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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 097-70098; CITY OF SANTA ROSA
DSR ID# 94960; West Cotati Reclamation Pipeline
U>Citation: FEMA-1155-DR-CA, PA 097-70098, City of Santa Rosa, DSR 94960, West Cotati Reclamation Pipeline
Cross-reference: Legal Responsibility, Facilities Under Construction
Summary: From January 2-5, 1997, El Ni?o storms washed out a pipeline owned by the City of Santa Rosa (City). FEMA approved DSR 94960 for $14,391 to replace the damaged portion in-kind (150 linear feet). The City later found that approximately 1,100 linear feet of pipeline had been damaged. It requested a change in the scope of work to relocate the pipeline to a more stable area. FEMA approved the City's request on January 26, 1999. While writing the new DSR, FEMA discovered that the pipeline was under construction at the time of the disaster and on June 23,1999, rescinded the January 26, 1999, letter and deobligated DSR 94960. The City claims that the pipeline was in use and 97 percent complete by December 31, 1996. However, the City did not sign the Notice of Completion (NOC) until January 21, 1997. Contract documents for the pipeline construction state that the work was to be done in accordance with the City's provisions, plans, specifications and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Standard Specifications. The first appeal was denied based on language in the City's contract documents, which state that the contractor "assumes sole and complete responsibility for job site conditions during the course of construction, including safety of all persons and property." The City submitted its second appeal on June 16, 2000, asking for a total of $71,345. It claims that the Caltrans Standard Specifications, which may relieve the contractor from legal responsibility for disaster-related repair, do not conflict with its provisions and therefore are applicable in this situation.
Issues: Is the City legally responsible for the disaster-related repair work?
Findings: Yes, the Caltrans Standard Specifications (California Department of Transportation Standard Specifications, July 1992, Sections 7-1.16 and
7-1.165) allow the City to terminate the contract and relieve the contractor of legal responsibility in the event of a natural disaster.