Welcome to SARPC's digital newsletter. Our goal is to publish a newsletter bi-monthly 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








As Executive Director of SARPC, I am blessed to work with many outstanding professionals who truly care about our Region (Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia Counties) and go above and beyond the call of duty to serve their needs.

As I informed our Board of Directors three of our outstanding, longtime employees have announced their retirements from SARPC. Diane Burnett (Community Planning), Kevin Harrison (Transportation Planning) and Terri Pringle (Employment and Economic Development Services) have a combined service of eighty-three years to our Region. Each one has represented SARPC with dignity, professionalism, and leadership. We wish them well and know that they will enjoy retirement to the fullest.

John F. (Rickey) Rhodes
Executive Director
Direct: 251-706-4667
Cell: 251-421-9400

Kevin's Retirement
After 30 years at SARPC, Kevin Harrison has retired so please contact Tom Piper for future questions. On Monday, there was a party to send him off. It was highly attended to witness the City of Mobile proclamation that July 25th will now be Kevin Harrison day! Also, SARPC presented a resolution recognizing Kevin's 30+ years of Transportation Planning.
Rep. Margie Wilcox, Rickey Rhodes, and Kevin Harrison
Kevin and his staff (Anthony, Tom, Monica)
The City of Mobile presenting the Proclamation of July 25th to be recognized as Kevin A. Harrison Day!

Mobile MPO Updates

A public meeting was held Wednesday, June 29th, 2022. We are accepting comments on the Amendment to the Envision 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan until July 15th, 2022. To review ALDOT’s press release on the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway, Here.

To review the full draft document, Here.

The Technical Coordinating/Citizens Advisory Committee met last week and recommended the full agenda for approval at the July 27th MPO meeting.

Click HERE for Public Notice

HERE are the proposed resolutions

Mobile MPO Policy Board Meeting
Wednesday, July 27th, 2022
GM&O Building, 110 Beauregard St, Mobile, AL 36602
Click HERE for Public Notice

At the next meeting of the Mobile MPO, there will be several items to consider to include: the scope of Dauphin Street has changed from additional capacity project, to an access management type project with new signals. Also, ALDOT wishes to add lanes to I-65 from SR158 to Celeste Road. This project is currently not on the LRTP, or the TIP. Just like the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project, this project has to be added to those plans before it can be authorized for funding.
Carbon Reduction

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) has apportioned a $1,093,970 annually to the Mobile MPO for a new program focusing on Carbon Reduction. This money can be used for a variety of projects, and the current fiscal year apportionment must be authorized this fiscal year. As per our discussion at the TCC/CAC meeting, the Carbon Reduction funds are pretty flexible; HERE is the fact sheet. The Mobile MPO is apportioned about $1M annually, it is 80/20 match. The Fact Sheet notes special rules for “Transportation Management Areas”, or TMAs. A TMA is an urban area with a population of over 200,000; we are a TMA. Again, the necessity to have this fiscal year’s apportionment authorized by October 1 is a recommendation from the State, so Obligation Authority does not become an issue.  

Mobile Area Major Road Plan
SARPC has contracted with Volkert to conduct a Mobile Area Major Road Plan. The purpose of the Plan is to provide a recommendation to the Mobile County Commission and the various municipalities within Mobile County, for a Mobile Area Wide Major Road Plan. The Major Road Plan will consider existing major routes as well as proposed state routes, proposed major municipal routes and proposed major county routes. The Major Road Plan will consider anticipated growth of areas within Mobile County to future year 2050 and provide for connectivity between the areas within the various municipalities and the more rural areas outside of the municipalities. Existing planning documents of the County of Mobile as well as the various municipalities will be reviewed and considered as well. Extraterritorial planning jurisdictions will be taken into consideration. The Plan will include methods and tools for acquiring and preserving right-of-way in the context of expediting the environmental clearance process and review how corridors are prioritized, designated, and adopted for management or preservation. SARPC and Volkert have had several meetings in the past month regarding the plan, including individual meetings with the City of Mobile, Mobile County, The City of Semmes and the City of Saraland.

