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 we celebrated Veterans Day, I'm sure that our three County Region  citizens recognized how indebted we are for the sacrifices made by our  Veterans. THANK YOU VETERANS from the SARPC staff!!!

The 22 nd Annual Meeting/Strategic Session of SARPC will be held on December  6 th and 7 th at The Grand Hotel. For information please contact me or  Paula McGlasker.  


John F. "Rickey" Rhodes

"On Veterans Day, put out your flags, cheer the marchers at parades, and go to tributes. But when you wake up the next day, Nov. 12, remember that it's still Veterans Day for our veterans and it will be every day of their lives." - General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.)

Thank you to Larry White for his 24 years of dedicated service to the SARPC Board of Directors, pictured with SARPC Executive Director Rickey Rhodes and Chairman Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

Congratulations to our very own Nicole Taylor for being named Best Community Gumbo Champion presented by the Fairhope Kiwanis Club during the Best of the Bay Gumbo Championship.


Mobile MPO Updates

There was a Mobile MPO meeting recently.   The Destination 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) was modified to account for the tolling of the I-10 Mobile River Bridge. When the LRTP was adopted in 2015, tolling was not a financial commitment.  To assist in the planning process, the  LRTP will be modified  to account for the tolling along with changes to the Bike/Ped Element, the Environmental Justice Element, and the Future Traffic Volumes.  Also, the Mobile MPO adopted the PM2 performance measures for bridge and pavement condition, and there were various changes to be made to the 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program. Please see our web page for further details www.mobilempo.org

US 45 Feasibility Study Update

The final stakeholder meeting was held for the US 45 Feasibility Study; the presentation and maps can be found  HERE.
In FY 2018, we had two public meetings, one in Mobile and one in Prichard with over one hundred citizens participating.  In addition to the public meetings, we had four stakeholder meetings. The stakeholder meetings started out strong with over 30 people involved. On August 1st there was a public input meeting at the Prichard City Hall, with an introduction from the City of Prichard Mayor, Mayor Jimmie Gardner.  Despite the weather, we had a pretty good turnout. Several comments were made pertaining to the study, and we gained some good input. 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 final document is complete and may be found  HERE .

RPO Updates

RPO  The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC) held a meeting of the Rural Planning Organization (RPO) in September at the Baldwin County Central Annex in Robertsdale.
The meeting was well attended and there was a lengthy discussion of current and future transportation projects in the rural areas of our region let by the ALDOT Southwest Regional Office. Other items on the agenda include:
  • Adoption of the minutes of the previous meeting
  • Review and adoption of the Fiscal Year 2019 Work Program (available for review online  HERE.
  • Updating the RPO Transportation Plan with Project List (available for review online HERE.

The Work Program for Fiscal Year 2019 includes a new task. This task involves assisting the Alabama Department of Transportation with hosting public meetings regarding the upcoming 2020-2023 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Further information about this endeavor will be forthcoming. Please watch our newsletter for more information.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the above or attached, feel free to call us at (251) 706- 4622. 

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


USDA Announces Grants Available for Training Programs to Assist Veterans Pursue Agricultural Careers (AgVets)

USDA has announced a grant opportunity under AgVets identifying $4,797,500 for investment.  Applications are due by January 10 from eligible organizations. Click HERE to apply.

The Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. AgVets project offer onsite, hands-on training and classroom education leading to a comprehensive understanding of successful farm and ranch operations and management practices. Projects may also offer workforce readiness and employment prospects for service-disabled veterans. Ensuring there are pathways for military veterans interested in pursuing careers in agriculture - regardless of age or production choice - strengthens agricultural production and rural economies across the United States.


USDA Announces Funding Opportunity under the Technical Assistance and Training Program - Water and Waste Water Systems

The Department of Agriculture's Technical Assistance and Training (TAT) Grant Program has been established to communities with water or wastewater systems through free technical assistance and/or training provided by the grant recipients. Applications are due by December 31.

