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

Our hearts and continued prayers go out to those on the East Coast  who have been impacted by Hurricane Florence. Most of us here  remember the devastating effects Hurricane's Ivan and Katrina  had in our Region. But almost immediately in 2004 and again in 2005  your SARPC  staff was meeting with Federal, State, County  and  Municipal officials as strategic plans were made to "Connect citizens  with vital services" in our three Counties. As we all know disasters  can strike at any time in many different ways. Your SARPC staff  stands ready to assist where needed in Escambia, Baldwin and  Mobile Counties. Stay Safe!!


John F. "Rickey" Rhodes

GM & O building flooded during hurricane Katrina in 2005

SARPC Executive Director Rickey Rhodes meets with Governor Kay Ivey


Mobile MPO Updates

There will be an Mobile MPO meeting on October 31 st , 2018 at 10:00 AM, TCC/CAC meeting on October 17 th , 2018 at 10:00 AM, and BPAC meeting on October 3 rd , 2018 12:00 PM. 

US 45 Feasibility Study Update
Two weeks ago, the final stakeholder meeting was held for the US 45 Feasibility Study, with a disappointing turn out. However, we do appreciate Mayor Gardner of Prichard and Mobile Councilmember Fred Richardson for all of their participation in the study. We would also like to thank Kelly Warren, Director of Prevention and Wellness for the Mobile County Health Department for her participation and support of this study. The presentation and maps can be found HERE, and by the end of the September the final report will be available as well.

South Alabama Freight Forum (SAFF)

Recently , the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission housed a freight forum which consisted of staff of local governments, and individuals that are involved in the freight community in South Alabama.  The idea of the forum is to find out the problems in the freight community, and develop solutions.  There is A LOT going on in Mobile right now with the channel to be dredged, Walmart, Airbus, Austal, and it all leads to trucks, and more trucks; they are the backbone of this country.  In fact some key takeaways of the Federal Freight Conditions and Performance Report are:
  • By the year 2045, the total value of freight in the United States is expected to nearly double that of 2012.
  • Trucks move 64 percent of freight by ton and 69 percent of freight by value-by far the single largest mode.
  • Intermodal Connectors provide the "last mile" linkage between freight facilities and the NHS.
  • Since the year 2000, States have designated approximately 182 new freight intermodal connectors.
  • The lack of safe truck parking in all States, and especially in and around large metropolitan areas, is a growing concern to truckers.
The forum was also an opportunity to inform the freight community about various surface infrastructure projects like Water Street, McDonald Road Extension, and the I-10 Mobile River Bridge.  That agenda item actually seemed to have the most interest from the freight community; what projects are going to be done, and when. 
Dr. Shashi Nambisan with the Alabama Transportation Institute  (ATI)  of the University of Alabama also presented.  The ATI will have a program housed in the GulfQuest in the upcoming year. Dr. Nambisan spoke thoroughly on the economics of infrastructure.  Both the economics of the infrastructure improvements, and the economics of not doing anything. The Alabama Transportation Institute will house a research and policy program at GulfQuest, and the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission  will be supportive collaborators with the program. We look forward to it being kicked off in the fall of 2018.

In our efforts to update the freight element of the Long Range Transportation Plan, we have developed a freight survey to be shared with the freight community.  The results and data from this survey, will compliment data we purchased from INRIX, and the APM Terminal Survey, to give a snap shot of where trucks are coming from and going to. In the travel demand modeling world, this is an important piece of information.  
Below is the link to online freight survey and the presentations.  Please forward the link to anyone that may have interest in providing input.

RPO Updates

The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC) will host a meeting of the  Rural Planning Organization (RPO) Committee  at  2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 26, 2017 at the Baldwin County Central Annex at 22251 Palmer Street in Robertsdale, Alabama.
There will be a discussion of current and future transportation projects in the rural areas of our region by the ALDOT Southwest Regional Office. Other items on the agenda include:
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

Economic Development

EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Program -Accepting Applications

The US Economic Development Administration posted a Notification of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on www.grants.gov regarding Economic Development Assistance Program grants available for construction, non-construction, and revolving loan fund investments under the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Programs. Grants made under these programs will leverage regional assets to support the implementation of regional economic development strategies designed to create jobs, leverage private capital, encourage economic development, and strengthen America's ability to compete in the global marketplace. There are no submission deadlines under this opportunity. Proposals and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the publication of a new EDAP NOFO. Click  HERE.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums.

Does your economic development strategy include museums and cultural institutions? The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced availability of Inspire! Grants for Small Museums. This special initiative of the Museums for America Program is designed to inspire small museums to apply for and implement projects that address priorities identified in their strategic plan. IMLS invites applications that focus on providing rich learning experiences for individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and circumstances; supporting partnerships aimed at assessing and addressing the needs of their communities; strengthening the role of museums as trusted stewards of the collections in their care; and/or expanding access to collections and associated resources. Closing Date: November 1, 2018

The goal of the Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services program (NANH program) is to support Indian tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians. It is intended to provide opportunities to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge through strengthened activities in areas such as exhibitions, educational services and programming, professional development, and collections stewardship.  Closing Date: November 1, 2018
The goals of the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program (AAHC program) are to build the capacity of African American museums and support the growth and development of museum professionals at African American museums. The AAHC program supports projects that nurture museum professionals, build institutional capacity, and increase access to museum and archival collections at African American museums and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  Closing Date: November 1, 2018

International Trade

USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion Program. 

The Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) will help U.S. agricultural exporters develop new markets and will help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries' tariff and non-tariff barriers. The ATP provides cost-share assistance to eligible U.S. organizations for activities such as consumer advertising, public relations, point-of-sale demonstrations, participation in trade fairs and exhibits, market research, and technical assistance. The ATP is available to all sectors of U.S. agriculture, including fish and forest product producers, mainly through partnerships with non-profit national and regional organizations. FAS administers the ATP under authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act. Applications must be submitted by November 2, 2018. Funding will be allocated to eligible participants in early 2019. Detailed application information is available here.


USDA Publishes Notice of Solicitation for FY19 REAP Applications (Rural Energy for America Program)

USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative Service has published a Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) in the August 14 FEDERAL REGISTER prior to passage of a final appropriations act. This publication allows potential applicants time to submit applications for financial assistance under Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, and give the Agency time to process applications within the current FY.
The REAP has two types of funding assistance: 
  • The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations.
  • The Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant is available to establish programs to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations. 

The Agency will publish the amount of funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act on its website  HERE .

Previously Announced 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
Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies
FY 2019 Marine Fisheries Initiative (MARFIN)
Small Business Innovation Research Program Phase I Fiscal Year 2019
Inspire! Grants for Small Museums
Museum Grants for African American History & Culture
Agricultural Trade Promotion Program
Delta Health Care Service Grant Program

Public Meetings, Events and Training

Secretary of Commerce Announces New Director of Minority Business Development Agency

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced on September 5 that Henry Childs, II will be the new National Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Mr. Childs will be the 17th National Director of the agency. Established by an Executive Order in 1969, MBDA is the only Federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses.
In addition to his appointment as the National Director of MBDA, Mr. Childs serves as the Policy Advisor to the White House's Office of Public Liaison where he leads the Administration's outreach to the African American community. He also works closely with the Office of American Innovation on economic development issues for urban areas and urban revitalization.
Prior to his appointment as the National Director of MBDA, Mr. Childs served as the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Initiatives for the U.S. Department of Commerce.  As Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Initiatives, he provided counsel on economic development and fostered partnerships with other federal agencies as well as national and international organizations. Mr. Childs also oversees the Department of Commerce's $1 billion in supplemental Congressional funds for disaster recovery and readiness grants after the natural disasters of 2017.

EPA Webinar on Clean Energy Financing, Oct 1 at 2:30 ET

Local governments are pursuing innovative financing to support energy efficiency, renewable energy and other clean energy investments in their operations and communities. Join us to learn about exciting advancements in green banking in the United States and how these strategies can help local governments pursue their environmental, energy, and economic priorities. Our speakers will provide an overview of green banks, the services and benefits they offer, other types of green banking opportunities, and important considerations for local governments interested in engaging in green banking. As part of this webinar, you will hear about experiences from the Connecticut Green Bank, which has worked extensively with local governments and is leading innovations in the field of clean energy finance, and the Montgomery County Green Bank in Maryland, the first U.S. green bank administered by a local government. To join us, please register .

No Cost TA Available on EPA Brownfields Communities Program 

EPA's Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Communities Program helps communities, states, tribes and others understand risks associated with contaminated or potentially contaminated properties, called Brownfields, and learn how to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse them. EPA funds three organizations-Kansas State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the Center for Creative Land Recycling-to serve as independent sources of technical assistance. Each of these TABs has an extensive network of partners, contractors and other contacts that provides services across the country. They help communities tackle a variety of challenges related to identifying, assessing, cleaning up and redeveloping Brownfields. The technical assistance comes at no cost to communities.
For more information, visit EPA's webpage for the full technical assistance description .

Also Upcoming:

Association of Public & Land Grant Universities' Annual Meeting

  • (with focus on resilience, talent and workforce development) (November 11 - 13, New Orleans) Click HERE for details.

Disaster Recovery Resources & Info


Primary site for Disaster Recovery Assistance: Click  HERE

Funding Assistance for Recovery Efforts:

USDA Has Nearly $2 Billion Available to Assist Eligible Producers Affected by 2017 Hurricanes and Wildfires

Agricultural producers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017 now may apply for assistance to help recover and rebuild their farming operations. Signup begins July 16,2018, and continues through November 16, 2018. Click HERE.

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

In April 2018, EDA issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity, (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. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. See the following links for details:

Where to Find Federal Disaster Declarations

Economic Recovery Support

  • Read more about the Economic Recovery Support Function and the National Disaster Response Framework HERE.

