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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 181-38280-00; City of Indianola
PW ID# 5899; Slope Failure
May 20, 2010
Patrick J. Hall
Alternate Governor’s Authorized Representative
Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division
7105 NW 70th Avenue, Camp Dodge, Building W-4
Johnston, IA 50131-1824
Re: Second Appeal–City of Indianola, PA ID 181-38280-00, Slope Failure,
FEMA-1763-DR-IA, Project Worksheet (PW) 5899
Dear Mr. Hall:
This letter is in response to your letter dated September 15, 2009, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the City of Indianola (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of funding for slope stabilization.
Heavy rains from May 25, 2008, through August 13, 2008, resulted in a slope failure along an embankment north of the National Balloon Museum located at 1601 North Jefferson Way. The slope failure was within 10 feet of the to the museum’s parking lot. The Applicant commissioned a geotechnical study by Allender Butzke Engineers, Inc. (ABE) to determine the cause of the slope failure. ABE concluded in its September 30, 2008 report that the slope failure was a “result of upper existing fill and alluvial soils sliding on the hard weathered bedrock layer below.” Moreover, ABE concluded that placement of additional fill on the slope during the museum’s construction was an activating force in the slope failure. On January 5, 2009, FEMA determined that permanent repairs to the failed slope are ineligible.
In its first appeal, submitted on February 26, 2009, the Applicant argued that the absence of a slope failure from 1988 to 2008 demonstrated that there was no presence of historical instability. However, the geotechnical report submitted by the Applicant concluded that the additional fill placed on the slope during construction of the museum contributed to the slope failure. Subsequently, the Acting Regional Administrator denied the appeal on June 23, 2009.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on September 8, 2009. The Applicant reiterated its previous argument that there was no evidence of instability prior to the 2008 storms. The Applicant did not present any additional documentation to counter the determination of its own geotechnical analysis that the “weight of additional fill placed during initial construction” in 1988 contributed to the slope failure. Pursuant to FEMA Recovery Policy 9524.2 Landslides and Slope Failures, Section VII., D., Determining the Scope of Work, when there is evidence of instability that was not caused by the disaster, the cost to stabilize the site is the responsibility of the Applicant. Therefore, permanent repairs to the slope north of the National Balloon Museum’s parking lot are ineligible for Public Assistance funding.
I have reviewed all of the information submitted with the appeal and determined that the Regional Administrator’s decision on the first appeal was consistent with program statute and regulations. Accordingly, I am denying this appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206 Appeals.
Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
Cc: Beth Freeman
FEMA Region VII