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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 186-U5S1F-00; Ste. Genevieve County
PW ID# 611; Ste. Genevieve Levee District Number III
November 24, 2003
Mr. Jerry B. Uhlmann
State of Missouri Emergency Management Agency
Department of Public Safety, Office of the Adjunct General
2302 Militia Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Re: Second Appeal Ste. Genevieve County, MO, PA-ID # 186-U5S1F-00,
Ste. Genevieve Levee District Number III, FEMA-1412-DR-MO,
Project Worksheet #611
Dear Mr. Uhlmann:
This is in response to your July 9, 2003, letter transmitting the above referenced second appeal submitted by the Ste. Genevieve Levee District Number III to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The applicant is requesting reimbursement for operational costs of a levee ($24,512.16) incurred to protect the City of Ste. Genevieve from flooding. The applicant believes that the Districts obligation to operate and maintain the levee system at no cost to the Government should not apply to extraordinary costs of operation during major disasters.
Following flooding in the spring of 2002, the applicant requested reimbursement for additional cost incurred for pumping water from behind the levee. FEMA denied the request because the applicant signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) wherein it agreed to operate and maintain the levee project without any cost to the Federal Government. The Regional Director agreed with this determination by denying the applicants first appeal in a letter dated April 7, 2003.
On May 8, 1995, the City of Ste. Genevieve, the Ste. Genevieve Levee District Number II and the Ste. Genevieve Levee District Number III signed an agreement called the Ste. Genevieve Joint Levee Commission Agreement (JLCA). The purpose of the agreement was to form a joint commission and to enter into a Project Cooperative Agreement (PCA) with the USACE to design and construct a flood control levee. Article VIII of the PCA states: Upon notification in accordance with Article II.C. of this Agreement and for so long as the Project remains authorized, the Local Sponsor shall operate, maintain, repair, replace, and rehabilitate the entire Project or the functional portion of the Project, at no cost to the Government, in a manner compatible with the Projects authorized purposes and in accordance with this Agreement and specific directions prescribed by the Government in the OMRR&R Manual and any subsequent amendments thereto.
I have reviewed all information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Project Cooperative Agreement between the USACE and the Joint Levee Commission (JLC) stipulates that the JLC, in which Ste. Genevieve Levee District Number III is a member, is obligated to operate and maintain the levee system at no cost to the Government. Article VIII of the PCA does not exclude disasters.
The applicant also stated that it was not responsible for the operation and maintenance of the levee project at the time of the disaster because the levee was not functional and complete. However, in a letter dated August 27, 2002, the USACE stated that it had determined on May 2, 2001, that the levee was functional and complete. In that same letter USACE acknowledged, that the pump station has major problems with the control and power cables that connect to the submersible pumps. However, as stated further in the letter, the problem was resolved and after observing the levees performance during the flood in April and May 2002, the USACE maintains that the levee was functional and complete at the time of the disaster.
Therefore, Ste. Genevieve Levee District Number IIIs second appeal is denied. Please inform the applicant of this determination. My decision constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206.
Daniel A. Craig
Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate
cc: Richard HainjeRegional Director