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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 053-43000-00; City of Minneapolis
PW ID# Project Worksheet 55; Mutual Aid Agreement with the City of St. Paul
March 27, 2009
Kris A. Eide
Governors Authorized Representative
Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
444 Cedar Street, Suite 223
Saint Paul, MN 55101-6223
Re: Second AppealCity of Minneapolis, PA ID 053-43000-00, Mutual Aid Agreement with the City of St. Paul
Project Worksheet (PW) 55
Dear Ms. Eide:
This letter is in response to your letter dated September 26, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the City of Minneapolis (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) denial of $108,000 for the cost of police labor provided through a mutual aid agreement with the City of St. Paul (Sending City).On August 1, 2007, the I-35W bridge crossing over the Mississippi River in the City of Minneapolis collapsed. The Applicant requested police personnel from the Sending City through a mutual aid agreement. The Sending City responded and sent personnel as requested by the Applicant. FEMA prepared PW 55 to document the work and costs but did not approve any funding because FEMA concluded that under the mutual aid agreement the Sending City was responsible for the costs it incurred.
In a letter dated February 14, 2008, the Applicant submitted its first appeal. Since the Sending City and the Applicant signed the mutual aid agreement in 1967 and had not updated it since then, the Applicant based its appeal on Minnesota State Statutes for mutual aid. In a letter dated July 7, 2008, the Regional Administrator determined that the requested costs were not eligible for Public Assistance funding because the mutual aid agreement specified that the Sending City was responsible for the costs incurred.
In its second appeal letter dated September 9, 2008, the Applicant contends that the magnitude of the Sending Citys initial response and ongoing support exceeded the intent of the 1967 mutual aid agreement. The Applicant asserts that Section 12.331 of the Minnesota State Statutes applies, rather than the mutual aid agreement, since the mutual aid agreement does not address reimbursement for compensation paid.
We have reviewed the mutual aid agreement and Section 12.331 of the Minnesota State Statutes. The mutual aid agreement between the Sending City and the Applicant states in pertinent part that, the officers and members of such forces of the sending municipality shall be paid by the sending municipality the same as if performing their regular duties within the sending municipality. We agree with the Applicants assertion that this provision does not address the reimbursement of labor costs that the sending municipality incurs during the provision of assistance. Therefore, Section 12.331 of the Minnesota State Statutes applies. This section directs the receiving municipality to reimburse the sending municipality for costs incurred in providing assistance under a mutual aid agreement. Accordingly, I have determined that the $108,000 the Applicant paid to the City of St. Paul for police support under its mutual aid agreement is eligible for reimbursement under the Public Assistance Program. Therefore, I approve the appeal. By copy of this letter, I am requesting that the Acting Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement my determination.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals
James A. Walke
Acting Assistant Administrator
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Janet Odeshoo
Acting Regional Administrator
FEMA Region V