NOTE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I hope everyone has been enjoying a nice and safe summer thus far. If you are like me, you're trying to enjoy every last bit of summer with family and friends before the kids return to school and the pace picks up again.
While summer signifies a time for relaxation, you will note in this edition of the SARPC Digital Newsletter that the SARPC team has been quite busy working within the region, throughout the state and the country on a number of fronts that contribute to the overall success of South Alabama.
As we begin the process of budgeting for the 2015-2016 SARPC fiscal year, I can confidently say that the SARPC staff are dedicated to the delivery of highly affordable, cost-efficient and innovative programs and services that return tremendous value to the investments of SARPC's member governments in the organization. We're very proud of the projects that are on the horizon and look forward to getting them started! Thank you.
The TAP Project Selection Committee met in May, 2015 and three applications were recommended to be funded:
* Mobile County- Sidewalks on Old Pascagoula Rd from Horseshoe Lane to Theodore Dawes Rd, sidewalks on Howell's Ferry Rd from Allentown Elementary to Snow Rd. $200,000 (fed), $140,401 (match), $340,401 (total)
* The City of Mobile- Sidewalks along DIP from Levene Rd to Cedar Park Drive $148,000 (fed), $37,000(match), $185,000 (total)
* The City of Semmes- Sidewalks along US98 from Illinois St to Firetower Rd to the Public Works facility, Church St from Illinois St to Wulff Rd, and Park Ave from Illinois St to Wulff Rd $191,936 (fed), $47,984 (match), $239,921 (total)
Six applications were received, unfortunately due to funding limitations, only three projects were able to be funded. SARPC is now responsible for Urban Area TAP funds pre-agreement meetings which were held July 15th, 2015. The FY 2014-2013 funds that were awarded last year are already under construction. Old Shell Road (in the Springhill area) sidewalks are currently under construction (see below) and Mobile County's awarded project will begin this month as well.
FTA 5310 FUNDING
SARPC is the Designated Recipient of Urban Area Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 5310 Funds, Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities. The application deadline for FY 2015 and FY 2016 funds was July 23rd, 2015. There are over $800k available to eligible applicants in the Mobile Urbanized Area.
We are already in the procurement process for the vehicles that were awarded this time last year for the FY 2013 and FY 2014 FTA 5310 funding.
NON-MOTORIZED MOBILITY STUDY FOR DOWNTOWN MOBILE
The Non-Motorized Mobility Study for Downtown Mobile is an in depth look at bicycle / pedestrian safety and connectivity in Downtown Mobile and the radial connections to the Henry Aaron Loop. This is to include a look at numerous sidewalks, sidewalk ramps and curb cuts that are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that will be identified and inventoried within the Henry Aaron Loop. In May, Toole Design Group came to Mobile for what was called "Toole Design Week". With SARPC, they conducted several public meetings and a series of meetings with various stakeholders.
Some of the recommendations are more "robust" than others, like several roundabouts on the Henry Aaron Loop. The focus of the study is to make downtown more attractive. Providing non-motorized facilities does just that. Further, as you approach downtown, it will be evident that you have made it to downtown by some signature urban facilities. The draft document will be completed shortly, and will be vetted with all the stakeholders and the public July 28th.
Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan (HSCTP)
SARPC staff held the Mobile County HSCTP public meeting in June, Baldwin County's meeting was July 21st and Escambia County meeting is at the end of July. If any agency in the region is intending on applying for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds, they must have been a part of this process and attend one of these meetings. Please contact us if you have any questions.
SARPC EDDS Participates in Small Business Week
SARPC Employment and Economic Development Services Department (EEDS) participated
in activities for National Small Business Week sponsored locally by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. The week began with a meeting of Resources for Small Businesses at the Regional Library on Grelot Road. Traditional and non-traditional lenders were represented. SARPC's Employment and Economic Development Department distributed information regarding the Revolving Loan Fund to business owners and banks.