100 % Funding for Resurfacing of Local Roads Through the Mobile MPO with CRRSAA, LINK TO MAP HERE
In accordance with the Highway Infrastructure Program Funds Pursuant to the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) dated January 15,2021 from the Federal Highway Administration, the Mobile Transportation Management Area (TMA) through the Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is apportioned $3,193,942 (FY 2021). ln consultation with the State of Alabama, it is the intention of the Mobile MPO to use the Mobile TMA apportioned CRRSAA funding ($3,193,942) for a one time resurfacing program. This funding can be 100% federal funding with no matching requirements; this presents a rare opportunity for the Mobile MPO.

The cities of Creola, Satsuma, Saraland, Chickasaw, Prichard, Semmes and Bayou la Batre have provided a prioritized list of roads that need to be resurfaced within their jurisdiction. 

ALDOT is working to finalize roadway plans for the CRRSSA program. As we have all observed, construction and fuel costs have significantly inflated over the last several months- as much as 40% in certain roadway construction materials. In an effort to maximize the number of roads to be resurfaced and stay within the allotted budget, the Department has asked the design consultants to see if cost-saving measures can be taken. This cost-savings review has caused a slight delay in the original schedule, however, those decisions are being finalized at this time so that a path can be determined on how to move forward within each municipality in terms of addressing their needs. The Department plans to receive bids in late summer for these projects. The new cost estimates are:

Bayou La Batre $274,688
Chickasaw $234,706
Creola $257,932
Prichard $564,121
Saraland $334,204
Satsuma $295,757
Semmes $232,003

Total $2,193,411

RPO Updates

The Rural Planning Organization (RPO) will be meeting in the near future at a date to be determined, to developed a prioritized list of the Region’s most needs transportation projects. This list will constitute the Plan for ALDOT to use as a guideline on project needs within the Region.

Transportation Improvement Program( TIP)

The TIP represents a four year program (2020-2023) for improvements in the various transportation systems located within the Mobile study area as identified in the Mobile MPO's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The LRTP establishes the transportation programs that are needed to meet travel demand by the study year and study area. LRTP projects that become funded are moved into the TIP and submitted to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), where they are programmed into the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). For MPO projects, TIP project selection is based on priorities established by MPO member governments and the availability of funds through the Surface Transportation Attributable program. For other projects, ALDOT has discretion of project funding based on availability of funds from various types of funding categories. Most often, projects in the TIP are derived from the LRTP. The TIP guides ALDOT in its annual allocation of funds for transportation improvements and becomes a part of the STIP.
ArcGIS Online is now being utilized by MPO staff to map all federally funded surface transportation projects within our area. Check it out.
2020-2023 E-STIP HERE
Current Projects

The Community Development Department has been busy working on numerous projects throughout our Region. In addition to attending monthly planning commission meetings and assisting our cities and towns with all their planning needs, SARPC planners have been working on the following projects:

·    City of Semmes - Comprehensive Plan
·   Town of Dauphin Island - Zoning Ordinance
·   City of Atmore – Rail Spur and Rail Infrastructure at Atmore’s Industrial Park
·   Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) – 5-year Update
· Economic Relief and Resiliency Response Plan and Workforce Development Plan
Check the home page of our website at www.sarpc.org to view the Economic Response Plan and the 5-Year CEDS draft.
Please contact any of the staff members of the Community Development Department if you have questions about any of our projects, funding opportunities, training events, or other planning or mapping needs.

       Nicole Taylor   ntaylor@sarpc.org     (251) 706-4659
       Samara Walley swalley@sarpc.org    (251) 706-4677
       Cade Alred       calred@sarpc.org      (251)706-4621

New Projects
Congratulations to the City of Semmes who held a ribbon cutting event on July 13th to officially open their new Public Safety Complex. What used to be a Dollar General, is now home to both the Semmes fire and police departments.

The new complex at 6180 Lott Rd. serves as a fire station and the city’s first police precinct for their new police department that is still underway. Residents filled the driveway to join the celebration and get a firsthand look at the city’s new facility. For years, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office handled Semmes’ law enforcement needs but last year, the City decided to establish its own police department. 

The fire department became a paid entity in 2016. Before then, the department was run by volunteers who worked out of mobile homes and sheds. Semmes’ Mayor Brandon Van Hook says this is a big day for the city as expansion continues.

There are more major projects in store for Semmes. City leaders plan to remodel the public works facility to serve as their new police headquarters. They’re also building a new city hall.

