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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 087-99087-00; Santa Cruz County
PW ID# Project Worksheet 475; Scope of Work
January 2, 2009
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Response and Recovery Division
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, California 95655
Re: Second Appeal–Santa Cruz County, PA ID 087-99087-00, Scope of Work,
FEMA-1646-DR-CA, Project Worksheet (PW) 475
Dear Mr. McCarton:
This letter is in response to your letter dated June 11, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of Santa Cruz County (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to exclude the construction of a retaining wall from the original scope of work for repairs on Morrell Cutoff Road.
The severe storms and flooding from March 29–April 16, 2006, caused high-water flows in an adjacent creek to erode Morrell Cutoff Road and caused a portion of the roadway embankment to drop towards the creek. During the site inspection, the Applicant proposed, as part of the project, the construction of a retaining wall to help support a portion of the roadway slope. FEMA prepared PW 475 for $285,875, which included the cost to construct a retaining wall ($217,500). Upon final review, FEMA determined that the Applicant did not provide a cost comparison to return the facility to its original function using alternative methods of repair. It was not clear whether the proposed retaining wall represented the most cost-effective repair, an improved project, or a hazard mitigation opportunity. As a result, FEMA revised the scope of work and reduced funding at Morrell Cutoff Road’s Site 2 location to $50,659. FEMA obligated funding under PW 475 for $163,959.
In a November 29, 2006, transmittal entitled Notification of Obligation and Payment, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), notified the Applicant of the amount obligated by FEMA for PW 475. The OES letter advised the Applicant “. . . if you disagree with the FEMA obligated amount or scope of work for the PW(s) . . . you must appeal FEMA’s determination within 60 days from the date of this letter.” The letter also discussed the appeals process in accordance with 44 CFR §206.206.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on September 12, 2007, requesting that the PW be revised to the original scope of work, which includes the cost of the retaining wall. In a letter dated February 14, 2008, FEMA cited the November 29, 2006, OES letter that advised the Applicant of the appeals process pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206 and denied the appeal as it was submitted seven months beyond the regulatory 60-day time frame.
The OES transmitted the Applicant’s second appeal in a letter dated June 11, 2008. The OES letter concurs with FEMA’s position that the first appeal was submitted beyond the 60-day deadline. The Applicant’s second appeal, dated May 12, 2008, again requests reconsideration of the reduced scope of work. The Applicant did not provide any extenuating circumstances for submitting the first appeal after the established deadline.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the
Deputy Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant 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: Nancy Ward
FEMA Region IX