Summary: On September 3, 2004, Hurricane Frances (FEMA-1545-DR-FL) struck the City of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, damaging trees and structures throughout the City. Project Worksheets (PWs) 4917 and 5130 were prepared for a total eligible amount of $664,561 to fund debris removal from roads and public rights-of-way. A portion of the PWs were deducted prior to obligation because some of the debris was removed from private roads, federal-aid roads, and unspecified locations within the City. The City submitted its first appeal on July 22, 2005, asking that FEMA consider debris removal from private communities eligible for Public Assistance funding. FEMA denied this appeal in a letter dated February 22, 2006. It stated that the City had not shown that it was legally responsible for removing debris from private property and it was not in the public interest. The City submitted its second appeal on April 7, 2006. It asked FEMA to reconsider its previous denial. A review of PWs 4917 and 5130 indicates that the City is claiming a total of $1,708,676 for vegetative and mixed debris removal.
Issues:1. Did the City demonstrate that it was legally responsible for debris removal from private property?
2. Did the City demonstrate that debris removal from private property was in the public interest?
3. Did the City provide evidence that it had obtained hold harmless/right-of-entry agreements from private property owners prior to entering and commencing debris removal activities?