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








I am happy to report that the SARPC Board of Directors at our September 15th meeting approved the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget of $22,214,073. Of this amount over $15,000,000 comes to the Region from Federal sources and over $2,000,000 from State sources. Only 4% of our operating budget, $867,025 is from local funds including Pro Rate dues from member Governments. Of this local amount, over $23.00 is expected to return to the Region from other funding and benefit expenditures for SARPC member Governments and their citizens for each dollar contributed.

The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission will continue providing a professional, highly trained and caring staff as we administer numerous programs and services that benefit and enhance the quality of life in our Region (Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia Counties).

Many thanks to the SARPC Board of Directors for your continued interest and support of this Agency.

John F. (Rickey) Rhodes
Executive Director


Update on Phase One of the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project on 9/20/21
Earlier this week, ALDOT presented to the Mobile MPO and the Eastern Shore MPO an update on Phase One of the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project at Five Rivers Resource Center in Spanish Fort. This meeting was the second of many updates that ALDOT will provide to both MPOs.  
When the Mobile MPO and Eastern Shore MPO both met separately on June 2nd, 2021, both MPOs amended each Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to include Phase One of the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project. Both MPOs passed the amendments unanimously. Both the Mobile and Eastern Shore LRTPs included funding for Phase One to be a toll on heavy trucks, with the potential for voluntary vehicular tolls. All legacy routes would remain free.
It was recognized by the Mobile MPO and ESMPO Chairman, that there needed to be more communication between the two MPOs concerning this project, and more transparency from all those involved. The next meeting will likely be in November or early December.

South Alabama Regional Planning Commission has created a web site that will house the Joint MPO updates from ALDOT on the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project HERE
Mobile Area Major Road Plan
The Plan is for better integration and connectivity of land use and transportation planning, to ensure existing and future on-system corridors are managed and/or preserved as part of the long-range comprehensive planning efforts and as development occurs. A complete Major Road Plan to include regulatory components, current practices, case studies, and guidance for Mobile County and Municipalities within Mobile County. The Plan will include methods and tools for acquiring and preserving right-of-way in the context of expediting the environmental clearance process and review how corridors are prioritized, designated, and adopted for management or preservation. This will require coordination with all planning jurisdictions in Mobile County.

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 competitive application award program. This funding can be 100% federal funding with no matching requirements; this presents a rare opportunity for the Mobile MPO.
Some of our municipalities in the Mobile MPO, do not have adequate revenue streams to provide the matching requirements when federal funds become available. Further, some of the smaller municipalities in the MPO only have one Federal Aid Route in their municipal limits (US43, SR181). Rarely do these municipalities have the opportunity to spend federal transportation funds through the MPO. Per the above noted guidance, routine maintenance and preventative maintenance on non-federal aid highways is allowed if Special Authority is given to the MPO by the State.
The State of Alabama has awarded the Mobile MPO the Special Authority to proceed.
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. The CRRSAA Committee is meeting next week to move forward with this program. This is 100 % funding, with no matching requirements. Communication with MPO staff is through the Mayor of each municipality. 
Please call Kevin Harrison 706-4635 if there are any questions.

RPO Updates

The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC) met yesterday using the GoToMeeting app.
One item on the agenda was to amend the Fiscal Year 2021 Work Program to include assisting ALDOT by facilitating the public involvement process for ALDOT’s draft Public Involvement Plan for Statewide Transportation Planning.
The purpose of the plan is to implement effective ways for ALDOT to gather information from the public about their transportation needs. The plan is available on ALDOT’s website. All comments must be received on or before October 4, 2021.
ALDOT’s Draft PIP is posted here:
Other items on the agenda included:
  • Review and Adopt the Fiscal Year 2022 Work Program which includes a new task of assisting ALDOT by hosting public meetings for the Statewide Long Range Transportation Process
We’re also building an online interactive map of all of the RPO projects. Once it’s complete we will send out a link to all the RPO members and they’ll be able to reference it for grant applications and the like.

ALDOT Updates Their Public Involvement Plan (PIP).

