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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 045-99045-00; Hancock County Board of Supervisors
PW ID# 10437, 10691 & 10934; Time Extension
June 21, 2012
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
P.O. Box 5644
Pearl, MS 39208
RE: Second Appeal–Hancock County Board of Supervisors, PA ID 045-99045-00, Time Extension, FEMA-1604-DR-MS, Project Worksheets (PW) 10437, 10691 & 10934
Dear Mr. Latham:
This letter is in response to your letter dated September 14, 2010, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Hancock County Board of Supervisors (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to deny a time extension for Project Worksheets (PWs) 10437, 10691 and 10934.
In August 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused damage to the Hancock County Justice Court (PW 10437) and Sheriff’s Office (PW 10691) which housed the County Jail (PW 10934). FEMA prepared these PWs for the cost of providing temporary facilities during the repair of the damaged facilities. In August 2009 the State requested a time extension for the three PWs through August 28, 2012, on behalf of the Applicant. In a letter dated October 8, 2009, the Regional Administrator denied the request citing the previous time extension approval, which specified that should the Applicant require extensions for the PWs beyond August 29, 2009, it must have started construction on these facilities. The Applicant did not comply with that requirement nor provide a compelling reason to warrant another extension. However, FEMA did grant a final extension through February 28, 2010, in order to allow the Applicant the time to make necessary arrangements relative to the housing of the inmates in the temporary facilities.
The Applicant submitted the first appeal on December 18, 2009, requesting that FEMA extend the time extensions for PWs 10437, 10691, and 10934 until August 28, 2012, the anticipated date of completion of the new Hancock County Public Safety Complex (PW 10245). FEMA had previously approved five extensions for continued funding of temporary relocation facilities and inmate housing under the three Category B Project Worksheets. In addition, FEMA also approved an extension for repair PW 10245 through August 28, 2012. The Applicant maintains that PWs 10437, 10691, and 10934 are associated with PW 10245 and should therefore be extended to coincide with the date approved for PW 10245.
The applicant further maintains that they have been diligent in the rebuilding efforts. In a letter dated May 20, 2010, the Regional Administrator denied the first appeal citing the Applicant’s failure to comply with the requirement to have begun repair or construction on the permanent facility within the timelines established by FEMA in Response and Recovery Policy 9523.3, Provision of Temporary Relocation Facilities dated July 1998.
On July 26, 2010, the Applicant submitted the second appeal which was transmitted to FEMA on September 14, 2010. The Applicant reiterated the position as presented in the first appeal and again requested a time extension to August 2012 to coincide with the completion of the new Hancock Public Safety Complex. The State contends that the Applicant should be granted the time extension for the three PWs because the Applicant has been diligent in their efforts to construct a permanent facility and temporary relocation facilities are a component of the work.
The damage to the Hancock County Justice Court and Sheriff’s office (which also housed the County Jail) was less than 40% of the replacement estimate; and therefore, PW 10245 accounted for the repair not replacement of the facility. The Applicant decided to construct a new facility (rather than repairing the damaged buildings) and did so with the use of insurance proceeds and other sources of funding. The insurance proceeds exceeded the total eligible Public Assistance repair estimate under PW 10245 which resulted in $0 of FEMA funding assistance. Had the applicant repaired the facility in kind, FEMA estimated that repairs would have been completed and the building returned to service no later than March 2007 and based initial relocation and temporary facility funding (PWs 10437, 10691, and 10934) through that date.
The Applicant states, “FEMA has improperly and inconsistently denied the County’s request for this final time extension on the 3 PWs in question. This is the case since a longer time extension, until August 28, 2012, had only recently been approved by FEMA for temporary cost reimbursement payments associated with relocation of inmates until the new County jail [part of the new Hancock Public Safety Complex] is constructed [PW 10245]”. As stated previously, FEMA did approve an extension for the completion of the Applicant’s “Improved Project” under PW 10245, however, pursuant to Response and Recovery Policy 9523.3, Provision of Temporary Relocation Facilities, dated July 16, 1998, Section 7 (F) (3), “for improved projects [CFR 206.203(d)(1)], temporary facilities are eligible; however, there are funding limitations”. The limitations on eligible funding are directly correlated to the time estimated as necessary to perform the approved scope of repair or replacement work. In this case, the repair time is far less than the time taken by the Applicant to construct a new Public Safety Complex at another location. The construction of the new facility did not begin until May 24, 2010, more than four years after the disaster declaration date.
Throughout the appeal process the Applicant has maintained the position that they were diligent in their efforts to move the construction project forward after indications from FEMA that no further time would be granted after August 29, 2009, excepting the fact that FEMA did extend the time through February 28, 2010 to allow the applicant to make necessary arrangements to house the inmates. The fact of the matter is the performance of work for the new facility has no bearing on the
allowance for additional time. In review of the time provided by FEMA for all time extensions on the project, more than reasonable consideration has been provided for the allowance of temporary relocation facilities in conjunction with the applicants improved project.
Based on the review of the Applicant’s 2nd Appeal, and the policy limiting FEMA to allowable relocation funding, there is no basis for the allowance of any further time extensions for temporary relocation in relation to the subject PW’s. Accordingly, I am denying the second 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
Deputy Associate Administrator
Office of Response and Recovery
cc: Major P. May
FEMA Region IV