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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 013-84602-00; Wheeling Township
PW ID# Project Worksheet 611; Wheeling Township
May 19, 2009
Nancy J. Dragani
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Ohio Department of Public Safety
Emergency Management Agency
2855 West Dublin-Granville Road
Columbus, Ohio 43235-2206
Re: Second Appeal−Wheeling Township, PA ID 013-84602-00,
Town Hall/Garage, FEMA-1507-DR-OH, Project Worksheet (PW) 611
Dear Ms. Dragani:
This letter is in response to your letter dated May 30, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal of behalf of Wheeling Township (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of additional funding for an Improved Project.
During the January 2004 storms, an embankment failed and severely damaged the Applicant’s two-story Town Hall/Garage. The Applicant subsequently demolished the Town Hall/Garage. FEMA prepared an initial project worksheet (PW) for $228,659 to demolish the existing structure and construct a new structure on March 31, 2004. FEMA did not obligate the PW because the Applicant subsequently requested an Improved Project. The Applicant planned to replace the two-story facility (3,187 square feet) with a larger one-story facility (3,890 square feet). In response to the Applicant’s request, FEMA obligated PW 611 on May 2, 2007, for demolition costs only. On November 20, 2007, FEMA obligated PW 611, version 1 for $212,476 (federal share of $183,786) to replace the structure. The Applicant filed a first appeal with your office on April 1, 2008, requesting additional funding for the project. The Applicant stated that estimated replacement cost did not include certain costs and was not justified by any calculations or reference to a national reference manual. FEMA used R.S. Means to calculate the cost ($63.00 per square foot) and provided a cost breakdown to the Applicant that included all the eligible costs for the project. The Applicant requested an estimate based on $102.75 per square foot rather than FEMA’s estimate of $63.00 per square foot.
The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal on May 2, 2008, because FEMA caps costs for Improved Projects at the Federal share of the approved estimated costs in accordance
with 44 CFR §206.203 (d)(1), Funding options – Improved projects . Also, the Applicant submitted its appeal after the regulatory deadline for submitting appeals as prescribed by §206.206 (2)(c), Appeals. The Regional Administrator did not receive the Applicant’s appeal
until April 9, 2008, well-beyond the regulatory 60-day time limit to submit appeals. The Regional Administrator sent a follow-up letter on May 16, 2008, to the Governor’s Authorized
Representative, stating that if the eligible repair or replacement costs exceed the original estimate and the Applicant can document the costs for the approved scope of work separately from the costs of the improvements, the Applicant may request additional funding in a second appeal.
The Applicant submitted a second appeal on May 27, 2008, requesting additional funding for the project. The Applicant did not submit a separate accounting of costs related to completing the eligible scope of work. The Governor’s Authorized Representative asked that FEMA defer a final decision on the Applicant’s appeal until final project closeout.
FEMA may adjust the Federal contribution to an Improved Project if an applicant can definitively demonstrate there were significant items of eligible work omitted from the approved scope of work or the actual cost to complete the approved scope of work exceeded the estimated cost. The Applicant did not submit any compelling information to support either of the above options. In addition, the Applicant did not submit its first appeal within the regulatory timeframe. For these reasons, I am denying the appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
James A. Walke
Acting Assistant Administrator
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Janet Odeshoo
Acting Regional Administrator