Open Funding Opportunities
The following funding agencies are currently accepting grant applications for community development projects, transportation and infrastructure projects, job creation, workforce development, and economic development projects, and more. Please contact Nicole Taylor in our department for more information or if interested in applying for any of these opportunities at ntaylor@sarpc.org or (251) 706-4659.
Economic Development Administration (EDA):

New Funding Opportunities

Two new funding opportunities at EDA are designed to support underserved communities and populations across the country. The Economic Recovery Corps program will add staff resources to local organizations focused on improving economic resilience and competitiveness in distressed regions across the country. The Equity Impact Investments program will provide technical assistance to enable organizations serving underserved populations and communities to participate in economic development planning and projects.

Visit: https://eda.gov/funding-opportunities/ for a full list of open grant opportunities from the EDA.
The deadline to apply is August 5. To learn more about these programs, visit:

To view the NOFO, visit:
ADECA’s Alabama Community Broadband Technical Assistance Program (ACB TAP)

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) has kicked off the Alabama Community Broadband Technical Assistance Program (ACB TAP), a competitive program that will provide technical assistance for communities seeking to expand broadband infrastructure and services in response to the critical need for internet access around the state. To kick off the project, ADECA held three webinars to provide information about ACB TAP, broadband infrastructure, and recent federal broadband funding. ADECA has launched the ACB TAP program to support communities with technical assistance to expand broadband infrastructure and services in response to the critical need for internet access around the state. Applications for ACB TAP opened on July 1, 2022, and the deadline for applications is August 1, 2022. You can find the application at https://adeca.alabama.gov/alabama-community-broadband-technical-assistance-program/. If you missed ACB TAP’s kickoff webinars, you can watch the video walkthrough of the ACB TAP application at https://youtu.be/FeVsMViFt8k.

If you have questions about ACB TAP or need assistance with the application, please reach out to Karen White, VP of Client Solutions at CTC Technology & Energy, at kwhite@ctcnet.us or 301-933-1488 and ADECA at broadband.fund@adeca.alabama.gov.

Planning Resources
EDA & USDA: The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development just released a joint resource guide to help community organizations access USDA and EDA resources to build strategies to boost economic development in rural America.

This joint planning resource guide for rural America will better equip communities with an easy to access and easy to use tools to maximize the work of providing greater and inclusive economic prosperity across our country. The resource guide outlines programs and services that can be used to advance community and economic development in rural communities through four key focus areas:

•         Planning and technical assistance
•         Infrastructure and broadband expansion
•         Entrepreneurship and business assistance
•         Workforce development and livability

The guide also features information and links to USDA Rural Development and U.S. Economic Development Administration key priorities and resources.

The White House released a technical assistance guide to help state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments access resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The 56-page document includes information for programs related to transportation, high-speed internet, water, power grid and clean energy, resilience, environmental remediation, and place-based initiatives. Visit:

Data.census.gov is the primary platform to access data and digital content from the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census continuously updates data.census.gov with new data from the most popular survey and programs that provide the following data needs:

           Educational materials
•        Learn about Microdata Access and the Census Data API
•        Request a data.census.gov training: ced.cedsci.outreach@census.gov
•        Request a training for your local area: census.askdata@census.gov
•        Ask your questions: census.data@census.gov
Training Opportunities

UNA Center for Learning and Professional Development & The Alabama Planning Institute offers regular training opportunities via ZOOM. For more information on upcoming trainings, send email to lgatlin@una.edu or call 256-627-3566 to check on your certification or recertification.

CAPZO Certification gives evidence to your community that you have gained the knowledge and skills needed to serve most effectively in your appointed planning position. Your community, in turn, benefits from having its staff, local officials, PC, and BZA members with a solid foundation in the operations of the commission and the board.

WHO SHOULD BECOME CERTIFIED? Local Planning Commission Members, Board of Adjustment Members, Mayors, City Council Members, Zoning & Building Staff, City Clerks, County Commissioners, County Administrators, County Engineers, City & County Attorneys, or anyone involved with local planning and growth issues.

For more CAPZO information, visit:
Webinar: Promising Practices of Outdoor Recreation Economies

When: August 3, 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET

Where: Virtual | Register Here

Details: Join Fourth Economy’s webinar, featuring panelists from York County Economic Alliance, the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, the East Coast Greenway Alliance, PADCNR, and the PA Environmental Council as they discuss successes and opportunities for communities to leverage their Outdoor Economy Assets. This is a free event but registration is required.

