An Improved Project is any project (large or small) where the applicant chooses to make additional improvements to the facility while making disaster repairs. Applicants performing restoration work on a damaged facility may use the opportunity to make additional improvements while still restoring the facility to its pre-disaster design.
For the most part, these are projects in which the funding for approved work cannot be tracked within the improved projects because of physical changes or contracting arrangements. For example, an applicant might propose laying asphalt on a gravel road or replacing a firehouse that originally had two bays with one that has three.
An improved project may be requested for both small and large projects, but must be approved by the grantee prior to construction. Any project that results in a significant change from the pre-disaster configuration (that is, different location, footprint, function, or size) must be reviewed by FEMA prior to construction to ensure completion of the appropriate environmental and/or historical review. Grantee approval must be held pending such review.
Federal funding for improved projects is limited to the Federal share of the estimated costs and to the time limits that would be associated with repairing the damaged facility to its pre-disaster design. Justified time extensions may be approved. The balance of the funds is a non-Federal responsibility. Funds to construct the improved project can be combined with a grant from another Federal agency; however, Federal grants cannot be used to meet the grantee or local cost-share requirement.
If the original facility is being repaired and improvements are being added, Section 406 Hazard Mitigation funding may be applied to the original facility. If the improved project involves a new facility on the same site or on a different site, Section 406 Hazard Mitigation funding will not be applied to that project.