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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 087-00000; County of Santa Cruz
DSR ID# 11111111; McGaffigan Mill Road Bridge
Citation: FEMA-1203-DR-CA; County of Santa Cruz; McGaffigan Mill Road Bridge
Cross Bridge; legal responsibility; eligible applicant; privately owned
Summary: The El Ni?o storms of 1998 caused damage to the McGaffigan Mill Road bridge. In March of 1999, a group of residents of the neighborhood entered into an agreement with the County of Santa Cruz (County). The agreement was established such that the County would submit a claim to FEMA for the repair of the damages to the bridge on behalf of the neighborhood residents. On June 1, 1999, the County requested that FEMA prepare a Damage Survey Report to fund the repair of the bridge. FEMA denied the request pursuant to 44 CFR 206.223(a)(3) stating that the bridge was not the legal responsibility of the County. The County appealed this decision and asserted that the neighborhood was inaccessible to emergency vehicles and, therefore, FEMA should fund the replacement of the bridge as an emergency protective measure. The Regional Director denied the first appeal on the basis that the work to replace the privately- owned bridge was not the legal responsibility of an eligible applicant. The Regional Director determined that the agreement entered into by the County and the neighborhood residents specifically exempted the County from the legal responsibility for the facility. In the second appeal, the neighborhood residents and County state that the unsafe conditions of the bridge have made it difficult in obtaining septic tank service, because the service trucks are too heavy to cross the bridge. According to County Environmental staff, septic system failure due to improper maintenance and pumping is a violation of the County Health and Safety Code. Consequently, the homes within the neighborhood could be red-tagged which would result in the displacement of residents should the septic system result in a violation of the County Code. Because of this, the County requests that FEMA fund the costs to repair the bridge to its pre-disaster condition.
Issues: 1. Is the County legally responsible for the repair of the bridge?
2. Is the bridge repair eligible as an emergency access project?
Findings: 1. No. The County has not provided any information demonstrating that it has legal responsibility for the project.
2. No. The project does not meet the criteria of 44 CFR 206.225(b)
Rationale: 44 CFR 206.223(a)(3); 44 CFR 206.225(b)