Upcoming Events
The Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association will hold a joint planning conference with the Mississippi Chapter of the American Planning Association on October 23-26, 2022 in Gulf Shores-Orange Beach. This year’s planning conference will be paired with the Alabama Association of Regional Councils (AARC) conference. Make plans to attend this exciting planning conference. Registration details will be announced soon at: https://alabamaplanning.org/

Employment and Economic Development Services
SARPC Staffing Service

Sydney Snow, Program Assistant, attended the Mobile SHRM meeting on June 10th. The meeting was held at the Goodwill Gulf Coast Training Center in Mobile. Deputy Sheriff Johnathan Geary, of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department, shared the importance of active shooter preparation for local businesses and organizations. The purpose of the meeting was to aid with the steps in making a plan and teach survival tactics for active shooter situations.

Pictured above is Deputy Sheriff Johnathan Geary.

On June 14th, SARPC Staffing Service and SCSEP staff met with representatives of the Southwest Alabama Partnership of Training and Employment, Sydney Raine and Laura Bethea. Raine—President—and Bethea—Vice President of Planning and Contracts—discussed a partnership with the SCSEP program.
Shannon Diabin, SARPC Staffing Service Program Coordinator, attended the Baldwin County One-Stop Partner/Interagency Meeting on June 16th. The meeting was held at the County Annex in Robertsdale. Mrs. Diabin spoke about the current openings with agencies and employers in Baldwin and Mobile counties.
Attendees at the One-Stop Partner/Interagency Meeting included:
Anna Odom—Alabama Department of Public Health
Ashley Milligan—Alabama Department of Public Health
Beth Hanks—Department of Rehab Services
Courtney Diaz—Coastal Alabama Community College
Daphne Jordan—Alabama Department of Public Health
Danita Washington—Center for Fair Housing
Debbie Gomillions—Catholic Social Services
Jenny Rey—Coastal Alabama Community College
Joel Sterling—Alabama Department of Rehab Services
Kay Leigh Faircloth—Coastal Alabama Community College
Lisa Jenkins—Center for Fair Housing
Tiffany Givens—BRATS
Vivian Havel—Alabama Career Center-Bay Minette
Cheryl Nicholls, Marketing Executive, attended a job fair hosted by the Brewton Career Center. The event was held at Reid State Technical College on Friday, June 17th. The event was attended by several local businesses and the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Pictured above is Cheryl Nicholls at the Brewton Career Center job fair.

On June 24th, the Staffing Service and SCSEP staff met with Dr. Leida Javier-Ferrell—President of Javier-Calametti LLC. —to discuss outreach to Spanish-speaking communities in the region. Dr. Javier-Ferrell also introduced Ms. Kismeth Melendez, an online marketer for the Hispanic community, to our staff. The pair are working together to help SARPC Staffing grow its outreach.
Mrs. Nicholls also attended two events on July 21st. She set up a table at the Ben May Library in an effort to make job seeking patrons aware of the SARPC Staffing Service. Future plans have been made to set up tables at different libraries once or twice a month.
She also attended the Community Partners luncheon held at the Prodisee Pantry. Mrs. Nicholls shared information with attendees and networked with many other non-profit organization representatives. Attendees at the luncheon included Family Promise, The Family Center, The Shoulder, The Center for Fair Housing and Anchor Cross Cancer Foundation.

Workforce Development

Terri Pringle, Director of Employment and Economic Development Services, attended the SAWDC ACCS Workforce Grants meeting on June 22nd. The meeting was hosted by Coastal Alabama Community College’s Bay Minette campus. Industry experts met to review over $1.1 million in grant requests for program improvements and the creation of training programs.

Pictured above is an image taken at the SAWDC ACCS Workforce Grants meeting.
Pictured above is an image taken at the SAWDC ACCS Workforce Grants meeting.
Revolving Loan Fund
When starting a small business, it is not all about the money. It is about having a plan. This is especially true when applying for funding. Not only is a business plan required by the lending organizations, it used to keep the business on track and maintain success.
This plan is not a document to be left on the shelf. It should be a guide to refer to as the days and years pass. This document reveals the targets that should be met to insure continued revenue and increase revenue trajectory. The business plan should also be reviewed and edited as the business and economy change and grow.
For assistance with compiling a business plan for a start-up or existing business, call the Small Business Development Center at 251-460-6078. Their services are free, but the value is enormous!
Once the business plan is complete, you are ready to seek funding opportunities. Make SARPC’s Revolving Loan Fund your first stop. Call us today at 251-652-0585. We look forward to serving you!

