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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-UCCM7-00; Village Center Commuity Development District
PW ID# Project Worksheet 5977; North Rapid Infiltration Basin
FEMA-1545-DR-FL, Village Center Community Development District, Project Worksheet 5977, North Rapid Infiltration BasinCross-reference:
Pre-Disaster Conditions, Work EligibilitySummary:
Following Hurricane Frances, the Village Center Community Development District (Applicant) reported sinkholes in the North Rapid Infiltration Basin (RIB) of its wastewater treatment plant. The Applicant filled the sinkholes with clay soil and tested the subsurface conditions at the site. The resulting engineering report stated that heavy rains likely triggered the recent sinkhole activity; however, it also referenced geological conditions that indicated prior sinkhole activity. In March 15, 2005, other sinkholes developed in the same general area and the Applicants engineer recommended stabilizing the area with the sand slurry injection. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 5977 on May 9, 2005, and obligated it for $0 because the information did not show that the disaster caused the sinkholes. The Applicant submitted its first appeal on October 13, 2005, asking for $105,000 to stabilize the subsurface soil in the sinkhole areas. It included the engineering report and also referenced PW 2370 from FEMA-1561-DR-FL, which was written for a neighboring county to evaluate sinkhole damage, test soil, and back-fill and compact soil and obligated for $14,452. FEMA denied the first appeal on October 30, 2006. Based on language in the engineering report, it concluded that the sinkhole was a pre-existing condition and not a direct result of the hurricane. The Applicant submitted its second appeal on February 5, 2007, stating that FEMA had misinterpreted the engineering report, again pointing to PW 2370, and referencing section 406 of the Stafford Act.Issues:
1. Is the work requested required as a direct result of the disaster?
2. Does the work requested by the Applicant return the facility to predisaster condition?
3. Are costs related to filling the sinkholes with clay soil eligible for FEMA reimbursement?Findings:
1. No. The facility was returned to predisaster condition and suffered subsequent damage due to geological conditions.
2. No. The work requested stabilizes the subsurface soil, which goes beyond the work necessary to return the facility to predisaster condition.
44 CFR §206.223(a)(1); 44 CFR §206.226