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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 031-UVAHL-00; Ellicott Meadows Community Association
PW ID# NA; Private Nonprofit Eligibility
February 14, 2012
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Maryland Emergency Management Agency
5401 Rue Saint Lo Drive
Reisterstown, Maryland 21136
Re: Second Appeal-Ellicott Meadows Community Association, PA ID 031-UVAHL-00, Private Nonprofit Eligibility, FEMA-1875-DR-MD
Dear Mr. Muth:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated December 21, 2010, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Ellicott Meadows Community Association (Association). The Association is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of its Request for Public Assistance (RPA).
On May 4, 2010, following the major disaster declaration for snow and severe winter storms (FEMA-1875-DR-MD), the Association submitted an RPA to apply for reimbursement of snow removal costs. In a letter dated August 19, 2010, FEMA determined the Association was not an eligible Private Nonprofit (PNP) applicant because the Association did not submit the required tax exemption documentation from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the State of Maryland.
In its first appeal dated September 23, 2010, the Association asserted that during the declared event, its roads served as emergency facilities because they provided the only access for residents in the community who are 55 years of age and older. The Association contends that it is a State recognized PNP operating as a Property Owner’s Association and it also operates and maintains a waste water treatment facility utilized by the residents in the community. On October 18, 2010, FEMA denied the first appeal, stating that the Association was unable to provide documentation from the IRS or the State supporting their tax exempt status, as defined in 44 CFR §206.221(f)(1), Definitions, Private Nonprofit Organization.
The second appeal was submitted on December 15, 2010, which included the Association’s Letter of Incorporation claiming non-profit status. The Association states that it has applied to the IRS for tax exemption. The Association states that it operates an eligible waste water treatment facility located on the property that services 160 homes and that it was necessary for it to remove snow to provide access to the facility. The Association claims that the residents of the community have significant health conditions and they require emergency vehicles and nurses to have access to their homes.
To be eligible as a PNP for the Public Assistance Program, an applicant must have a ruling letter from the IRS or satisfactory evidence from the state that it is a nonprofit organization doing business under State law as outlined in 44 CFR §206.221(f). An applicant must also meet requirements as listed in 44 CFR §206.221 through 44 CFR §206.226, including owning or operating an eligible facility and be legally responsible for the disaster-related repairs (Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9521.3, Private Nonprofit (PNP) Facility Eligibility, dated July 18, 2007). The Association provided a copy of its IRS Section 501(c)(3) tax exemption letter, dated January 26, 2011, with an effective date of exemption of April 25, 2005. IRS Section 501(c)(4) tax exemption is provided to various types of organizations to include homeowners’ associations. The Association is not claiming damage to the waste water treatment facility, but it is claiming costs associated with snow removal from its roadways, which are not eligible.
The Association claims it has an eligible facility. However, the Association has not provided FEMA the documentation to substantiate the claim that it is legally responsible for the waste water treatment facility. The facility is licensed and managed by Maryland Environment Service (MES), therefore, the legal responsibility of the waste water treatment facility belongs to the MES. Accordingly, the Association has not demonstrated that it is an eligible Private Nonprofit.
I have reviewed all of the information submitted with the appeal and determined that the Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance Program regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying this appeal.
Please inform the Association of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
cc: MaryAnn Tierney
FEMA Region III