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) hosted the first quarterly meeting for participants and host agencies since the start of COVID-19. The meeting was held in the conference room of the GM&O Building in Mobile. The meeting was used to refresh rules and expectations in the program and address questions for both participants and host agencies.
SCSEP is seeking to add more host agencies. To be a host agency, the entity must be a government entity or a nonprofit organization.
The host agency would have a SCSEP participant on assignment for 19.75 hours per week. It is requested to give an in-kind amount of $1,150 per participant; however, it is not required. The host agency provides the training, while the SCSEP Program pays the stipend of $7.25 per hour—which is paid directly to the participant. SCSEP is responsible for worker’s compensation insurance and all related employment taxes.
Additionally, SCSEP is seeking seniors interested in enrolling in the program in the following counties: Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile. To be eligible, persons must be 55 years or older, unemployed and fall within 125% of the federal poverty income level.
If you are interested in becoming a host agency or know someone who may benefit from participating in SCSEP, please call 251-652-0585 for more information.

Area Agency on Aging
SARPC Partner with City of Saraland for Senior Expo and Fraud Summit
The Area Agency on Aging partnered with the City of Saraland in a Weather Aware hurricane preparation Senior Expo on June 2nd and a Senior Fraud Summit on May 12th. We provided hurricane supplies and preparedness tips at the June event, and highlighted our Senior Medicare Fraud Patrol program at the May event.
Volunteers help support the mission of the Area Agency on Aging and community groups 
South Alabama RSVP provided Volunteers to assist with the Anchor Cross Cancer Foundation Annual Ball held at the Daphne Civic Center Saturday, June 11, 2022. Proceeds from the Ball help qualified patients by providing such financial relief as assistance with utility bills, aid for prescription co-pays, transportation to and from treatment, and purchase of necessary medical supplies. In 2021, ACCF granted nearly $100,000 in total assistance to more than 100 patients, covering 280 bills or expenses related to the treatment of their disease.
Pictures are south Alabama RSVP volunteers at the Anchor Cross Cancer Foundation Ball.
SARPC State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) volunteers assist Area Agency on Aging with Saraland Senior Fraud Summit. Pictures are SHIP volunteers (L to R) Mrs. Atkins, Queen Daniels, Belinda Harris, James Roberson, SHIP Coordinator, and Dr. Bobbie Ragler.
Area Agency on Aging hosting Senior Benefit Fairs
The Area Agency on Aging is back out in the community hosting community Senior Resource Fairs, recently at the Tillman’s Corner Community Center on June 30th and upcoming at the William Bill Clark Family Life Center in Prichard on September 8th. Older adults are able to get needed information about available benefits and community services and talk directly to agency staff. Contact Marcella Nettles for more information at mnettles@sarpc.org
2022 Chat and Chew Townhall Luncheon
The 2022 Chat and Chew Townhall Luncheon for Seniors in District 3 and Alabama State House 103 was held at the GulfQuest Maritime Museum on July 15th and was a huge success! Congratulations are extended to the 2022 Seniors Making a Difference Award winners: Richard Davis, David Ladnier, Joyce Ladnier, and Thelma Cooke Thrash. This is an annual event hosted by City Councilman C.J. Small and Rep. Barbara Drummond and was very well attended. Seniors received a great catered lunch, goody bags and freshly picked watermelons. Featured speakers included Rep. Drummond, Councilman Small and Julie McGee, SARPC’s Area Agency on Aging director. 
SenioRx Partners with Mostellar Medical Center to expand outreach
The SenioRx program assists adults with chronic health problems who have no or inadequate prescription drug coverage by helping them obtain needed medications through pharmaceutical programs, drug discounts and the Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy. The Area Agency on Aging is pleased to announce we have resumed our partnership with the Mostellar Medical Center in the Irvington/Bayou la Batre area, which was paused during the Covid pandemic. This will provide hundreds of older adults and persons with disabilities with help with their medications, and is a valuable expansion of the SenioRx program to serve this community that is often isolated from agency services due to transportation barriers.  
For more information about SARPC call 251-433-6541