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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 021-99021-00; Cheatham County
PW ID# 4357; Donated Resources
Conclusion: A number of volunteer sign-in sheets submitted as back-up documentation to the PW and not considered on first appeal substantiated additional public assistance funding credit for donated resources.
From May 1 through May 2, 2010, Tennessee experienced high winds and flooding which resulted in widespread loss of power. The disaster forced residents to vacate their homes and to require food and basic housing. The Applicant opened a disaster recovery center and staffed it with volunteers. The Applicant requested credit toward the calculation of the non-Federal cost share for volunteer labor, donated equipment, and donated materials. FEMA initially granted Applicant’s request for a $65,416 credit but later de-obligated $57,714 because volunteer hours were not properly documented. FEMA also indicated that a church organization, not the Applicant, organized the emergency work. In its first appeal, the Applicant asserted that it was entitled to de-obligated funds and that, although volunteers came from several churches, volunteers from other places also participated. The FEMA Region IV Regional Administrator partially approved the first appeal, noting that FEMA policy does not preclude faith-based organizations from volunteering their resources. The Regional Administrator validated 3,534 volunteer hours and approved a credit of $45,435. In its second appeal, the Applicant argues that it should receive an additional credit of $12,279, the amount that was not awarded on first appeal.
- Stafford Act § 403 authorizes FEMA to “provide assistance essential to meeting immediate threats to life and property resulting from a major disaster.”
- Under 44 C.F.R. § 13.24(b)(6), third party in-kind contributions counting towards satisfying a cost sharing or matching requirement must be verifiable from the records of grantees and subgrantee or cost-type contractors.
- According to Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9525.2, Donated Resources, donated resources are eligible to offset the non-federal share of eligible costs if they are documented by a local public official or a person designated by a local public official. Documentation must include a record of hours worked, the work site, and a description of the work for each volunteer and equivalent information for equipment and materials.
- FEMA reviewed the sign-in sheets provided on first appeal and second appeal, and they were the same. FEMA reviewed the back-up documentation submitted with the PW and found eight additional sign-in sheets that were not reviewed on first appeal. The Applicant properly documented the volunteer hours on those sheets. Therefore, the volunteer hours substantiated on those forms were eligible to offset the non-federal cost share for public assistance funding.
- Stafford Act § 403
- 44 C.F.R. § 13.24(b)(6)
- Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9525.2, Donated Resources