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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 051-99051-00; Jefferson Parish
PW ID# Project Worksheet 8816; Eligibility of Sod Replacement
August 8, 2008
Colonel Thomas Kirkpatrick (Retired)
State Coordinating Officer
Governors Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
415 North 15th Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
Re: Second AppealJefferson Parish, PA ID 051-99051-00, Eligibility of Sod Replacement,
FEMA-1603-DR-LA, Project Worksheet (PW) 8816Dear Colonel Kirkpatrick: This letter is in response to your letter dated March 6, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Jefferson Parish (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) denial of funding for the replacement of sod on Segnette Field. FEMA prepared PW 8816 for $159,907, to fund repairs associated with restoring Segnette Field to its pre-disaster condition. The PW funded several eligible repairs to this facility, but determined the replacement of sod was not eligible pursuant to FEMAs Response and Recovery Policy 9524.5, Trees, Shrubs, and Other Plantings Associated with Facilities,
which makes sod replacement eligible only when necessary to stabilize a slope and minimize runoff.In the first appeal, the Applicant contended that sod was necessary to restore the field to its pre-disaster condition. Therefore, the Applicant requested additional assistance for the cost of sod replacement and top dressing on the damaged portions of the athletic field. On
October 24, 2007, FEMA partially granted the Applicants first appeal stating that a number of the activities such as raising the level of the infield to proper elevation and installing top dressing were required to restore the field to its pre-disaster condition.
The Applicants second appeal, dated January 14, 2008, argues that sod used on the surface of a baseball field is a precisely constructed and controlled playing surface essential to the functionality of the facility and that the intention of the FEMA policy is that sod would be less essential to the facility. The Applicant also maintained that the sod is a part of an engineered surface similar to artificial surfaces and is not a natural feature for landscaping or aesthetic purposes.
Based on my review of the information provided, I have determined that Response and Recovery Division Policy 9524.5, Trees, Shrubs, and Other Plantings Associated with Facilities,
limits the eligibility of grass and sod to protecting slopes by reducing erosion, strengthening soil, and inhibiting landslides which increase general slope stability, and does not make exceptions for athletic field applications. The replacement of sod on Segnette Field, which is relatively level, does not meet the eligibility criteria envisioned in the subject policy. Therefore, the second appeal is denied.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision of this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: William Peterson
FEMA Region VI