The South Alabama Rural Planning Organization (RPO) is helping facilitate the public involvement process for het ALDOTS’s updated PIP. The Draft PIP is posted here :https://www.dot.state.al.us/news/publicinvolvement.html. The website includes the draft plan, online comment form, descriptive narrated Power Point, as well as contact information about the plan. 

The 45-day period will conclude on October 4, 2021. ALDOT is utilizing online services only for the announcement and comments.

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 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.
2020-2023 E-STIP HERE
Funding Opportunities

10/12: EDA FY 2021 STEM Talent Challenge Program
Workforce, Technology

EDA is seeking applications from eligible applicants to create and implement innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) apprenticeship models that complement their respective region’s innovation economy. The STEM Talent Challenge seeks to develop or expand regional workforce capacity to support high-growth, high-wage entrepreneurial ventures, industries of the future (which usually includes industries that leverage emerging technologies), and other innovation-driven businesses that have a high likelihood of accelerating economic competitiveness and job creation in their respective regions and in the United States.
$3B in EDA American Rescue Plan Act Programs

·      Build Back Better Regional Challenge Open Now. Concept Proposals due 10/19/21
·   Good Jobs Challenge. Open Now. Competitive applications due by 1/26/22:
·      Statewide Planning, Research and Networks. Competitive applications for Research and Networks to support EDA ARP implementation are being accepted now.
·  Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation. Open Now. Competitive applications will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.
·      Economic Adjustment Assistance. Open Now. Competitive applications will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.
·      Indigenous Communities. Open Now. Competitive applications will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

USDA Emergency Rural Health Care Grants
Health Care, Rural

The Emergency Rural Health Care program is designed to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. 

·      Track One: Recovery Grants provide immediate relief to address the economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 emergency
·      Track Two: Impact Grants advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural health care problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health. https://www.rd.usda.gov/erhc
1/28/22: FEMA Fiscal Year 2021 Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA)
Disaster Mitigation

The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program makes federal funds available to states, U.S. territories, federally recognized tribal governments, and local communities to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It does so with a recognition of the growing flood hazards associated with climate change, and of the need for flood hazard risk mitigation activities that promote climate adaptation and resilience with respect to flooding. These include both acute extreme weather events and chronic stressors which have been observed and are expected to increase in the future.
1/28/22: FEMA Fiscal Year 2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)
Infrastructure, Disaster Mitigation

The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program makes federal funds available to states, U.S territories, federally recognized tribal governments, and local communities for hazard mitigation activities. It does so with a recognition of the growing hazards associated with climate change, and of the need for natural hazard risk mitigation activities that promote climate adaptation and resilience with respect to those hazards. These include both acute extreme weather events and chronic stressors which have been observed and are expected to increase in the future.
To view a table of previously highlighted funding opportunities that are still open, please visit EDI’s Federal Assistance for Economic Development page on EDA’s website at  www.eda.gov. This table represents a selection of opportunities available on Grants.gov that may be of particular interest to local and regional economic development stakeholders.

National Risk Index

This FEMA online mapping application visually identifies traits of the communities most at risk from natural hazards. https://hazards.fema.gov/nri/
FEMA Issues Updated Economic Recovery Roadmap to Assist Local Government and Communities with COVID19 Health Disaster

This COVID-19 Economic Recovery Resource Roadmap was developed to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) leaders and other interested parties with navigating some of the challenges, as well as the resources, associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
To learn more about EDA’s Economic Development Integration and Disaster Recovery Resources, visit www.eda.gov/edi, or email us at EDI@eda.gov.
SARPC Economic Development Recovery Plan Update
Work continues on the Economic Relief and Resiliency Response Plan. Stakeholder meetings have been conducted and an online survey has been completed. Analysis is ongoing.

