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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 031-56627; Village of Orland Hills
DSR ID# 18024, 44630; Damage Retaining Wall
Citation: FEMA-1129-DR-IL; Village of Orland Hills; PA ID 031-56627; DSR 44630/18024.
Cross-Reference: Severe storms; high winds; damage to retaining wall; eligible applicants.
Summary: In the aftermath of the Summer 1996 severe storms and flooding, FEMA wrote DSR 44630 for the Village of Orland Hills to replace a damaged retaining wall at a cost of $18,495. A Public Assistance Officer in the Illinois Emergency Management Agency submitted a letter to FEMA on December 6, 1999 indicating that he had been informed that the retaining wall was not the responsibility of the Village. FEMA conducted an investigation the result of which was the approval of DSR 18024 to deobligate the funding of $18,495. The Village submitted an appeal of the deobligation on September 30, 1999 attesting that the wall was installed as part of a drainage system, part of the public improvements of the development. The Regional Director denied the appeal because the Village Administrator and the former Village Trustee provided contradictory information about the Village's legal responsibility for the repairs to the wall. The Village submitted a February 18, 2000 second appeal in which it enclosed several documents purporting to show that it had legal responsibility for the wall. None of these documents present any hard evidence to support the applicant's claim that the retaining wall was part of the development or that the Village had the legal responsibility for its repair. In the appeal, the Administrator attests that the May 15, 1996 letter to Mr. & Mrs. Lamparski-private homeowners outside the Village-was an attempt to obtain monetary commitments to repair the wall.
Issue: Should FEMA commit federal funds to repair a retaining wall that is located on private property outside of the Village of Orland Hills and for which the Village is unable to show that it at any time accepted legal responsibility?
Findings: No. All available evidence indicates that the retaining wall was built on a utility easement on private property outside the limits of the Village of Orland Hills. The Village of Orland Hills has no legal responsibility for its repair.
Rationale: 44 CFR 206.223 (a)(3).