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








SARPC ANNUAL MEETING and STRATEGIC SESSION will be held on January 12-13, 2023 at The Grand Hotel in Point Clear. Our invited presenter’s list will include Mr. John Cooper, ALDOT Director; Mr. John Driscoll, Alabama State Port Authority; Mr. Chris Curry, President of Mobile International Airport; Justice Jean Brown, Alabama Department of Senior Services; Legislative Delegation from our Region; Economic Developers from our Region; and a motivational, inspirational message from Dr. Ted Mashburn of University of Mobile and Josephine Baptist Church.
Also included will be great food, entertainment, and numerous networking opportunities. Please contact me for SPONSORSHIP information. 

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


Mobile MPO Updates

Technical Coordinating/Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting
Wednesday, January 4th, 2023 at 10:00 am 
GM&O Building, 110 Beauregard St, Mobile, AL 36602
Mobile MPO Policy Board Meeting
Wednesday, January 18th, 2022
GM&O Building, 110 Beauregard St, Mobile, AL 36602
At the next meeting of the Mobile MPO, there will be several items to consider including new Performance Measure Targets, Carbon Reduction Program Funding, and the 2024-2027 Transportation Improvement Plan. Also the Mobile MPO’s Triennial Review has been scheduled for March 28th and 29th.

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 1st is a recommendation from the State, so Obligation Authority does not become an issue. If a Mobile MPO member government has a project in mind, Here is Project Proposal Form that details the information needed to apply for these funds.
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 recently took bids on the MPO CRRSAA projects for cities identified eligible under this program. The low bidder for this project was under the budget and so, at least initially, it appears all roads submitted and approved will be able to be paved. This bid also gives us a little flexibility to address potential overruns/additional work should it be seen necessary given the condition of some of the streets.

Over the next 2 months, the Department will review bids to determine award status. Once awarded, contracts will be sent for execution to the contractor and ALDOT. Once executed, the Notice to Proceed will be issued and a preconstruction conference held. 

Work is expected to begin in the 1st quarter of 2023 but we will get a better idea from the contractor at the preconstruction meeting likely to be held in January.

The latest cost estimates are:

  •  Resurfacing Dead Lake Rd. From Sr-13 (Us-43) To Exit 22 Of I-65 In The City Of Creola $394,861.

  • Resurfacing Grand Blvd. Hill St. 4Th St. Howell St. And 5Th Ave. In The City Of Chickasaw $242,623.

  • Resurfacing Old Hwy 43 From Baker Rd. To Juniper Ave. And Two Intersections On Harrison Ave. At Thomas Rd. And At Norton Dr. In The City Of Satsuma $340,237.

  • Resurfacing Semmes Court Semmes Dr. North Semmes Dr. East Rowell Court Rowell Lane Whistestone Dr. And Graystone Dr. In The City Of Semmes $358,989.

  • Resurfacing Short Lott Rd. Sugarmill Rd. Oak Cliff Dr. Clancey Dr. Gatti Ave. Meaher Ave. Garrison Ave. Rich Ave. Meadow Ave. And South Atmore Ave. In The City Of Prichard $771,004.

  • Resurfacing State Docks Rd. From Shell Belt Rd. To City Owned Property Powell Ave. From Little River Rd. To Seafood House Rd. And Lottie Ave. From E. Alba St. To Hemley Rd. In The City Of Bayou La Batre $294,624.

  • Resurfacing W. Everett Ave. Russell St. Beckman Ave. Ruben Ave. Ponce De Leon Cedar St. And Lucille St. In The City Of Saraland $449,302.

RPO Updates

Applying TSMO to Rural Areas

Posted: 10/25/2022
Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) has been known to be effective in urban and suburban areas. However, TSMO can also be effective in addressing some of the unique challenges found in rural transportation. This new FHWA document, Applying TSMO to Rural Areas, provides an overview of how TSMO can be utilized here. This document also showcases examples in 5 key areas: Road Weather Management, Traffic Incident Management, Work Zone Management, Planned Special Events, and Seasonal Demand.

RPO Updating the Transportation Plan for the Rural Areas
The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC) Rural Planning Organization is currently updating the Transportation Plan for the SARPC Region. The plan for last year is available for review online at http://www.mobilempo.org/RPODocuments.html.
We are also updating the online interactive map of projects:

If you have a project that you would like to add to the transportation plan call Tom Piper at (251) 706- 4622. 

