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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 007-19180-00; City of Cranston
PW ID# 577; Replacement of Police Vehicles
March 1, 2012
Theresa C. Murray
Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency
Executive Office of Public Safety
645 New London Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island 02920
Re: Second Appeal–City of Cranston, PA ID 007-191800-00, Replacement of Police Vehicles, FEMA-1894-DR-RI, Project Worksheet (PW) 577
Dear Ms. Murray:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated March 30, 2011, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the City of Cranston (Applicant). The letter also refers to the second appeal for PW 693 (Protective Gear), which was addressed in a separate letter dated January 6, 2012. The Applicant requests that the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fund the full replacement costs of two flood-damaged police vehicles by restoring the disallowed amount of $36,873.
The Cranston Police Department sustained the loss of two police vehicles as a result of flooding from severe storms during the period of March 12, 2010 through April 12, 2010. The Applicant prepared PW 577 for total costs of $57,556 to replace the two damaged vehicles with new vehicles as opposed to vehicles of equivalent age and value.
Following a FEMA inspection of the damaged vehicles, a review of the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) used car cost guide, and identifying 147 police vehicles for purchase nationwide that were comparable in age, condition, and capacity, FEMA determined that the police vehicles could be replaced with similar vehicles and allowed the NADA value of $16,085 ($7,785 and $8,300) minus a salvage of $176 for each vehicle. In addition, FEMA factored in the cost for replacement of vehicle graphics ($900), used vehicles transportation cost ($1,600), and direct administrative costs ($2,450) into the grant. On August 24, 2010, FEMA obligated PW 577 for a total of $20,683.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on September 14, 2010, which was transmitted by the State to FEMA on September 28, 2010. The Applicant argued that FEMA’s observations that the vehicles appeared to be undamaged was not relevant to the replacement of the vehicles and that used police vehicles are not generally suitable or reliable for continued law enforcement use. The Applicant also argued that FEMA should allow the salvage value for the vehicles as recommended by the Applicant. Support documents included a copy of an estimate of the value for each damaged vehicle from the Applicant’s Fleet Management Division, a copy of a Bill of Sale with vehicle salvage values, a copy of a Self-Insurer Certificate, copies of police incident reports, and a copy of an Invitation to Bid for the purchase of seven police vehicles.
On December 16, 2010, the Regional Administrator denied the first appeal and reaffirmed FEMA’s initial determination that the Applicant was eligible for the cost of used vehicle replacement as opposed to the cost of new vehicle replacement. Pursuant to 44 CFR §206.226(h), Restoration of damaged facilities, Equipment and furnishings, if equipment is “damaged beyond repair, comparable items are eligible as replacement items.” The Regional Administrator concluded that the Applicant did not provide sufficient justification that used vehicles were not suitable and did not meet applicable national consensus standards. The Regional Administrator stated that it was not unreasonable to expect the Applicant to acquire a used police vehicle from out of state and to take actions before the purchase to ensure that the vehicles satisfy the Applicant’s criteria. In addition, the Regional Administrator disagreed with the Applicant’s objection that FEMA did not allow a reasonable salvage value for the damaged vehicles given that FEMA used the $352 value that was provided by the Applicant.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on February 12, 2011, which was forwarded to FEMA from the State on March 30, 2011. The Applicant reiterates the same position it claimed in the first appeal. Support documentation included an email from the Applicant’s Acting Captain of Inspection Services that states comparable used vehicles in the vicinity of Rhode Island could not be located to replace the damaged vehicles.
In accordance with FEMA Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9524.10, Replacement of Equipment, Vehicles, and Supplies, “eligible costs are limited to the costs of replacing the destroyed equipment, vehicles, and supplies with the same number of items of approximately the same age, condition, and capacity." The Applicant has not provided sufficient documented justification to support its position that it could not find suitable or reliable replacement vehicles.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the decision is consistent with Public Assistance Program regulations and policies. Therefore, I am denying the Applicant’s 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.
cc: Don R. Boyce
FEMA Region I