Summary: Certain damages to various components of the Punta Guillarte Beach facility were reported by the Recreation Development Company (subgrantee) to be a result of Hurricane Hortense which occurred in September of 1996. Various DSRs were prepared for disaster-related damages as reported by the subgrantee. During three site visits conducted between November 29, 1996 and February 27, 1997, the condition of the cafeteria building was also reviewed with the subgrantee. The cafeteria building consists of an old wooden beach front structure, constructed on a concrete foundation. The wood portion of the structure was observed to be rotten and in an advanced stage of disrepair. Although the subgrantee indicated that the foundation of the building was damaged, it was agreed that the apparent damages were not disaster-related. The subgrantee signed the certification of inspection completion on December 9, 1996, which did not include the cafeteria building. In October of 1997, the subgrantee notified the Governor's Authorized Representative that the cafeteria building did suffer disaster damages. The subgrantee transmitted an October 1996 certification from their Marketing and Advertising Director, expressing concern about the hazard the structure may be to the safety of the visiting public, suggesting that the damages which occurred to the structure by the disaster were of such an extent that he highly recommended demolition of the building and relocation at a safer site. However, FEMA was not notified of this opinion until after the building was demolished. The subgrantee requested FEMA fund the demolition and reconstruction of the cafeteria building. FEMA denied this request on the basis that the damages to the facility had been agreed to not be disaster-related. The Disaster Recovery Manager upheld this determination in first appeal, further stating that the building had been demolished prior to the opportunity for a reinspection. The subgrantee's second appeal restates their position that the cafeteria building was damage by the disaster, and requests funding for its demolition and reconstruction. No additional documentation was submitted with this appeal.
Issues: Was the cafeteria building damaged by the disaster?
Findings: No. The subgrantee has not provided sufficient documentation to support that the condition of the cafeteria building was a direct result of the disaster.
Rationale: FEMA assistance is available only for disaster-related damages to an eligible facility. 44 CFR 206.223(a)(1)