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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-92009; Virgin Islands Lottery Commission
DSR ID# 55937; Costs Associated with Relocation Due to Roof Damage
March 11, 1999
Mr. Nellon L. Bowry
Governor's Authorized Representative
Office of Management and Budget
#41 Norre Gade
Emancipation Garden Station 2nd floor
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands 00802
Dear Mr. Bowry:
This is in response to your April 24, 1998, letter forwarding a second appeal on behalf of the Virgin Islands Lottery Commission under FEMA-1067-DR-VI. The applicant requests the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepare a DSR for $212,089 for the cost of relocating the facility for a period of two years following the disaster.
Hurricane Marilyn caused extensive damages to the U.S. Virgin Islands in September of 1995. Even though the V.I. Lottery building is located near the waterfront in Charlotte Amalie Bay, a high wind and tide exposure area, the structure managed to withstand the impact of the hurricane. The structure sustained $41,368 in eligible damages. On October 7, 1995, FEMA prepared Damage Survey Report (DSR) 55937 for $10,000 to cover the insurance deductible. A 1200 square foot portion of the roof that was damaged by the high wind was temporarily patched with FEMA tarps while the V.I. Lottery staff continued to occupy the building for approximately 9 months after the storm. Additional damage to the interior and equipment occurred due to the infiltration of water.
The V.I. Lottery Commission submitted a request for relocation and rental assistance through the Governor's Authorized Representative (GAR) at the Office of Management and Budget on July 1, 1996, when the operations closed at the damaged facility and moved to a new location. FEMA received the request on August 13, 1996. On September 27, 1996, the Disaster Recovery Manager (DRM) denied the request. The DRM concluded that because the facility remained in operation for nearly ten months after the incident occurred, the damages to the building did not merit the need to relocate.
On December 30, 1997, the GAR's office transmitted to FEMA an appeal from the V.I. Lottery Commission requesting reconsideration for reimbursement of relocation and rental expenses. The DRM denied the appeal on January 27, 1998, because the appeal was submitted more than one year after the initial determination. In addition, the DRM concluded that the damages did not warrant relocation. The applicant appealed the DRM's determination in a letter dated April 1, 1998.
I have reviewed the submitted documentation and have not found sufficient justification to reverse the DRM's determination. The applicant submitted its first appeal more than one year after the initial denial. Pursuant to 44 CFR 206.206, "appellants must file appeals within 60 days after receipt of a notice of the action that is being appealed." FEMA will occasionally waive the 60-day regulatory deadline when extenuating circumstances justify a time extension. In the instant case, the applicant did not submit information justifying the approval of such an extension. Furthermore, the damages to the facility did not necessitate relocation as the building was occupied for nearly ten months after the disaster. Therefore, this appeal is denied.
Please inform the applicant of my determination. In accordance with the appeal procedure governing appeal decisions made on or after May 8, 1998, my decision constitutes the final decision on this matter. The current appeal procedure was published as a final rule in the Federal Register on April 8, 1998. It amends 44 CFR 206.206.
Lacy E. Suiter
Executive Associate Director
Response and Recovery Directorate
cc: Jos? A. Bravo
Caribbean Area Office