Appeal Brief | Appeal Letter | Back
Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-U9SOJ-00; University of New Orleans
PW ID# Project Worksheet 13242; Emergency Transportation and Sheltering
October 31, 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 AppealUniversity of New Orleans, Emergency Transportation and Sheltering,
FEMA-1603-DR-LA, Project Worksheet (PW) 13242
Dear Colonel Kirkpatrick:
This letter is in response to your letter dated July 31, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the University of New Orleans (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) denial of PW 13242 for $199,435 for transportation and interim shelter provided to student-athletes evacuated to other colleges and universities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Following Hurricane Katrina, the Applicant transported and enrolled its student-athletes in other universities (Louisiana State University, Agnes Scott University, New Mexico State University, Nicholls State University, and University of Texas - Tyler) where they continued their educational and athletic pursuits. On July 19, 2006, FEMA prepared PW 13242 for $202,496 to cover these costs. However, on August 26, 2006, following a review of the PW, FEMA determined the PW was ineligible because housing student-athletes at a location where they could practice athletics was not considered an emergency protective measure to eliminate an immediate threat to health and safety. In addition, the request was not consistent with Disaster Specific Guidance (DSG) #2, Eligible Costs for Emergency Sheltering Declarations.
In a letter dated March 17, 2007, the Applicant submitted its first appeal asserting that housing fees were covered by full grants-in-aid or partial scholarships and the evacuation of student athletes are eligible under Public Assistance guidelines. In a letter dated July 31, 2007, the Regional Administrator denied the appeal because the student-athletes were relocated to other institutions with their respective teams in order to continue the Universitys athletic program, which is not an essential function of the Universitys curriculum.
In a letter dated March 15, 2008, the Applicant submitted its second appeal. In the appeal, the Applicant argues that FEMA made its determination based on the temporary relocation of the Universitys sports facility rather than on the interim sheltering of students enrolled at the time of the disaster. In addition, it states that many of its students evacuated on their own and received FEMA Individual Assistance; however, it made travel and sheltering arrangements for the student-athletes. Finally, the Applicant states that FEMA representatives made verbal commitments to provide reimbursement for transportation and lodging expenses for student evacuees.
Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, FEMA reimbursed state and local governments for costs to provide shelter to thousands of evacuees from the gulf coast. In addition, FEMA provided shelter directly to thousands of other evacuees by contracting with hotels, motels and apartment owners throughout the country. The federal, state and local governments provided shelter to anyone in the Gulf Coast who was displaced by the storms. The Applicant arranged for sheltering of student-athletes at locations outside of the impacted areas. Therefore, pursuant to DSG #2, the costs the Applicant incurred to transport and shelter its student-athletes at other universities are eligible for reimbursement. However, the costs of books, food, and transportation to sporting or other events are not eligible. Accordingly, I am partially approving the appeal for $100,984. By copy of this letter, I request that the Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement this determination.
Please inform the Applicant of my determination. My determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: William Peterson
FEMA Region VI
Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office