Summary: Following the winter storms of 1995, in the City of San Buenaventura, FEMA prepared DSR 93314 to establish the cost of repairs to a concrete-lined drainage ditch. The amount of the estimated repairs on the DSR was initially $6,912. However, based on the DSR inspector's recommendation, the DSR was determined ineligible due to a lack of maintenance of the ditch prior to the disaster, pursuant to 44 CFR 206.223(e). The FEMA reviewer concurred with this finding. On June 5, 1996, the State submitted the subgrantee's first appeal which contained documentation showing the actual cost of repairs of $259,028, including photographs of the pre- and post-conditions of the ditch. Based on these photographs, the subgrantee estimated that 75% of the damage was storm related and requested $194,308. On December 4, 1996, the Regional Director denied the appeal because the damages were not a result of the disaster, pursuant to 44 CFR 206.223 (a)(1). This was supported by the fact that the city acknowledged the ditch was due for maintenance at the time of the storm. The State submitted the second appeal on April 3, 1997, which was basically a reiteration of the first appeal. No new documentation was provided to support the contention that the damages to the ditch were not a function of the condition of the ditch prior to the event. The State did not support the second appeal.
Issue: Did the damage to the concrete ditch exist prior to the disaster?
Finding: Yes. The FEMA inspector noted vegetation growing in the damaged channel bottom and the city acknowledged that maintenance was due at the time of the event.
Rationale: According to 44 CFR 206.223 (a)(1), to be eligible for financial assistance, an item of work must be required as a result of the disaster event.