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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 013-84602-00; Wheeling Township
PW ID# Project Worksheet 611; Wheeling Township
Citation: FEMA-1507-DR-OH, Wheeling Township, Improved Project, Project Worksheet (PW) 611
During the January 2004 storms, water saturated the ground causing an
embankment to fail above the Applicant’s Town Hall/Garage. The building had to
be demolished. FEMA granted $200,812 to demolish and replace the
two-story, 3187 square foot building with a one-story 3890 square foot building.
The Applicant filed a late appeal asserting that estimated replacement cost did not
include certain costs and was not justified by any calculations or reference to a
national reference manual. The Applicant requested an estimate based
on $102.75 per square foot rather than FEMA’s estimate of $63.00 per square
foot. On May 2, 2008, the Regional Administrator denied the appeal and noted that the appeal was not timely. In FEMA’s May 16, 2008, follow-up letter, FEMA explained to the Applicant that it used a nationally recognized tool (R.S. Means) and included all eligible costs.
The Applicant submitted a second appeal on May 27, 2008. On behalf of the Applicant, the State asked that FEMA consider records that separately track eligible replacement costs from improvement costs. However, no data detailing the differences in accounting were included in the appeal. While it is possible for an Applicant to provide the very specific accounting that would be required to establish eligible costs above the approved capped costs of an improved project, adequate documentation is rarely accomplished and in this case, has not been accomplished at all. The Applicant may request a cost adjustment at project closeout, but the standard for documentation of the costs of construction and construction materials will be high. For now, the capped cost for this project is at the replacement cost calculated by the FEMA Regional office.
FEMA provide additional funding for an improved project?
Yes, if the eligible repair or replacement costs exceed the original estimate and
the Applicant can document the costs separately at closeout. The standard for
documenting the costs will be high.
44 CFR §206.203 (d)(1), FEMA 322 Public Assistance Guide, June 2007