Summary: The winter storms of December 1996-January 1997 caused flooding that resulted in erosion and slides on a proposed right-of-way for a bicycle trail. FEMA prepared DSR 76127 to document the hillside slide damage. The FEMA inspector noted that no improvements existed at the site at the time of the disaster. During final review, the site was determined not to be a facility and DSR 76127 was prepared for $0. The applicant submitted a first appeal requesting FEMA fund the repair the site of the proposed bicycle trail. The applicant supported this request by claiming the site was an eligible facility because an unpaved trail existed on the site and project development costs were incurred prior to the disaster; and the site was an inactive facility. The project development costs were for design and permitting fees, not construction. FEMA determined that an improved facility did not exist at the time of the disaster. Accordingly, FEMA stated that the site was not an "inactive facility" because a "facility" did not exist at the time of the disaster. FEMA also determined that the property was owned and maintained by the USFS. Therefore, the site was not the legal responsibility of the applicant. FEMA concluded the repairs were not eligible for funding. The applicant's second appeal restates that a trail was in existence at the site and that project development costs represent improvements to the site completed prior to the disaster. The applicant also claims the legal responsibility for the site per a multi-agency agreement.
Issues: 1) Did a facility in the form of an improved natural feature exist prior to the disaster?
Findings: 1) No. Construction had not begun prior to the disaster, therefore, the development costs do not represent improvements to the site. Further, "social trails," trials created by visitors, may have existed at the site prior to the disaster, however, an improved trail did not exist at the site.
Rationale: To be eligible to receive funding, the site must meet the definition of a facility. 44 CFR 206.201