For details, Click HERE.

Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge

NTCA -the Rural Broadband Association is offering grants through the Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge. Funding is to support the development and implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural commerce, healthcare, public safety, economic development, education, energy, and other community-oriented initiatives. Deadline: December 1, 2018. Click HERE to learn more and apply.

Innovation and Advanced Materials

NOAA Seeks SBIR Phase I Applications for new R&D with Commercial Potential. Proposals Due Jan 8.

NOAA's SBIR Program is seeking highly innovative products with excellent commercial potential. All SBIR proposals must directly benefit the NOAA mission, but should also be responsive to the greater market demands in order to be successful. All SBIR applications must be made in response to a NOAA Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). 

The FY19 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) has been posted to Grants.gov. In particular, applicants should review Section 9 for current Research Topics.  To view the full announcement, visit HERE.The deadline for proposals is January 8, 2019. 

For more information, please view the NOAA SBIR Grants Fact Sheet. 

Research Topics

US Forest Service - 2019 Wood Innovations Program Request for Proposals

The Wood Innovations Grants funding supports traditional wood utilization projects, expands wood energy markets, and promotes using wood as a construction material in commercial buildings. 

For detailed information on the application process, visit the 2019 Wood Innovations Program Request for Proposals. Apply by January 23.

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
Technical Assistance and Training (TAT) Grant Program for Water and Wastewater Systems
Solid Waste Management Grant Program
Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans
2019 Wood Innovations Funding Opportunity
Fy 2018 Pre-Disaster Mitigation
FY 2018 Flood Mitigation Assistance

Reports, Tools and Data

Report on Benefits of Investing in Mitigation for Utilities and Transportation Infrastructure

The National Institute of Building Sciences has issued its latest report in a multi-year study on natural hazard mitigation. This report, Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: Utilities and Transportation Infrastructure, examines the potential benefits associated with investing in mitigation for select utility and transportation infrastructure. The project team sought to use Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to look at how the agency's mitigation efforts to address four potential perils and four categories of utilities and infrastructure might benefit communities, and used the data to estimate benefit cost ratios (BCRs) for 12 flood or wind mitigation investments. The project team also supplemented the analysis of EDA grants by studying a few leading options for natural-hazard mitigation of utilities and transportation infrastructure. Download Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: Utilities and Transportation Infrastructure.

US Cluster Mapping Site Updated. 

TCI Network recently announced that the U.S. Cluster Mapping Portal has been refreshed with 2016 cluster data in regions.

The U.S. Cluster Mapping site provides over 50 million open data records on industry clusters and regional business environments in the U.S. to promote economic growth and national competitiveness. It is led by Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Economic Development Administration. Clike HERE for more information.

Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

Primary site for Disaster Recovery Assistance: www.disasterassistance.gov 

Where to Find Federal Disaster Declarations

Is your home, business or community included in a federally declared emergency or disaster area? You can find the latest federal emergency and disaster declarations, as well as prior declarations for other areas, on FEMA's disaster declarations webpage.  

DHS FEMA FY 2018 Pre-Disaster Mitigation - $235 million 

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program makes available Federal funds to State, Local and Tribal Governments to implement and sustain cost-effective measures designed to reduce the risk to individuals and property from natural hazards, while also reducing reliance on Federal funding from future disasters. 

FEMA will provide allocations of $575,000 as required by the Stafford Act to states and territories; and a tribal set aside of $15 million for allocations up to $575,000 for Native American Indian tribal governments to support overall mitigation planning and projects. The remaining PDM funds will be awarded on a competitive basis with a focus on multi-state/tribal mitigation initiatives. Apply HERE by January 31.

