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 summer continues to "sizzle" let's be thankful that we live in the United States of  America and in particular our three County Region (Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia).  We have been blessed and SARPC is proud to play a part in many of the great things  happening in Southwest Alabama. Your SARPC staff will continue working diligently  to provide and administer strategic programs that enhance the quality of life in this  part of the State. Your support is greatly appreciated and we welcome your thoughts,  ideas, visits and constructive concerns. 


John F. "Rickey" Rhodes


Mobile MPO Updates

Last week, SARPC Executive Director John F. "Rickey" Rhodes and SARPC Transportation Director Kevin Harrison met with Mr. Vince Calametti, ALDOT SW Region Engineer, and Mr. John Cooper, the Director of the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT).  Rep. Chris Pringle was present as well, however had another engagement prior to the photo.  There was a lot of discussion concerning projects, future projects, funding, and lack of funding. 

US 45 Feasibility Study Update

The next public input meeting for the US 45 Feasibility Study will be August 1st at the City of Prichard Council Chambers in City Hall from 5:30 to 7:00PM. June 28th was the first public meeting for the US 45 Feasibility Study, and was held at Leflore High School. The meeting was well attended by nearly 70 people. Mobile City Councilman Levon Manzie was on hand to guide the meeting and answer questions. Nick Amberger, the City of Mobile Engineer was also present and assisted in answering questions posed by the public. Mr. Drew Davis with Volkert and Mr. Clifton Lambert with CERM presented the attendees with preliminary ideas developed in previous Advisory Committee meetings. These included road diets, sidewalk improvements, bike lanes, and roundabouts at key intersections. The presentation, maps from the meeting, and comment form are available on our website HERE.


The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission will be housing a South Alabama Freight Forum (SAFF).  This forum will meet probably twice a year, and talk about freight issues in terms of our surface infrastructure.  We want to know what the problems are, and develop solutions.  This will also be an opportunity to inform the freight community about various surface infrastructure projects like Water Street, the I-10 Mobile River Bridge, etc.; we will keep you posted. 

Transportation Improvement Program( TIP) Now Online

The TIP represents a four year program (2016-2019) 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 twenty-five year plan for the Mobile Urban area Destination 2040. 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.
2016-2019 E-TIP HERE


Funding & Resource Announcements

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program: HRSA Announces Funding Opportunity for Technical Assistance in Support of Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced a cooperative agreement opportunity for the  Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) -Technical Assistance (TA ).   
HRSA has identified a funding level of $3,000,000 with the expectation of the award of approximately 75 Year 1 planning grants in FY 2018.  Applications are due August 10. (See www.grants.gov )
The purpose is to provide technical assistance (TA) support for rural communities engaging in activities to combat opioid use disorder (OUD). The TA efforts will enhance the organizational and infrastructural capacity of multi-sector consortiums at the community, county, state, and/or regional levels.  The overall goal is the reduction of morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdoses in high-risk rural communities.

Maritime Administration Announces Funding Opportunity under America's Marin Highway Program; Emphases Include Infrastructure Projects, Economic Competitiveness, and Creation and Sustainment of Jobs

America's Marine Highway System consists of our Nation's navigable waterways including rivers, bays, channels, the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway System, coastal, and open-ocean routes. The Marine Highway Program works to further incorporate these waterways into the greater U.S. transportation system, especially where marine transportation services are the most efficient, effective, and sustainable transportation option.
The America's Marine Highway Program is a Department of Transportation-led program to expand the use of our Nation's navigable waterways to relieve landside congestion, reduce air emissions, provide new transportation options, and generate other public benefits by increasing the efficiency of the surface transportation system. The program works with public and private stakeholders to achieve these goals.
The efficiency, flexibility, and system resiliency provided by our navigable waterways can benefit the United States public as a whole, however they are currently underutilized within the U.S. surface transportation system. One reason for that underutilization is that many of the benefits generated by Marine Highway services cannot be captured by individuals, such as reducing landside congestion or reduced system wear and tear. By acting to increase the use of the United States' underutilized marine transportation assets, the America's Marine Highways Program helps to generate these "public benefits" that are not normally considered by shippers.
These public benefits include:
  • Creating and sustaining jobs in U.S. vessels and in U.S. ports and shipyards;
  • Increasing the state of good repair of the U.S. transportation system by reducing maintenance costs from wear and tear on roads and bridges;
  • Increasing our nation's economic competitiveness by adding new, cost-effective freight and passenger transportation capacity;
  • Increasing the environmental sustainability of the U.S. transportation system by using less energy and reducing air emissions (such as greenhouse gases) per passenger or ton-mile of freight moved. Further environmental sustainability benefits come from the mandatory use of modern engine technology on designated projects;
  • Increasing public safety and security by providing alternatives for the movement of hazardous materials outside heavily populated areas;
  • Increasing transportation system resiliency and redundancy by providing transportation alternatives during times of disaster or national emergency;
  • Increasing national security by adding to the nation's strategic sealift resources.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act signed by the President on March 23, 2018, appropriated $7,000,000 for the Program. The purpose of the appropriation is to make grants to previously designated Marine Highway Projects that support the development and expansion of documented vessels, or of port and landside infrastructure. The DOT/Maritime Administration published a June 27 notice announcing the availability of funding for grants and establishes selection criteria and application requirements.

