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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-U03D9-00; Florida Department of Agricultural & Consumer Services - 2nd
PW ID# 6552 & 6655; Denial of Additional Funds
September 16, 2010
Ruben D. Almaguer
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Florida Division of Emergency Management
2555 Shumard Oak Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2100
Re: Second Appeal – Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, Denial of Additional Funds, FEMA-1609-DR-FL, Project Worksheets (PWs) 6552 and 6655
Dear Mr. Almaguer:
This is in response to your letter dated August 3, 2009, which transmitted the referenced second appeal for the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of additional funding for $914,101.
In 2005, rain and wind from Hurricane Wilma damaged several buildings in the Florida City Farmers Market complex. The Applicant requested assistance from FEMA to repair several buildings. FEMA prepared PWs 6552 and 6655 to repair metal roofing, ceiling tile, insulation, and flashing on Buildings 10 and 12 of the complex for $1,725 and $22,018 respectively. PW 6552 cited roof leakage from rusty flashing that caused damage to 756 square feet of ceiling tile and insulation. PW 6655 cited damage to two overhead doors, 1,778 square feet of metal roofing, 168 square feet of ceiling tile, and 15.6 square yards of carpet. The Applicant hired ACAI Associates Incorporated to complete an assessment report of the two structures in July 2008, over two years after the disaster. This report recommended an increase in the scope of work and additional costs for repair to both buildings for a total of $914,101.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal September 30, 2008, requesting additional funds for significant repairs to Buildings 10 and 12, claiming that the original PWs grossly underestimated the damage. The Applicant included the ACAI Associates report detailing the damage and scope of repairs to both structures. This report cited damage to the buildings from long-term exposure and delayed maintenance following the 2005 storm. The FEMA Regional Administrator denied the request of $914,101 because the Applicant did not take any steps to prevent further damage to the two structures and was requesting funds to upgrade systems and utilities not damaged by the storm.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal June 25, 2009, to the state emergency management office and FEMA Region IV received a letter from the State of Florida dated August 3, 2009. The Applicant is requesting $914,101 in additional funds for PWs 6552 and 6655 to repair Buildings 10 and 12 appealing the initial damage reports and cost estimates. As part of the second appeal documentation, the Applicant included a letter from ACAI Associates explaining the engineering report submitted in the first appeal. This letter detailed water damage and recommended replacing both roof systems for efficiency and cost. The letter stated that ACAI Associates differentiates between the storm damage and subsequent deterioration, but still suggests repair to all damaged areas. The Applicant did not provide any additional information documenting disaster-related damage.
Title 44 CFR §206.223 (a), General work eligibility states that to be eligible for financial assistance an item of work must be required as a result of the major disaster event. The Applicant did not provide sufficient evidence to support the claim that corrective actions outlined in the engineering report were to repair damage caused by the disaster. The report suggests repairs to Buildings 10 and 12 that include replacing the entire roof for both structures and upgrading all of the building utilities and systems, including areas that did not sustain damages from the storm that are “at the end of their useful life.” In addition, the report cites neglect and disrepair in both structures and provides documentation of these issues through photographs.
I have reviewed all information the Applicant submitted with the appeal and determined that the Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with program regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
cc: Major P. May
FEMA Region IV