PA ID# 053-91003; Monterey County Department of Public Works
DSR ID# 71096 ; U.S. Forest Service, Indians Road Repair
PURPOSE: Respond to third appeal submitted by Monterey County Public Works Department
DISCUSSION: In March 1995, heavy rains caused numerous areas of damage on Indians Road in Los Padres National Forest. Indians Road is a one-lane dirt road, 10-12 feet wide, used exclusively for recreation. The roadway was impassable at each of 23 slide locations. DSR 71096 was prepared on September 18, 1995 for debris removal ($3,955) and slipout repair ($139,300), totaling $143,257. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) owns Indians Road. However, the USFS shares maintenance responsibility with the Monterey County (County) through a 1977 written agreement between the two agencies. Upon review, DSR 71096 was determined ineligible because the roadway is owned by the USFS. The April 1996, first appeal included a copy of the 1977 agreement between the County and USFS, which specified the County's responsibility for routine maintenance while indicating that "extraordinary" repairs are to be agreed upon between parties. In October 1996, FEMA denied the first appeal, based on the language of the 1977 agreement, which stipulates that extraordinary maintenance is not covered. In January 1997, the County submitted a second appeal. USFS prepared a geotechnical survey that estimates repair costs at $421,000 for three large slides. OES transmitted the second appeal in April 1997, suggesting that an understanding exists between the County and the USFS regarding the County's maintenance responsibility. In July 1997, OES submitted copies of two "Special Use Permits," both dated in 1950 which grant the County "right of way" and require that the County perform maintenance on the roads. FEMA upheld the first appeal determination in an October 2, 1997, letter indicating that the repairs are not the legal responsibility of the County, per the 1977 agreement which OGC considers germane. On December 18, 1997, the County submitted their third appeal stating that after 1980, the County could no longer receive FHWA Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads funding, and, the County needed to apply under the FEMA program for emergency repairs. The County requested a meeting prior to a final determination. The 1977 agreement and a geotechnical study by the USFS, support the ineligibility of the County. Prior funding by FHWA does not support the appeal. It is recommended that the appeal be denied.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Sign the letter informing the GAR of this decision.