Mature Staffing Service (MSS)

August started off with a bang.   The Mature Staffing Service staff meet with 40+ After School Care Site Managers to discuss the process for payroll documents and process in addition to injury reporting and processing. Requests for adding workers continues to grow.
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

The participants in the Senior Community Service Program met for their first quarterly meeting of the new year. Ms. Earlean Baldwin, a previous participant who was recently hired on at her Host Agency, spoke about her experience and how she was hired on. Ms. Baldwin expressed her appreciation for the SCSEP program and how it was the vehicle to provide her this opportunity to work again.

Also, Ms. Christina Boyington shared information regarding the resources provided by the Aging and Disability Resource Center. The participants were encouraged to sign up for a screening of resources available to them.
Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)

We are proud to announce the Pelican Point Advisors are launching their software to assist dentist with the work of managing their practice. Adam Chronister has developed a resource hub to assist dentist with all facets of the business, which include: Human Resources, Insurance, Bookkeeping, Cost Analysis, legal expertise, etc. All of this at a one-stop-shop using the software and contacts Mr. Chronister has developed to make life easier for the dentist to do what they love.....create beautiful smiles!

Legacy Leadership Institute Recruiting Candidates for March 2019 Class

2018 Legacy Leadership Institute graduates at March 16 graduation, all smiles before embarking on their volunteer work with the Area Agency on Aging.  

If you think you may want to volunteer but are unsure which direction you  want to go, consider attending the Area Agency on Aging's free Legacy Leadership  Institute for Older Adults to be held March 11-15, 2019. This one week  program held on the campus of the University of South Alabama utilizes  faculty and vising speakers to educate attendees on aging issues and impactful  volunteering. It is designed to help retired professionals and baby boomers  find their niche in the world of volunteering among opportunities at the Area  Agency on Aging and in their communities.  For information contact Charles Smith at the Area Agency on Aging at 251- 236-3881 or 706-4680.

New Veterans Program now available in South Alabama

"My daughter has lost so much of her independence and she is so young. This program allows her to live in the community where she grew up, close to her support network, and it gives her a degree of control over her care and her future."   Darla, Veteran's mother and caregiver
SARPC's Area Agency on Aging is pleased to announce its partnership with the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District's AAA to provide Veteran Directed Home and Community Based Services. This has been accomplished through an agreement with the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System. GCVHCS consists of the VHA hospital in Biloxi and the VA Outpatient Clinics in Mobile, Pensacola, Eglin Airforce Base and Panama City, serving the four counties along the Alabama Coast, seven counties along the Mississippi Coast, and seven counties in Northwest Florida. SARPC"s AAA will serve Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia and Washington counties in Alabama.
Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services or VDHCBS gives Veterans of all ages the opportunity to receive the Home and Community Based Services they need in a consumer-directed way. Services are designed to allow Veterans to receive services that allow them to stay out of a nursing facility or other institution, and gives them the flexibility to hire their own workers, even certain family and friends, and to get services when and where they want without the limitations often encountered when care is provided by home care agencies. It also allows them more flexibility to save funds to make some purchases they need to make their home environment more conducive to their unique circumstances.
Through the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, all enrolled Veterans are eligible IF they meet the clinical need for the service and it is available. NOTE: This is a new VA program and is only available in certain locations, and is newly available in the Gulf Coast region. There is no copay with this program. However, you may still have a copay if you use Home and Community Based Services. To apply for the program, talk to the medical staff and social worker at your VA medical center or clinic.
Veteran-Directed Care is for Veterans who need skilled services, case management, and assistance with activities of daily living (e.g., bathing and getting dressed) or instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., fixing meals and taking medicines); are isolated or their caregiver is experiencing burden.
Veterans in this program are given a flexible budget for services that can be managed by the Veteran or the family caregiver. Veteran-Directed Care can be used to help Veterans continue to live at home or in their community.
As part of this program, Veterans and their caregiver have more access, choice and control over their long term care services. For example, Veterans can:
  • Decide what mix of services will best meet their needs
  • Hire their own personal care aides (which might include their own family member or neighbor)
  • Buy items and services that will help them live independently in the community
Once approved, the case managers at the Area Agency on Aging and the VA social workers will help with your plan of care, and how to hire and manage your own workers, with payroll handled through the Area Agency on Aging's fiscal service. For information about availability in South Alabama, contact Deanna Williams at SARPC-Area Agency on Aging at 251-706-4695 or dwilliams@sarpc.org.

2018 Senior Lifestyles Expos

Area Agency on Aging Director, Julie McGee, joined by Azalea Trail Maids to greet attendees at the annual Mobile Senior Expo at The Grounds.  The event is attended annually by an estimated 2,000 older adults who experience a day or fun and information about local programs of interest. 

Large free Senior Expos are  held by the Area Agency on Aging each October in Mobile County at The Grounds (fairground) and at the Baldwin County Coliseum in Robertsdale.  For information, contact the Area Agency on Aging at 251-706-4680 .

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