge, technologies, and facilities among communities, governments, and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users. CIG funds projects targeting innovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research. On-farm conservation research is defined as an investigation conducted to answer a specific conservation-related question using a statistically valid design, while employing farm-scale equipment on farm fields. Specifically, a valid study design will use an appropriate number of replications and statistical analysis of results. Submission deadline is May 10, 2016.  To learn more, please go to: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=282011.

USDA announces funding for 2017 National Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program

The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council seeks innovative (new, cutting-edge or builds upon existing studies) grant proposals for program development, study, and collaboration that will address strategies in the National Ten Year Urban Forestry Action Plan (2016-2026). This Request for Proposals is to address the following priority issues: * Developing a National Urban Forestry Funding Assessment and Methodology * Understand Urban Forest Ecosystem/Ecological Services Detailed information about each category follows this section. Proposals are to meet the request and intent of each applicable category. Organizations, local governments, tribal agencies, and partnerships are encouraged to submit proposals that will demonstrate the reach, resources, and expertise needed to address the three priority issues in ways that will lead to meaningful, replicable results across the country. Potential Innovation grantees should work collaboratively with other organizations and entities not traditionally involved in urban and community forestry.  Submission deadline is June 17, 2016.  To learn more, please go to: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=281798.

REMINDER: EDA accepting Proposals for projects that will foster economic development and support job creation

EDA invites applicants to work with their Economic Development Representative and develop a Proposal for potential projects that will foster economic development by promoting long-term job creation and the attraction of private investment.  EDA grant programs support eligible applicants (States, units of local government, institutions of higher education, nonprofits working in collaboration with political subdivision of a State, Tribes) in implementing construction projects to advance economic development.  To learn more about EDA's grant programs and opportunities, please feel free to contact me at dburnett@sarpc.org or 251-706-4621. 

SARPC's 18th Annual Business Expo/Jobs Fair will be held on Thursday, April 21, 2016, at the Greater Gulf States Fair Grounds (The Grounds) in Mobile, AL. This annual workforce development and community service project affords businesses, organizations and agencies the opportunity to meet, interview and employ over 3,000 job seekers who attend this event. For SPONSORSHIP and VENDOR information please contact our office at 
(251) 652-0585 or visit  www.sarpc.org.

On March 21, 2016, 
the U.S. House passed its version of a Senate-passed bill, S. 192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, signaling its support for the vital home and community-based services that the Older Americans Act (OAA) authorizes and funds in communities across the nation. This action means that the bill is poised to be sent to the President for signature as soon as the Senate endorses the House changes.
The Older Americans Act provides essential services every year to nearly 11 million seniors, including information and referral assistance, in-home supports, nutrition programs, transportation, caregiver support, job training, legal services and protection from abuse and financial exploitation.
n4a applauds the House's approval of this bipartisan measure, designed to modestly update the way the OAA achieves its mission of helping older adults age with dignity, independence and health in their homes and communities.
In a statement, n4a CEO Sandy Markwood said, "Approval of House Amendment to S. 192 is a pivotal achievement that puts us much closer to ensuring that OAA programs will continue to support older adults to live with dignity and independence in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Our members , the 622 Area Agencies on Aging and 256 Title VI (of the Act) Native American aging programs, work on the front lines of aging every day, providing a broad range of services and supports that enhance the lives of older adults and doing their part to realize the vision of the Older Americans Act in communities all across the country."
"We look forward to working with Senate leadership and the President to see OAA reauthorization signed into law next month," added Markwood.
Having worked since 2011 with congressional leaders on reauthorization, n4a would like to the House leaders whose commitment to this bipartisan bill and drove its passage: House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Robert Scott (D-VA).

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is a 501c(3) membership association representing America's national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and providing a voice in the nation's capital for the 256 Title VI Native American aging programs. The mission of n4a is to build the capacity of its members so they can better help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

Our Tax Counseling for the Elderly program is ongoing in Escambia County through April 15th.  This program provides tax filing assistance for persons age 60 and over; to make an appointment call  251-867-0256  or 867-0255.
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South Alabama Regional Planning Commission                     Executive Director | Chris Miller :  cmiller@sarpc.org|