Appeal Brief | Appeal Letter | Back
Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 045-02226-00; St. Stanislaus College Preparatory School
PW ID# 10113; Gym Floor Replacement
March 28, 2012
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
P.O. Box 5644
Pearl, MS 39208
RE:Second Appeal–St. Stanislaus College Preparatory School, PA ID 045-02226-00, Gym Floor Replacement, FEMA-1604-DR-MS, Project Worksheets (PW) 10113
Dear Mr. Latham:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated October 22, 2010, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the St. Stanislaus College Preparatory School (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of $64,988 to replace its gymnasium floor.
Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage to the Applicant’s campus. Among the disaster-damaged buildings were the kitchen, cafeteria, and fitness center. The Applicant used Title IV Hurricane Education Recovery Act (RESTART) funds to replace the fitness center’s gymnasium floor in June 2006. In July 2006, FEMA prepared PW 8927 to fund temporary facilities for the Applicant’s disaster-damaged kitchen and cafeteria. In September 2006, FEMA prepared PW 10113 to fund permanent repairs to its fitness center, including replacement of the disaster-damaged gymnasium floor. Rather than funding a temporary facility for the cafeteria under PW 8927, the Applicant utilized the gymnasium as a temporary cafeteria. Faculty and students used portable tables on rollers that were raised and lowered three times a day, seven days a week for three years. In November 2008, FEMA de-obligated $64,988 from PW 10113 to remove the permanent repair cost for the gymnasium floor that had been replaced with RESTART funds.
On January 7, 2010, the Applicant submitted a first appeal requesting that FEMA reinstate $90,469 to replace the gymnasium floor that had become damaged through its use as a temporary cafeteria. The Regional Administrator denied the appeal in a letter dated June 25, 2010. FEMA determined that permanent repair of the gymnasium floor was not eligible because the damages to the floor were not a direct result of the disaster, but from the Applicant’s choice to utilize the gymnasium as a temporary cafeteria.
In a letter dated September 3, 2010, the Applicant submitted a second appeal requesting that FEMA re-obligate $64,988 to PW 10113. The Applicant maintained that use of the facility as a temporary cafeteria and the resulting damage to the floor was a direct result of Hurricane Katrina. The Applicant further asserted that using the gymnasium was a cost effective alternative to leasing or building a temporary cafeteria.
FEMA prepared PW 8927 for the rental of trailers to house the temporary kitchen and the cafeteria. In October 2010, FEMA closed-out PW 8927 for a total of $966,844.85 for the rental of equipment and trailers for temporary kitchen facilities from August 2006 to September 2009. The PW did not include any costs related to temporary cafeteria facilities. In comparing the cost of trailer rental for just the kitchen ($966,845) to the cost to repair damages to the gymnasium floor ($64,988), it demonstrates that utilizing the fitness center gymnasium as a temporary cafeteria was a reasonable and cost-effective alternative for providing temporary cafeteria facilities to the school.
Pursuant to Stafford Act Section 403 (a)(3)(d), the Applicant is eligible for temporary facilities. The Applicant utilized the fitness center gymnasium as a temporary cafeteria as it was the only facility on campus large enough to accommodate its students and faculty. It was this eligible activity of serving as a temporary cafeteria that resulted in damage to the gymnasium floor. Therefore, the cost to repair the damage is eligible for reimbursement.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Applicant’s documentation supports the use of the fitness center gymnasium as a temporary cafeteria. Accordingly, I am granting the second appeal for the replacement of the gym floor in the amount of $64,988. By copy of this letter, I am requesting that the Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement this determination.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
Deputy Associate Administrator
Office of Response and Recovery
cc: Major P. May
FEMA Region IV