DHS FEMA FY 2018 Flood Mitigation Assistance - $160 million 

The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program makes available Federal funds to State, Local and Tribal Governments to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA will seek to fund two types of community flood mitigation activities: Advance Assistance for flood mitigation design and development of community flood mitigation projects and mitigation projects that address community flood risk for the purpose of reducing NFIP flood claim payments. The remaining funding will be used for FMA technical assistance, mitigation planning, and mitigation projects reducing risk to severe repetitive loss (SRL) and repetitive loss (RL) properties. Apply HERE by January 31.

EDA Has Supplemental Funding Available for Areas Impacted by 2017 Hurricanes, Wildfires and Other Disasters

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.  Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. See the following links for details: 

*View the Notice of Funding Opportunity HERE.

*See EDA's Disaster Assistance website for more info including: EDAs Disaster Supplemental FAQ sheet and EDA Regional Office contacts. 

*Read EDA's press release for more information: U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Availability of $587 Million to Aid Communities Impacted by Natural Disasters in 2017.

*For more information, please contact the Atlanta Regional office.


Business Expo and Job Fair

It has officially begun. The 21 st Business Expo and Job Fair has kicked off with the department adding an employee to assist with the event and all the other programs under the Employment and Economic Development Services. 

Seen here is Alyssa Nelson (Program Assistant), Terri Pringle (Director), and Rickey Rhodes (Executive Director). Ms. Nelson is holding the first contract to kick off the fun. May 9 will be here before you know it.

Mature Staffing Service (MSS)

The Mature Staffing Service staff has been instrumental in developing a workforce development plan in which Bishop State Community College and the Saraland School Board will partner to provide resources for students to be able to offer dual enrollment. Additionally, Bishop State is reaching out to young people who have dropped out of school but desire to learn a skill through a program titled "Fix It." The program targets out-of-school youth ages 17-24. Participants can earn a GED (if needed) when the core courses are completed. To continue into the next phase students will need to pass a drug test. Upon acceptance, participants will receive $300 towards tools and a stipend of $20 per day. You read that right..they will be paid to be trained. 

The disciplines of study are: auto repair, carpentry, painting, plumbing, and electrical.
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

Participants in the Senior Community Service Program met for their quarterly meeting. Ms. Kim Garrett of Victory Health Partners presented information as to what kind of clients can receive care from the clinic. Ms. Garrett explained how varied their services are. In addition to the routine care for colds, flu, and allergies, they offer diagnostic services and recently added dental care.

They are a non-profit organization existing on some revenue from services but a great deal from generous individuals and businesses in the community. Several doctors donate their time and skills to reach those who do not have the opportunity to receive medical care any other way.
The Victory Health Partners welcomes you to visit them and to see how they are making our community a little healthier. Stop by sometime and see for yourself.
Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)

The Revolving Loan Fund staff is involved in the Mobile Chamber of Commerce's Small Business  Council. One of the members, Judy Sigler of the Mobile Public Library - Main, organized a section of the library for the purpose of offering resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The grand opening was November 14. Pictured above is Judy Sigler of the Library (in the coat) and Tara Holland, Program Assistant of Employment and Economic Development Services. The resources are seen in the background along with Revolving Loan Fund information displayed.

Baldwin County Senior Expo held November 28th

A large crowd of seniors turned out for the Baldwin County Senior Expo, which sported a holiday theme. Pictured is Julie McGee, Area Agency on Aging Director, and our volunteer Santa, Alan Martin.

Highlights of the Expo included the Medicare Mall, Wheel O Fortune, a Health Fair, a local vendor's market, pictures with Santa, free lunch and tote bag, and some 60 information booths, giveaways and prizes. Fun was had by all.

James Roberson, Marcella Nettles and SHIP volunteer Anna Watson, staff the Area Agency on Aging's SHIP ( State Health Insurance Program) booth at the November 28 Baldwin County Senior Expo.

Open Enrollment for Medicare Ends December 7th

Open Enrollment ends December 7th, so hurry and call SARPC's office at 251-706-4680 if you need help reviewing your Medicare plan options for 2019.

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