DOT will award grants implement projects or components of projects previously designated by the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) under AMHP. Only Marine Highway projects designated by the Secretary are eligible for funding as described in the notice   Applications must be received by the Maritime Administration by October 18.   See  HERE.

Federal Funding Opportunities Closing Soon:

Below is a list of previously highlighted funding opportunities that are still open. Enter the Opportunity Number in Grants.gov to see announcement details. You can also search Grants.gov for a full list of current federal opportunities, including programs not listed below.
Opportunity Number
Opportunity Title
Posted Date
Close Date
Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources
Rural Communities Opioid Response Program - Technical Assistance
Disaster Resilience (DR) Research Grants Program


Public Meetings, Events and Training

America's Small Business Development Center Annual Conference (September 4 - 7)

The 38th Annual America's SBDC Conference takes place September 4-7, 2018, in Washington, DC, at the beautiful Washington Marriott Marquis. Every year this conference attracts 1,300+ SBDC professionals from all over the nation. These advisors, trainers and directors come together for professional development and networking.
The conference organizers note: "Their passion for small business can be seen in the 140+ workshops that overflow into the hallways, and in the exhibit hall where they eagerly mingle with each other and the tradeshow exhibitors, seeking the latest information on products and services that can ensure the success of their small business clients."
The theme of this year's conference is "Connect & Protect."  The conference webpage is HERE Conference Schedule Overview and Workshop Schedule.   

Reports, Tools and Data

Understanding Local Labor Markets: Census Bureau Releases Q2 2018 Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI)

The Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program is continually working to improve and refine the Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI). This Data Notices document provides information to users on important updates to QWI data and specific data issues that affect certain states. General data issues that affect the QWI are posted at the top of the document; further below, state-specific notices highlight major data features or issues that affect individual states. These Data Notices are designed to inform users of large-scale updates and issues, and this document will be revised as processes are improved or new data quality issues are uncovered.
The Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) is an innovative data product --- published since 2004 --   that provides detailed local labor market statistics by industry, worker demographics and employer characteristics. By using unique job-level data that link workers to their employers, labor market data in the QWI is available by worker age, sex, educational attainment, race, and ethnicity. This allows for many interesting analyses - for instance, users can identify and study industries with aging workforces. Further, links between workers and firms allow the QWI to identify worker flows - including hires, separations, and turnover. Data on worker flows enables researchers to examine which industries have hired workers and the characteristics of new hires. QWI is a powerful tool for understanding trends and dynamics in local labor markets.

The source data for the QWI is the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) linked employer-employee microdata. The LEHD data is massive longitudinal database covering over 95% of U.S. private sector jobs. Much of this data is collected via a unique federal-state data sharing collaboration, the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) partnership. LED is a cooperative venture between the LEHD program at the U.S. Census Bureau and state agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. By integrating data used to administer public programs with existing records and surveys, a new national jobs database is generated at very low cost and with no additional respondent burden. More information on the QWI can be found   HERE.

Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

Disaster Resilience (DR) Research Grants Program Department of Commerce/ National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Disaster Resilience (DR) Research Grants Program seeks applications from eligible applicants to conduct research aimed at advancing the principles of resilience in building design and building codes and standards.  Research proposals must support the overall effort of developing science-based building codes by evaluating potential technologies and architectural design criteria to improve disaster resilience in the built environment.  Research projects must be aligned with existing NIST Engineering Laboratory (EL) Disaster Resilience programs, as described in Section I. of this NOFO/Full Announcement, and any application that is non-research related (such as developing a product) will be disqualified.

EDA Issues NOFO for $587M in Supplemental Funding for Areas Impacted by 2017 Hurricanes, Wildfires and Other Disasters

As noted above, EDA has issued a NOFO (EDA-2018-DISASTER) inviting applications for $587 million in grants available to eligible entities to address economic challenges in disaster-impacted areas. These grants will support disaster recovery activities in areas receiving a major disaster designation as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and wildfires and other 2017 natural disasters. EDA plans to accept proposals on a rolling basis until all funds are obligated. See listing above and these links below for details:
Primary site for Disaster Recovery Assistance: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

Other News and Events
Our Staff attended the Spring Investor's Reception that was hosted by the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance and held at the Bella Sera Gardens in Loxley. Bradley Byrne was in attendance and gave a congressional update on the national legislation and the impact on Baldwin County.

SAFE-T Meeting

On July 19th we hosted the first South Alabama Flood Engagement Team (SAFE-T) meeting.  The purpose of SAFE-T is to create a network for flood management practitioners in south Alabama and to provide opportunity to share challenges, solutions, and resources across local communities. 


Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

During the Senior Community Service Employment Program's quarterly meeting, Christina Boyington informed the participants about the resources offered through the Area Agency on Aging's Aging and its Disability Resource Center.  The participants were encouraged to sign up for a thorough assessment.
Also, the participants heard from a former SCSEP participant and her journey to secure unsubsidized employment.  Ms. Earlean Baldwin was assigned to the Child Advocacy Center about one year ago.  As luck would have it (if you believe in luck) she was hired as a result of the community services she provided to the host agency.  Congratulations to Ms. Baldwin!

Mature Staffing Service

Our service takes the frustration and cost of releasing employees and finding qualified workers off of you and on to us. We are responsible for Worker Compensation costs, payroll taxes, and removing an employee who is just not a good fit.  Try it and see how easy it is.

Contact Shannon Raley at (251) 706-4639 or email her  HERE.

SAPA - South Alabama Purchasing Association

Do you or your staff get frustrated with the bidding process in trying to find the best price for supplies?  Here is some good news......  If your organization is a non-profit or a government entity, you will want to check out the savings the South Alabama Purchasing Association can provide.  SAPA has contracts with companies which provide:  fuel, office supplies, vehicle parts and batteries, asphalt, pine straw, hay, etc.

For more information call Wayne Smith at (251) 463-1271 or EMAIL.  You will be glad you did.

A Matter of Balance

Seniors attending 
A Matter of Balance classes in June at the Brooks Memorial Baptist Church in Atmore are shown exercising to build strength and balance to prevent falls. The next 
A Matter of Balance class is scheduled for September 5, 2018 at the Daphne Senior Center. New classes for Living Well Alabama, Chronic Disease Self-Management are also scheduled, with one beginning on August 2
nd  at the PZK Hall in Robertsdale. Call Marcella Nettles or Carol Massey at the Area Agency on Aging  for more information or to host a class in your community, (251) 433-6541.

New Statewide Awards Made for Meal Program and Long Term Care Services

G.A. Foods , headquartered in Florida, has been awarded the statewide Title III Nutrition Contract by the State of Alabama, operated by the Alabama Department of Senior Services in collaboration with the Area Agencies on Aging.  G. A. Foods won the contract over Valley Services, who had held the contract for the past 15 years.  All 350 Title III senior nutrition centers in Alabama, and seniors receiving home bound hot or frozen meals though the Area Agencies on Aging, will be effected by this change.  According to Julie McGee, Area Agency on Aging director, we expect a commissary cooking local meals will continue to operate in North Mobile County to serve our region, but the location has not yet been announced.

Alabama Select Network, LLC was issued an Intent to Award Notice on June 29, 2018 by the Alabama Medicaid Agency for the new Integrated Care Network (ICN) program, targeted to begin on October 1, 2018.  A final contract award is subject to completion of a readiness assessment and legislative review. The ICN will utilize a Primary Care Case Management Approach, with case management provided by the Area Agencies on Aging.

The ICN program is designed to improve the way Alabama delivers Medicaid-funded Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) by introducing more managed care elements, as the ICN will take on some financial risk and accountability for improving the rebalancing of Alabama's long term care system, shifting the mix of persons receiving home and community based services (HCBS) and nursing home care.  The ICN will receive a monthly payment to deliver case management, education, and outreach to eligible Medicaid beneficiaries.  The overarching goal of the ICN program is to create a more sustainable infrastructure for the delivery of LTSS-one that better integrates the medical and long-term care needs of Alabama's most vulnerable Medicaid beneficiaries and one that gradually shifts LTSS service delivery and expenditures from nursing home care to home and community based services (HCBS).

SARPC Awarded $100,000 Senior Hunger grant by the National Council on Aging.

Alabama is among the leading states in senior hunger given the number of older adults with low incomes who are struggling with medical, housing and food costs.  It is estimated that over 70% of seniors who qualify for SNAP benefits to buy groceries never apply.  Alabama's Elderly Simplified Application makes it easy to receive needed help.  SARPC's Area Agency on Aging and aging network partners will provide outreach, education and application assistance to help persons age 60 and older and persons with disabilities apply for benefits they may be eligible to receive, but are not receiving. For information, contact Larraine Martin at the Area Agency on Aging at (251) 706-4638.

SARPC Hosts Partners in Care with Alzheimer's Foundation of America

On July 26th SARPC hosted a day long workshop for professionals and caregivers in partnership with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.  AFA's mission is to provide optimal care and services to individuals living with dementia, and to their caregivers and families-through member organizations, dedicated to improving quality of life.  A toll free helpline is available to the public to help families, as well as phone and technology connected support groups.  For more information, visit www.alzfdn.org or call 866-232-8484.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Workshop

The annual Grandparents Raising Grandchildren caregiver workshop is September 20 at Catholic Social Services in Mobile. For more information or to register, contact Della Sánchez at the Area Agency on Aging at (251) 706-4650.

2018 Senior Lifestyles Expos

For information about the Senior Expos, contact Larraine Martin at the Area Agency on Aging (251) 706-4638 or larmartin@sarpc.org

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