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Second Appeal Analysis
PA ID# 085-00000; Santa Clara County
DSR ID# 61683&74626; Project Management & Fill Replacement
Severe winter storms and heavy rains in March of 1995 saturated the soils of an earthen slope adjacent to Metcalf Road in Santa Clara County (County), California. Subsequently, a 45 ft by 70 ft wide area within the slope failed and 54 ft of roadway and road shoulder were damaged. A 15-inch corrugated metal pipe and culvert were also damaged.
FEMA prepared a Damage Survey Report (DSR) to repair the roadway, slope and drainage culvert damages. DSR 74626 (Category "C") was prepared for $225,470 to repair the roadway and for a concrete crib wall to repair the hillside slip-out. The County submitted a letter of non-concurrence and requested that a rock buttress, in lieu of the crib wall, be constructed for repair of the slope. During geotechnical review, FEMA determined that the slip-out was within an area of historical landslides and, based on the Landslide Policy, stabilization of the failed slope was the responsibility of the County. The geotechnical reviewer indicated that because the stabilization was the responsibility of the County, the review did not address the rock buttress repair issue. Based on the geotechnical review, the DSR was reduced and approved for $16,473 and included only the repairs for the roadway, shoulder and culvert. The County completed all the repair work, including the slope stabilization with a rock buttress, for a total expenditure of $319,656.
Supplemental Request/First Appeal
On April 24, 1997, the County submitted a supplemental request to the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) for $303,183 for the actual costs incurred. The basis of the request (considered a first appeal) was that stabilization was required to restore the roadway facility to the pre-disaster condition, not landslide stabilization. The County utilized an engineering consultant for design and project management and contends the repairs were designed to meet current codes and standards. The State supported the County's request for the repair using the rock buttress alternative.
The Regional Director approved a portion of the first appeal. The Regional Director determined that the slip-out was within an eligible facility, a constructed fill built in conjunction with the construction of Metcalf Road. The Regional Director indicated that the eligible portion of the slip-out repair represented 65% of the total construction costs. Eligible expenses included $131,650 for repair of damaged portion of the roadway and shoulder, the 15-inch diameter pipe, the drainage inlet box, the engineered embankment and rock slope protection that existed at the pipe outfall. However, it was also determined that the remaining requested items, including additional road signs, fencing, upslope excavation and backfill, energy dissipater, aggregate baserock, rock buttress slope, sacked concrete protection for the upper slope, a concrete interceptor ditch and underdrains constituted improvements to the project, not mandated by an approved code or standard, were not eligible for funding. The Regional Director indicated that the requested $50,562 for contract engineering represented 59% of the approved construction work and was excessive. The Regional Director also indicated that original contract allowed $26,300 for contract engineering and that this amount was sufficient for the eligible scope of work for this type of project. DSR 68183 was approved for a total of $168,133.
On May 22, 1997, the County submitted a second appeal to OES. Although the County acknowledged and accepted the first appeal response, the County requested $20,250 for fill required to repair the embankment void and $19,730 for additional contract engineering for project management. On July 15, 1998, the State forwarded the second appeal to the Executive Associate Director and indicated its support for the appeal.
The issues in the second appeal are whether or not the fill was necessary to repair disaster-related damages and whether or not the additional project management expenses are necessary and reasonable, and eligible for funding.
Regarding the fill, the County indicates that the fill was necessary to repair the void created by the slip-out. Review of the documentation indicates the slip-out was within an eligible constructed fill facility and DSR 61683 was approved to repair these damages. The original DSR estimated that 450 cu yd of fill was required to fill the void. This estimate is consistent with the dimensions of the void as shown in the DSR sketch (page 13 of the DSR). However, the subsequently approved DSR (DSR 61683) did not include a line item for fill. The DSR clearly demonstrates that the FEMA inspector estimated that repair of the void would require 450 cu yd of fill at $45.00 per cu yd, for a total cost of $20,250. The amount was not provided in DSR 61683 and is eligible for FEMA funding.
Additional Engineering Expenses
Regarding the additional engineering expenses, the County contends that an additional $19,730 for engineering design and management was necessary due to limited County staff. Review of the documentation provided indicates that $26,656 for force account engineering and $26,300 for contract engineering has been provided. FEMA's Public Assistance Guideindicates that engineering and design expenses for a project of average complexity and of this size should be 8% of the construction cost. Including the additional eligible expense from above, approved eligible construction costs are $151,900 ($131,650 plus $20,250). Therefore, $12,152 (8% of $151,900) is eligible for contract engineering. This amount includes funding for preliminary engineering analysis, preliminary design, final design and construction inspection and is less than the funding which the applicant has previously received. DSR 61683 included funding for force account and contract engineering and design, which is greater than normal expenses allowed and required for this size and type of project. Although the excess funding previously approved for engineering will not be de-obligated, the provided documentation does not indicate that the repairs mandated additional engineering or project management expenses.
Review of the documentation indicates that $20,250 for fill was necessary for the disaster-related repairs and is eligible for funding. The Regional Director will prepare a DSR to provide $20,250 of additional funding. Funding for engineering expenses which FEMA has provided is sufficient for the identified eligible repairs. This appeal is partially approved.