PA ID# 037-91170; Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
DSR ID# 73903,73944,73964-5,96885-9; Two Appeals: Metrolink Track improvements
Citation: Second Appeal by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for reconsideration of expenses related to emergency Metrolink rail transport as eligible.
Cross-Reference: Subject: Emergency work, Emergency period, expenses related to leased property. FEMA Record: DSR #'s 73903, 96887, 73944, 96885, and 96886, 96888, 96889, 73964, 73965.
Summary: The MTA appeals the FEMA's findings that a certain portion of the expenses related to emergency rail service are ineligible because (1) they were incurred outside of the time frame for eligible work, and/or (2) they were for ineligible items.
Issues: (a) Should FEMA consider expenses outside of the eligible time frame for a rail project when (1) the time frame was less that had hitherto been anticipated because of the early completion of the repairs to the highways, and (2) because the costs of canceling contracts and shutting down a project midway are substantially the same as completing it? (b) Should expenses related to the relocation of tenants with leases that allow the property to be reclaimed by the subgrantee without penalty on short notice be allowed as eligible?
Findings: (a) The early completion date for the freeway work was evident with enough warning to allow timely termination of the projects. (b) FEMA eligibility does not include relocation expenses for commercial tenants leasing property from a subgrantee when the leases allow termination without liquidated damages on short notice. (c) Other expenses were reviewed and found ineligible because they were not disaster related.
Rationale: (a) The eligible work was intended to serve transportation needs only during an emergency period while the freeways were closed. The funds were not intended to provide funding for a permanent infrastructure improvement project. When the emergency period ended, the funding is terminated, even though the project was not complete. (b) The costs related to relocation are by contract incurred by the lessees, who are ineligible for FEMA funding.