Later in the week a "Where is the Money" panel was set up to present specific information regarding lending opportunities. The "Where is the Money" session allowed entrepreneurs to present business opportunities to the panel and to learn which organization could better serve their capital needs. Terri Pringle (EEDS) represented SARPC's Revolving Loan Fund on the panel. The session was recorded by the Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for future use in business classes at the University of South Alabama.
Small Business Week concluded with an Awards Luncheon in which Hargrove and Associates was named the 2015 Small Business of the Year. Hargrove and Associates is a former SARPC RLF borrower. SARPC is proud to have supported the company in early expansions in 2006. Since that time, Hargrove has earned state and national recognition.
GOVERNMENT PLANNING STAFF UPDATE
The Governmental Planning Department continues to assist the City of Bayou La Batre with their Comprehensive Plan and the City of Chickasaw with their Zoning Ordinance. Both of these projects were funded through the State Lands Division, Coastal Zone Management Program. We are also assisting the Town of Summerdale with their Comprehensive Plan which is funded through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the Utilities Board of the City of Bayou La Batre with their CIAP grant and the City of Brewton with their gas line project which was partially funded with a Delta Regional Authority Grant.
Nicole Taylor, a planner on our staff, is a member of the Florida- Alabama Community Rating Systems User Group. As a member of that group she participates in teleconferencing and will continue to provide valuable information to our member governments. On July 1 we co-hosted an informative, interactive workshop for local building officials and community development personnel to learn the steps needed to join and succeed in the Community Rating System. Continuing education was also available for participants. The Workshop was approved for ASFPM 3.5 CFM CEs and AICP CEs.
Our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Annual Update has been approved by the CEDS Committee. It is currently posted on the SARPC web site. After 30 days it will be sent to EDA, ADECA and the DRA.
We are now working with the City of Spanish Fort on their Alabama Communities of Excellence Program. They are scheduled to graduate in May 2017.
There are two potential opportunities that may be of interest to you. The first is a new announcement aimed at supporting rural communities or small towns that might be interested in Farmers Markets, downtown redevelopment and related work. The Local Foods, Local Places program is announcing another round of workshops. Federal agencies supporting this program are: EPA, USDA, Appalachian Regional Commission, Delta Regional Authority, CDC and DOT. These do not involve direct funding to towns, but rather a team of EPA funded experts and federal partners will hold a day and a half workshop to help make communities develop strategies and goals to achieve the goals related to these interest areas.
Supporting local food production can improve economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses and give residents better access to healthy, fresh food. It can also spur revitalization of a main street, downtown, or neighborhood by bringing new activity. Communities interested in these benefits are invited to apply for technical assistance from the Local Foods, Local Places Program. The application deadline is September 15, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Local Foods, Local Places will provide direct technical support to selected communities. A team of experts will help community members develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities and to drive downtown and neighborhood revitalization. For more information and a link to the application, visit http://www2.epa.gov/smart-growth/local-foods-local-places.
The second item is from Global Green, an EPA grantee, who works on helping communities plan LEED certified neighborhoods using their day and a half workshop. Again, no funding is exchanged but rather selected communities will receive direct technical assistance. Global Green is accepting applications for no-cost technical assistance that can help communities create greener, more equitable, and more vibrant neighborhoods. The assistance uses Global Green's sustainable neighborhood assessment tool, which is based on the LEED for Neighborhood Development standard, a nationally recognized method for creating neighborhoods that are walkable, bikeable, resource-efficient, and equitable. This free assistance is being provided under a grant to Global Green from EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities' Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. Eligible applicants are local and tribal governments. The deadline for applications is July 17, 2015, at midnight PST.
For more information and the application form, visit Global Green Here
ALABAMA SILVER HAIRED LEGISLATURE ANNOUNCED 2015-2017
Congratulations to the 2015-2017 members of the Alabama Silver-Haired Legislature for South Alabama who serve in a volunteer capacity based on Alabama House Districts: Charlotte Boyle, District 66; Barbara Wheeler, District 94, John Stetzinger, District 95; Eartha Martin, District 96; John Paul Jones, District 97; Annie Davis, District 98; Linda Davis, District 99; Bill Cobb, District 100; Ann Burhans, District 101, Ms. Willie Taylor, District 103; Samuel Hasan, District 104; Violetta Simpson, District 105 and James Strawn, member-at-large.
