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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 019-27400-00; City of Green Cove Springs
PW ID# 771; Work Eligibility
July 24, 2012
Florida Division of Emergency Management
2555 Shumard Oak Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2100
Re: Second Appeal-City of Green Cove Springs, PA ID 019-27400-00, Work Eligibility, FEMA‑1785-DR-FL Project Worksheet (PW) 771
Dear Mr. Koon:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated April 7, 2010, transmitting the second appeal on behalf of the City of Green Cove Springs (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s (FEMA) decision to deny $17,861 for the repair of two floating docks.
Tropical Storm Fay’s high winds and rain caused flooding and high surf in the St. John’s River. The surf damaged two floating docks at the Applicant’s public pier. On December 8, 2008, FEMA prepared PW 771 for the repair of the two docks at an estimated cost of $8,128. The scope of work included removal and replacement of damaged whalers, fascia boards, tie rods, and one pile roller. The PW stated that the docks were severely twisted, indicating damage to the underside of the docks, and the electrical lines were broken. In preparing the cost estimate, FEMA utilized the Cost Estimating Format (CEF). However, neither the PW scope of work nor the CEF addressed the broken electrical lines or potential damage to the underside of the docks.
Prior to FEMA’s preparation of the CEF estimate, the Applicant claimed $44,785 in contract costs for repair of the docks and $990 for direct administrative costs. In addition to the FEMA approved scope of work, this included replacing five dock pedestals, thread bolts on both docks, and repair of the water and electrical systems. FEMA’s CEF repair estimate of $26,924 did not account for these additional items. In preparing PW 771, FEMA reduced the Applicant’s total claim of $45,775 based on ineligible work ($17,861) and anticipated insurance proceeds ($19,785) for the total eligible cost of $8,128.
The Applicant submitted a first appeal, dated April 16, 2009, requesting that FEMA re-evaluate the eligible cost determination based on the scope of repair work performed. The Applicant argued that FEMA’s scope of work and cost estimate did not account for the electrical or water system repairs. In a letter dated July 28, 2009, the Regional Administrator denied the appeal and responded that the Applicant had not demonstrated that the work described in Change Order No. 1 to the contract, which included replacing the dock pedestals, thread bolts, and repairs to the water and electrical systems, was required as a result of the disaster. The first appeal response further stated that the damage description and scope of work for PW 771 included the items in the base bid of the contract and did not include those items in Change Order No. 1.
On April 7, 2010, the State of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management (State) submitted a letter transmitting the Applicant’s second appeal. The letter argues that the approved version of the PW indicates “there may be further damage to the underside of the dock that cannot be seen.” The State contends that FEMA’s Project Specialist only considered damage that was above the water line. The State further maintains that the Applicant’s insurance company viewed the total claimed cost for repairs as disaster related and the Applicant’s insurance company would not cover these costs if the damage was not the result of Tropical Storm Fay. In its second appeal, the Applicant states that its total repair cost is $41,198, lower than its original claim of $44,785.
In accordance with 44 CFR §206.223(a)(1), General work eligibility, an item of work must be required as a result of the disaster in order to be eligible for Public Assistance funding. The scope of work in question is to replace five dock pedestals, thread bolts on both docks, and repair of the water and electrical systems. FEMA’s damage description in PW 771 stated that the undersides of the docks were likely damaged and the electrical lines were broken. It also identified loose bolts on the docks. Photographs included with PW 771 show that the waterlines run underneath the docks. Based on this information, it is reasonable to conclude that the waterlines, electrical system, and thread bolts all required repair or replacement, as appropriate. FEMA did not identify damage to the dock pedestals in PW 771. However, photographs included with the PW show the dock pedestals located on the damaged docks and covered to avoid use. The dock pedestals provide electricity and water on the docks. Given the damage to those systems and docks it is reasonable to conclude the pedestals required replacement as well.
FEMA’s CEF estimate did not include these items and was prepared using RS Means as a source of cost estimating information. RS Means is an appropriate source of cost information, but the contract cost information provided by the Applicant should have been the primary source of cost data for this project.
Based on a review of PW 771 and FEMA’s CEF, the applicant’s contract scope of work and cost are eligible for funding as summarized below.
Less Insurance reimbursement
Direct Administrative Costs
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Applicant’s appeal should be granted in full. By this letter, I am requesting that the Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement my decision.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206 Appeals.
cc: Major P. May
FEMA Region IV