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
Fall has been a busy time for SARPC’s Community Development Department. In addition to assisting our member governments with development applications, map changes, grant applications, and other planning needs, SARPC planners have been assisting some of our cities with the following projects:

  • City of Citronelle – New Zoning Ordinance & Zoning Map

  • City of Semmes – New Comprehensive Plan

  • Town of Dauphin Island – New Zoning Ordinance & Zoning Map

  • City of Atmore – New Rail Spur and Industrial Access Road inside Atmore’s Industrial Park

  • City of Brewton – New water supply well

  • SARPC - EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant- SARPC has recently partnered with PPM Consultants to apply for an EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant. If awarded, PPM Consultants will begin a two-year project with SARPC to identify and assess the condition of selected Brownfield sites in targeted areas of the Region. The assessment will establish an inventory of Brownfield sites as well as determine if the selected sites are in fact contaminated. Once the assessment is complete, SARPC can assist our local municipalities with securing EPA grant funds to remediate the site in order to redevelop an abandoned property into an attractive investment opportunity for economic development. Brownfield Assessment Grants essentially provide funding to inventory, characterize, assess, conduct a range of planning activities, develop site-specific cleanup plans, and conduct community engagement related to Brownfield sites. These funds are routinely offered through the EPA as well as ADEM. These programs provide an opportunity for municipalities in SARPC’s Region to have increased access to available federal and state funds for Brownfield site assessments, which ultimately leads to the redevelopment of blighted properties in efforts to spur economic growth in our communities throughout the Region. Going forward, SARPC plans to extend our services to our member governments to serve as the Region’s resource to these funds and redevelopment efforts. If there is a potential site or target area in your community that may be a possible Brownfield site or if you’re interested in learning more about this partnership opportunity with SARPC, please contact Nicole Taylor, Director of Community Development, at ntaylor@sarpc.org or (251) 706-4659.

Additional information about Brownfield Assessment Grants and the proposed project can be found on the EPA’s website at the following link:

Also, check out the information in SARPC’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for an interactive map that provides information regarding Brownfield redevelopment. Links to the pdf version the CEDS or the story map of the CEDS can be found on SARPC’s website at: www.sarpc.org or at:

Please contact any of the staff members of the Community Development Department if you have questions about any of our projects, funding opportunities, assistance with grant applications and management, mapping needs, training events, or other planning services.

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


  • SARPC is happy to welcome Ms. Sarah Wraight as a new staff member to the Community Development Department. Ms. Wraight joins our team as a GIS Technician, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and skills in GIS. She is a valuable addition to SARPC and we are so happy to Welcome Sarah!!
  • In late October, our staff planners attended the annual Alabama/Mississippi Joint Planning Conference in Orange Beach where we learned about new planning initiatives that included topics such as: implementing resiliency measures in planning, boosting economies in underserved areas, successful strategies to regenerate communities to recruit and retain youth populations, preparing for future housing needs, the benefits of trails and greenways in communities, and incorporating green stormwater infrastructure into subdivision regulations and zoning codes. These are just some of the topics discussed at the planning conference. Let our planners know if you would like to know more about any of these wide-ranging and interesting planning initiatives that could be implemented into your community.
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, Director of Community Development for more information or if interested in applying for any of these opportunities at ntaylor@sarpc.org or (251) 706-4659.
  • Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) The State was recently awarded $311,732,000 via the federal Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (Public Law 117-43) to improve the disaster recovery and mitigation efforts in the State’s most impacted and distressed areas resulting from Hurricanes Sally and Zeta that occurred in 2020, which includes all of Mobile and Baldwin counties as well as the 36502 zip code in western Escambia County. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated the CDBG Disaster Recovery funds and ADECA is the State Administering Agency for these funds. The grant will provide funding to communities to build long-term resilience to natural disasters and meet impacts of climate change – with a specific focus on low-income and moderate-income populations – by directing expenditures on disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, economic revitalization, and mitigation. ADECA is in the early stages of developing a plan to guide the grant process for these funds. In the coming months, the agency will lead public meetings to gather feedback as part of the plan’s development. The final plan will include details on the types of recovery projects, eligibility for local governments and the application process. After the plan is approved by HUD, ADECA will begin the application process. Information regarding the funds and the planning process will be posted to the CDBG Disaster Recovery page of ADECA’s website which is available at: www.adeca.alabama.gov/cdbg-disaster-recovery. Check this website often for updated information as the plan is developed.
  • USDA Seeks Applications to Support Regional Economic and Community Development Planning U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development announced that USDA is seeking applications to implement regional economic and community development projects to create thriving communities in rural America. This funding is available under the Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) initiative and authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. Learn more about SECD and this opportunity at the following link: https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/11.07.2022-SECD-Stakeholder-Announcement.pdf.

Planning Resources

NOAA Releases Practitioner’s Guide to Implementing Resilience:
NOAA and its partners have released Implementing the Steps to Resilience: A Practitioner's Guide, a handbook for national climate resilience. The resource is designed to help climate adaptation practitioners work with local governments and community organizations to incorporate climate risk and equity into their long-term decision making. Copy and paste the following link you’re your browser to download the guide:
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 


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:

Employment and Economic Development Services
SARPC Staffing Service

Cheryl Nicholls, Marketing Executive, attended the fall career fair at Spring Hill College on October 29. The event was split into three days, with the final day geared specifically towards non-profit and government organizations.

On November 3, She also attended the fall career fair at the University of Mobile. This event was also geared towards non-profit and government organizations.
Pictured is Mrs. Nicholls at Spring Hill College (left) and the University of Mobile (right).

