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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 037-91174; Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
DSR ID# 60841,22572,88198,47935,; Repairs to Santa Monica High School Bldg. A
Citation: FEMA-1008-DR-CA; PA ID 037-91174; DSRs 22572, 88198, 47935 and 60841.
Cross Reference: Northridge earthquake; additional damage not visible at DSR inspection; permanent repairs.
Summary: The Santa Monica High School in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) suffered severe damage to its Technology Building A from the January 1994 Northridge earthquake. In the aftermath, FEMA wrote ten separate DSRs for repairs to the building at an estimated cost of more than $600,000. FEMA wrote DSR 22572 on June 27, 1994, for a portion of the facility repairs at a cost of $83,623. Following a reinspection for additional damage in January 1996, FEMA supplemented the DSR with $109,767 for repairs and $5,277 for engineering and design costs. SMMUSD combined the repairs with renovation work that had been in progress when the disaster struck and completed the repairs. In December 1996, OES transmitted a request from SMMUSD for additional funding of $164,667 that it claimed it expended in disaster-related repairs. FEMA reviewed the costs of the 16 items claimed and determined that the eligible funding was $200,345. DSR 60841 was prepared for $1,678 to adjust the funding accordingly. The applicant addressed an April 24, 1997, non-concurrence letter to OES and on July 21, 1997, appealed DSR 60841. The DRM denied the appeal on February 19, 1998, because the disputed items were either covered under other DSRs, not supported by proper documentation, included in the renovation contract, or new damage reported after July 31, 1995. SMMUSD submitted a March 19, 1998, second appeal in which it challenged FEMA's first appeal findings and included no additional documentation to bolster its case.
Issue: Should FEMA pay for additional damages that the applicant claimed it discovered while engaged in performing disaster repairs?
Findings: No. The deadline for reporting hidden damage was extended beyond the regulatory 60 days to June 30, 1995, for this disaster; however, the applicant did not adhere to the requirements. In addition, the damages reported as earthquake-related cannot be verified because the applicant totally performed the repairs without notifying FEMA of the discrepancy.
Rationale: 44 CFR 206.202(d)(1) requires the applicant to report in writing to the Regional Director any damage not shown to the inspection team during its initial visit(s).