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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 095-UCMLT-00; Middleburgh Reformed Church
PW ID# N/A; Request for Public Assistance
Citation: FEMA-4020-DR-NY, Middleburgh Reformed Church
Cross-Reference: Request for Public Assistance (RPA); Private Nonprofit (PNP)
Summary: In September 2011, the Middleburgh Reformed Church (Applicant) submitted an RPA for damages to the church sanctuary and adjoining fellowship hall (community center) as a result of Hurricane Irene. On December 15, 2011, FEMA denied the Applicant’s RPA, because a church does not meet FEMA’s definition of an eligible PNP facility. The Applicant submitted a first appeal of FEMA’s determination, stating that it provides both critical and non-critical services for the community and that its community center “serves as a focal point for several critical government programs and nonprofit organizations that provide services” to the community. The Acting Regional Administrator denied the first appeal, stating that the Applicant did not submit documentation that the Fellowship Hall was specifically established as a community center nor did it provide a charter or by-laws that established the facility as a community center. The Applicant also did not substantiate that separate staff was devoted to managing the fellowship hall as a community center or that the Fellowship Hall was used as a community center over 50 percent of the time. Therefore, according to FEMA Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9521.1, Community Center Eligibility, the Applicant’s facility is not an eligible community center, and the Applicant does not meet the qualifications of an eligible PNP organization according to the criteria set forth in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) §206.221. In its second appeal, the Applicant reiterates its first appeal position that the community center is an eligible PNP facility. The Applicant maintains that the number of hours the community center is used for community-based programs is greater than the number of hours in which religious programs are offered. The Applicant states that it employs a part-time property caretaker “for the express purpose of supporting the building use for outside groups.” The Applicant provided a copy of a 2012 calendar of events for the months of September 2012 through December 2012, a copy of the church 2012 Budget, and photographs of the church and community center as support for its appeal.
Issues: 1. Did the Applicant provide sufficient documentation to support that the fellowship hall is primarily used as a community center?
2. Does Applicant own or operate an eligible PNP facility?
Findings: 1. No.
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.222 Applicant Eligibility; 44 CFR §206.221(e) Definitions, Private nonprofit facility; Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9521.3, Private Nonprofit Facility (PNP) Eligibility (July 18, 2007); Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9521.1, Community Center Eligibility (June 19, 2008)