Hazard Mitigation Plan for Division A
We have received approval from FEMA and the AL EMA for the Division A Hazard Mitigation Plan. We are currently working with local governments to approve Resolutions adopting the Plan as this is necessary for FEMA to reimburse of expenses due to natural disaster.
Employment and Economic Development Services
SARPC Staffing Service
As a result of attaining a new employee with public relations and staffing service experience, we now have updated brochures to assist us in our efforts to promote the staffing and payroll service to government entities and non-profit organizations. 
We are pleased to announce SARPC Staffing Service was awarded the RFP Competition Bid to provide services to Mobile County Commission emergency shelters.
Staff continues to develop relationships with workforce development partners to identify available workers and match them with job openings.
Our goal at SARPC Staffing Service is to streamline the payroll and hiring process, adding value back to one’s day.
For more information call 251.263.3907 or 251-652-0585. It is our desire to assist you with your staffing needs.
Please click here to view the SARPC Staffing Service brochure.

Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)
The Revolving Loan Fund program provides funding for start up businesses and expanding companies. The funds can be used for working capital, purchase of equipment, building, or renovatoin of an exiting building. 
The minimum loan would be $10,000 and the maximum would be $75,000. 
Find out how the Revolving Loan Fund can be used to bridge the gap of the cash needed to complete business projects or provide small business funding through a direct loan. 
Help us spread the word that we have the money if you have the time!
For more information call 251-591-6506.
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

The Senior Community Service Employment (SCSEP) program is seeking to add more host agencies to the program.  To be a host agency the entity must be a government entity or a non-profit organization. The host agency/organization would have a SCSEP participant on a job for 19.75 hours per week. 
The host agency is requested to 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 pays for the stipend of $7.25 per hour paid to the participant. SCSEP is responsible for worker’s compensation insurance and all related employment taxes. 
Additionally, we are seeking seniors interested in enrolling in the program in all three counties: Baldwin, Escambia, and Mobile. 
To be eligible persons must be 55 year or older, who are not currently working and fall within the 125% Federal poverty income level. 
If you are interested in becoming a host agency or you know of someone who may benefit by being in the SCSEP program, please call 251.591.6506 or 251.263.3907 for more information.

A Matter of Balance

A Matter of Balance classes were held July and August at the J.L. Fisher Community Center in Brewton lead by one of our outstanding volunteer instructions, Rev. Anthony Thames. Pictures is the August graduation ceremony. To schedule a class for your community, contact Marcella Nettles at 251-706-4663.
Alabama SHIP Open Enrollment
Alabama SHIP Train the Trainer
Aging and Disability Resource Center Manager Needed

The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission operates a three county Aging and Disability Resource call center(ADRC) 8:00-5:00 daily that serves as a comprehensive source of information about local resources and services for older adults, caregivers and persons with disabilities for Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia counties in Alabama. The ADRC does intake for all Area Agency on Aging services, provides information and referral, short term case management, assists with Medicare counseling, and does eligibility screening and application assistance for public benefits. This is a highly responsible position overseeing development, quality, program management and client services. Preferred knowledge of community services, supervisory experience, and requires basic computer knowledge, ability to utilize agency data systems, and good rapport with the public, staff and community agencies. Requires a college degree and will require AIRS certification within a year. Benefits include participation in the Retirement System of Alabama, health, dental, life and short term disability benefits, and paid holidays and leave. Send resumes by October 22, 2021 to jmcgee@sarpc.org or to:

Aging and Disability Resource Center Manager
South Alabama Regional Planning Commission
P.O. Box 1665
Mobile, AL 36633
Robotic Pets

Ms. T of Mobile lives at a local nursing facility and practically did not speak before getting her robotic dog, but now she is not only talking to her dog, she takes it everywhere and is telling everyone about him. Robotic pets are available through the Area Agency on Aging for persons with dementia, or others older adults who would find a pet comforting. Contact us at 251-706-4680 for information.
Free Dementia Training and Continuing Education Credits for First Responders

The Area Agency on Aging is offering a free virtual training on dementia to first responders who often come into contact with persons with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Offering required continuing education credits, first responders such as police officers, firemen and paramedics can complete the online training themselves on their own timeframe. The virtual training can be completed on the website, https://training4aging.org. A Dementia Toolkit can be accessed at www.alabamaageline.com. For more information, contact Marcella Nettles at 251-706-4663.

Get Your Covid-19 Vaccine