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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 047-19180-00; City of D’Iberville
PW ID# 10079; Replacement of Police Vehicles - Improved Project
Citation: FEMA-1604-DR-MS, City of D’Iberville, Replacement of Police Vehicles, Project Worksheet (PW) 10079
Cross-Reference: Improved Project
Summary: During Hurricane Katrina, eight police vehicles owned by the City of D’Iberville (Applicant) were destroyed: six Ford Crown Victorias (spanning model years 1995 to 2005), one 2000 Ford Expedition sport utility vehicle (SUV), and one 1999 Dodge Ram truck. To replace the vehicles, the Applicant purchased, at a cost of $193,240, three 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs, three 2006 Chevrolet Silverado trucks, one 2006 GMC Sierra truck, and one 2005 Dodge Ram truck. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 10079 to document reasonable replacement costs of the eight lost police vehicles, which totaled $150,206. With an insurance reduction of $94,634, the total amount obligated was $55,572. The Applicant requested an improved project for the replacement of the vehicles. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency approved the Applicant’s request, but capped funding at the obligated PW amount of $55,572.
The Applicant submitted a first appeal on May 31, 2011, requesting reimbursement of $43,034, which represents the purchased amount less the insurance proceeds and obligated PW amount. The Applicant stated it was in desperate need of police vehicles to protect its citizens and, because it would take weeks to order comparable vehicles, it purchased SUVs and trucks from local automobile dealerships. The Applicant argued FEMA guidelines provide for the purchase of new SUVs and other vehicles, and that such purchases would be considered on a case-by-case basis. On September 28, 2012, the Regional Administrator denied the first appeal, explaining that the SUVs the Applicant purchased were not comparable to its destroyed Ford Crown Victoria sedans. In its second appeal, the Applicant reiterates the same arguments it asserted on first appeal.
Issue: Did the Applicant demonstrate that it is eligible for reimbursement for the difference in the reported cost to replace the destroyed police vehicles?
Finding: Partially. The purchase of SUVs in lieu of vehicles similar to those that were destroyed (i.e., sedans) is considered an improved project, and reimbursement based on the originally obligated amount for those destroyed vehicles is warranted. However, one SUV and one truck were replaced with similar vehicles, and additional funding is eligible for those two vehicles.
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.203(d), Federal grant assistance, Funding options—(1) Improved projects; FEMA Public Assistance Guide (1999 edition), page 57.