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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 113-05359-00; Mercy Medical Center
PW ID# 9449; Steam Heat Service
Citation: FEMA-1763-DR-IA, Mercy Medical Center, Steam Service,
Project Worksheet (PW) 9449
Reference: Work Eligibility; Increased Operating Costs
Summary: From May 25 to August 13, 2008, flood waters from the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids damaged a central steam generation plant owned by a commercial vendor, Alliant Energy Corporation (Alliant). Damage to Alliant’s steam generation plant caused a temporary gap in its ability to provide the Mercy Medical Center (Applicant’s) facility with steam. As a result, the Applicant took emergency precautionary measures and leased a boiler to provide steam to its facility. Alliant resumed continued steam service to the Applicant starting on July 15, 2008. The steam service post-disaster that Alliant provided was more expensive and less reliable than pre-disaster steam service. On February 4, 2009, the Applicant executed a plan to build a permanent steam facility on-site at its facility. The Applicant leased three temporary boilers using Alliant’s service as back-up until the permanent steam facility could be built.
In its first appeal, the Applicant asserted that Alliant’s inability to provide steam service on a reliable basis was a direct result of the disaster. The costs incurred were reasonable and necessary for the Applicant to operate as a critical care facility to protect the public health and welfare of Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities. FEMA denied the first appeal because it determined that the cost difference of the steam provided by Alliant was an increased operational and administrative cost and not eligible for reimbursement. Finally, after the Applicant reconnected to Alliant, funding of emergency protective measures provided to the Applicant ceased. In its second appeal, the Applicant reasserts these costs represent a clear and present need to deliver an essential service central to the operation of a critical care facility and that the costs incurred for the three temporary boilers were a direct result of the disaster.
Issue: 1. Is the cost for increased steam costs eligible for Public Assistance?
2. Once the Applicant reconnected to Alliant for steam service, is the cost for leased temporary on-site boilers eligible for Public Assistance?
Finding: 1. No. Increased operating costs are not eligible emergency protective measures.
2. No. When the Applicant reconnected to Alliant, emergency protective measures provided to the Applicant ended.
Rationale: The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 406, Repair, Restoration, and Replacement of damaged Facilities (42 U.S.C. §5172); 44 CFR §206.223(a) General work eligibility