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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 133-UQ20F-00; East Prairie Nutrition Center
PW ID# 402; Eligible Work
September 27, 2010
Charles R. May
Alternate State Coordinating Officer
Missouri State Emergency Management Agency
P.O. Box 116
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Re: Second Appeal–East Prairie Nutrition Center, PA ID 133-UQ20F-00, Eligible Work,
FEMA-1822-DR-MO, Project Worksheet (PW) 402
Dear Mr. May:
This letter is in response to your letter dated February 26, 2010, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the East Prairie Nutrition Center (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of funding for costs associated with providing meals to the public and overtime pay for its employees following a severe winter storm.
Severe winter storms impacted the City of East Prairie, Missouri, from January 26, 2009, through January 28, 2009. Ice caused power outages throughout the area. The Applicant provided meals and a warming center to the general public following the storms. The Applicant is a private nonprofit (PNP) senior center that normally provides meals at the facility and also delivers meals as part of the Meals on Wheels program. The Applicant normally receives funding from Medicaid and Meals on Wheels. For this event, the City of East Prairie provided $1,054 worth of food to the Applicant. The Applicant originally requested reimbursement of $4,300 for food it purchased to serve 3,698 meals at its facility and 1,736 meals it delivered to individuals after the storm. The Applicant provided documentation for 314 meals served, but no documentation for meals it delivered. At $2.50 per meal, the price that the Applicant normally charges, the total cost of the meals was $785. The Applicant also requested reimbursement of $5,901.50 for 409 overtime hours at $14.50 per hour for eight employees. The documentation it provided showed only 31 hours for two employees at $7.05 per hour, and did not describe the work that the employees performed. In addition, the Applicant requested reimbursement for equipment operation, bills, and other materials. Because the total potentially eligible project cost was under $1,000, FEMA prepared PW 402 for $785 as ineligible in accordance with 44 CFR §206.202(d)(2), Application procedures, which states that when the estimated cost of work is less than $1,000 that work is not eligible.
The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) received the Applicant’s first appeal on July 13, 2009. The Applicant argued that SEMA workers failed to inform it that signatures for each meal were required for reimbursement. In a letter dated July 23, 2009, the Applicant requested reimbursement for meals provided during the ice storm and the cost of employee overtime.
The Applicant submitted information regarding hours the employees worked, invoices from food vendors, and information regarding the number of meals served. The Acting Regional Administrator denied this appeal in a letter dated November 23, 2009, because the Applicant did not have legal responsibility to serve food to the public; it did not have a mutual aid agreement with the City of East Prairie to feed the public; and the Applicant’s request constituted a duplication of benefits because it received funding from Medicaid, Meals on Wheels, and the City of East Prairie.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on February 11, 2010, and SEMA forwarded it to FEMA on February 26, 2010. The Applicant reasserted its request for food and overtime expenses, arguing that it did not have documentation for the first days that it provided food and shelter to citizens because SEMA did not inform it of this requirement. Operating costs for providing services are not eligible, even if the event increased operating costs. The provision of food is an emergency protective measure that may entail increased operating costs and may be eligible. However, these are emergency protective measures accomplished by a PNP organization, on request of and certified by the responsible government entity. FEMA assistance is through the government entity, not directly to the PNP organization. There was no mutual aid agreement between the Applicant and the City of East Prairie. Therefore, this Applicant is not eligible for Public Assistance funding.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Acting 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, Appeals.
Acting Assistant Administrator
cc: Beth Freeman
FEMA Region VII