PA ID# 043-91013; Mariposa Public Utility District
DSR ID# 65822; Saxon Creek Water Pumping Station
Citation: FEMA-1155-DR-CA; Mariposa Public Utility District; DSR 65822
Cross Reference: Contract work; Legal responsibility; Disaster-related work
Summary: As a result of the late winter storms of 1996, the Mariposa Public Utility District's Saxon Creek Water pumping station incurred damages when the Merced River flooded, and water infiltrated the facility's ventilation inlet and outlet ducts and inundated the underground pumping vaults. A FEMA and State inspector prepared DSR 65822 for $534,600 to cover removal and replacement of two 1000 Hp pump motors, as well as other electrical motors, controls and equipment. Upon review, the DSR was found ineligible because the contractor was legally responsible for the facility at the time of the disaster. The first appeal was denied because the subgrantee had not established its legal responsibility for the work by accepting the project as completed. In the second appeal, the subgrantee responds that the contractor was unable to obtain flood insurance for the project (required by the Contract Agreement) and is therefore not responsible for flood damages. In addition, the subgrantee claims that the Contract Agreement states that the owner is financially responsible for an increase in costs caused by a changes in physical conditions differing materially from those initially indicated in the contract drawings.
Issues: Was the subgrantee legally responsible for the worksite at the time of the disaster?
Findings: No. The subgrantee (owner) did not assume legal responsibility for the worksite until, at least, Substantial Completion had occurred. At the time of the disaster, Substantial Completion had not occurred and, therefore, the subgrantee was not legally responsible for the project. The subgrantee may have held financial responsibility for additional work resulting from a change order as stipulated in the contract, however that is not at issue here. The applicant was not legally responsible for the site at the time of the disaster.