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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# xxx-xxxxx; Economic Development Unit
DSR ID# xxxx; Request for Public Assistance
September 2, 2008
Colonel Thomas Kirkpatrick (retired)
State Coordinating Officer
Governors Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
7667 Independence Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Re: Second AppealEconomic Development Unit, Request for Public Assistance
Dear Colonel Kirkpatrick:
This letter is in response to your letter dated April 25, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Economic Development Unit (EDU). EDU is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) decision to deny its Request for Public Assistance (RPA) because it was submitted after the established application deadline.
EDU is a private nonprofit (PNP) organization that was founded to aid and assist Total Community Action, Inc. (TCA), in planning, designing, programming, funding, and operating projects for the purpose of permitting economic growth in the community, and providing social services and facilities for the residents of the community. As a result of Katrina, EDU is requesting reimbursement of approximately $326,000 for repairing flood damage, removing debris, and remediating mold at its Jefferson Davis Parkway and Thalia Street facility that was not covered by insurance. FEMA did not accept EDUs RPA because it was submitted nine months after the March 1, 2006, deadline. The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal on September 27, 2007, because EDU did not demonstrate extenuating circumstances that were sufficient to warrant the petition. In addition, the Regional Administrator determined that EDU did not provide the type of services that would make it eligible for Public Assistance.
In its second appeal, EDU states that it contacted FEMA in February 2006 and was directed to submit a loan application to the Small Business Administration (SBA) before applying to FEMA for assistance. In a letter dated July 17, 2006, SBA denied EDU's loan application and stated that it would forward EDUs application to FEMA. After several attempts to locate its application, EDU contacted the State of Louisiana Governors Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and was advised to apply for a Public Assistance Grant.
EDUs second appeal also argues that its Articles of Incorporation state that EDU exists to develop and expand the social service delivery systems of TCA. It leases its facility to TCA and
is legally responsible for repairing the facility. Therefore, it claims that EDU is eligible for assistance from FEMA. Section 7.C.3 of Response and Recovery Policy 9521.1, Community
ety of services to the people of New Orleans. These services include early childhood development, job counseling and guidance, transportation for the elderly and disabled, commodity distribution, individual and family development accounts, homelessness prevention, free tax preparation assistance for low-income individuals, Family Matters (a program for unwed parents), youth work experience and energy assistance, weatherization. These activities are eligible PNP community center functions. Section 7.C.1 of Response and Recovery Policy 9521.1, Community Center Eligibility,
states that if 51 percent of the facility qualifies as eligible, the facility is eligible. However, assistance is based on the percent of eligible use. EDU provided evidence that TCAs activities occupy approximately 90 percent of its facility. TCAs activities are open to the general public, and the established and primary use of the facility as a gathering place for a variety of social, educational enrichment, and community service activities is consistent with Response and Recovery Policy 9521.1, Community Center Eligibility
Based on a review of all information submitted with the appeal, I have determined that EDU presented a compelling justification for submitting its RPA to FEMA after the established deadline. In addition, EDUs facility is an eligible community center. Accordingly, I am granting the second appeal. By copy of this letter, I am requesting the Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement this determination.
Please inform EDU of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: William E. Peterson
FEMA Region VI
Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office