If you are interested in working with SARPC Staffing, please call (251) 652-0585 for more information.
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 is a community service and work-based training program for older workers.
The program helps seniors transition into unsubsidized employment by providing the skills and knowledge needed to complete job search.
SCSEP is seeking seniors interested in enrolling in the program. Openings are available 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.
Eligible participants are places at a host agency—nonprofit organization or government entity. While on assignment, participants work a 19.75-hour work week and receive a stipend of $7.25 an hour. Participants are eligible to participant in the program for up to four years, or until they find unsubsidized employment.
SCSEP is continually seeking to add more host agencies. It is requested that host agencies 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 directly pays the participants. SCSEP is responsible for worker’s compensation insurance and all related employment taxes.
If you are interested in participating in our SCSEP program or becoming a host agency, please call 251-652-0585 for more information.

Area Agency on Aging
A Note from the Area Agency on Aging Director Julie McGee -Behind Every Number is a Person

Our agency is currently working with other AAA’s around the state to create a Statewide Aging Publication. This document will capture critical information so we can better tell the story of how we serve those in the community. As we were looking at the data, it occurred to me that every number represents someone who has been helped by our agency: eaten a meal in a Senior Nutrition Center, been given caregiver support, were helped navigate the challenging world of Medicare, received help paying for the medications, and more. Here are just a few of numbers that show how we are supporting the community:

  • More than 16,000 citizens called our Aging Disability and Resource Center for support
  • About 7,000 clients were provided assistance with their Medicare plans
  • $7.5 million was saved through accessing the Senior RX prescription drug program
  • Close to 618,000 meals were served, door-to-door, as part of emergency food kits and in Senior Centers.

We do the work of promoting the dignity and independence of older persons, their caregivers and the disabled by providing certain services through our office and by contracting with some 50 community agencies to provide programs and services. If you - or someone you know – needs support, please call our office at 251-706-4680.

Best Wishes During the Holiday Season,

Class was in session at the Caregiver College held in November

Caregivers of those with Dementia learned the basics of the most common form of the disease, what to expect during different stages, and strategies to cope with daily communication and safety challenges. The Just 4 Me coping curriculum featured stress and relaxation techniques, skills for coping with grief and loss and most importantly, taking time to care for yourself. In addition to the Caregiver College series, the AAA also provides a free Alzheimer’s -Dementia Helpline at 251-706-4680, and the Trualta program, a free and easy interactive eLearning platform to help families manage home care. The Alabama Cares program provides services through: information, assistance, counseling, respite care and related supportive services. For more information, contact Della Sanchez at 251-706-4650 or dellasanchez@sarpc.org.
The National Family Caregivers Month of November

As November comes to a close, here's more amazing facts about our country’s caregivers:

In Alabama, 1.3 million! There are an estimated 1.3 million caregivers in Alabama.

800 million! These caregivers provide approximately 800 million hours of unpaid care at home.

In our Country, 53 million! Every year at least 53 million people provide informal – and usually unpaid – care and support to aging family members
3 million! More than 3 million Grandparents – and other kinship caregivers – care for children whose parents were unable to do so.

We Can Continue to Celebrate Our Caregivers Every Day.

Visit the Area Agency on Aging Caregivers Page:
Call for Support: 251.706.4680

REMINDER: Medicare Open Enrollment Ends December 7th. Each year brings NEW health plan and drug coverage choices. Review your current plan for:

  • Cost savings
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Ability to go to the doctor or pharmacy you want
  • Extra benefits, like vision, hearing and dental

We Can Help! Make Your Free Appointment with a trained State Health Insurance Program Counselor today:

AAA Welcomes New Public Relations Specialist

Barbara Estes has joined the AAA Team as a Public Relations Specialist. Barbara comes to AAA from the Via Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center, where she handled marketing for the organization for more than a decade. Barbara will assist in marketing the agencies programs, publishing the Senior Resource Guide, building social media presence, developing program specific marketing tools, the newsletter and other projects that advance the mission of the agency by more broadly communicating programs and services provided. Barbara has a Journalism degree from Auburn University and more than 20 years of experience in the marketing and communications arena.

Medication Surveys Needed
Would You Like to Share Your Thoughts About Your Medications and Non-Medication Based Pain Treatments?

Participate in a survey that will last no longer than one hour and receive $30 for your time.

The University of Alabama College of Social Work would like to hear your thoughts about the medications you take to manage your chronic health conditions, including pain. They are also interested in hearing your thoughts about non-medication-based treatments that may be helpful to manage your pain.

Participation Requirements:
  • At least 65 years old and have good thinking skills
  • Live in Alabama
  • Live outside of nursing homes
  • Have more than one health condition (diagnosed by a doctor) that has lasted for 1 year or longer AND take medication(s) regularly to treat the condition(s)
  • Have chronic pain that has lasted longer than 3 months AND take pain medication(s) regularly

Survey Contact:
Dr. Hyunjin Noh, University of Alabama College of Social Work
Phone: 205-523-5671
Email: hnoh1@sw.ua.edu

Inflation Fighting Programs
Covid Vaccinations and Boosters
For more information about SARPC call 251-433-6541