BALDWIN COUNTY SENIOR EXPO - OCTOBER 1ST
Please plan to join us at the Baldwin County Senior Expo Thursday morning October 1
at the Coliseum in Robertsdale. For information on sponsorship or becoming an exhibitor, contact Gay Watson at SARPC at 251-706-4671. As always, admission, parking, educational materials, health screenings, giveaways and lunch are free to the public!
The Escambia County Caregiver College was held at Southern Pine Electric on July 23 in Brewton. The next Caregiver College will be held November 12 at the VIA Center in Mobile. Contact Della Sanchez for more information at 251-706-4650.
|Pictured is Alec Brown, Legal Counseling for the Elderly, presenting to full house at the Brewton Caregiver College held at Southern Pine Electric on July 23rh, sponsored by SARPC. The next Caregiver College will be held at the VIA! Center in Mobile on November 12.
MEDICARE "TRAIN THE TRAINER" ANNUAL MEDICARE UPDATE - OCTOBER 8TH
Annual Trainer the Trainer Medicare Update to be held Thursday morning October 8th at the VIA! Center in Mobile. This training is held annually to prepare professionals who work with seniors for Medicare Open Enrollment which is from October 7 to December 15 annually. For information, contact James Robertson at SARPC at 251-706-4617.
SB 431 INTEGRATED CARE NETWORKS LAW PASSED
What is an Integrated Care Network (ICN)?
The ICN covers Medicaid beneficiaries in a nursing facility or home and community based waiver programs (includes all the Medicaid Waiver programs operated by the Area Agencies on Aging). The Integrated Care Network will consist of one or more statewide organizations of health care providers that secure a risk contract with the Medicaid Agency to provide Medicaid long term care benefits and assumes risk for the cost of the services under a capitated payment. It will have a 20 member Board of which 12 are risk bearing participants and 8 do not represent risk bearing participation. There will also be a Citizens Advisory Committee.
The ICN shall contract with any willing nursing home, doctor, home and community waiver program or other provider to provide services. The provider among other requirements must be willing to accept payments and terms offered comparable providers, where applicable, but in no event less than amounts historically paid by Medicaid to comparable providers. Collaboration among public payers, private health carriers, third party purchasers, and providers will identify appropriate service delivery systems and reimbursement methods in order to align incentives in support of integrated and coordinated health care delivery in the best interest of the public. The State hopes to also balance its long term care system. Currently approximately 70% of long term care dollars are spent for nursing home care and 30% of the dollars are spend on home and community based care. Alabama hopes to rebalance its system to better serve its citizens while reducing costs and move towards providing long term care with approximately 50% of the dollars spent on nursing facilities and 50% for home and community-based care, which is the model achieved in other states.
- By April 1, 2017 Medicaid will establish ICN rules
- By April 1, 2018 Medicaid will initiate competitive procurement for ICN services
- By October 1, 2018 one or more ICNs will be certified by Medicaid and begin to deliver services
The ICNs presents challenges and opportunities for the Regional Councils and the Area Agencies on Aging. Work will begin in earnest in FY 16 to begin preparing the Medicaid Waiver programs for competition.
July we celebrate some important national anniversaries for older adults programs. July is both the 50th anniversary of both Medicare and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 40th anniversary of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The Older Americans Act funds many of our local senior programs such as senior centers, meals, home delivered meals, family caregiver programs, health promotion, transportation, legal counseling, Long Term Ombudsman, and our Aging and Disability Resource Centers. The White House Conference on Aging was held on July 13, 2015 in conjunction with these celebrations and coincides with efforts to reauthorize the Older Americans' Act.