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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 037-99037-00; Los Angeles County
PW ID# Project Worksheet 702; Day Creek Channel
May 12, 2008
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Response and Recovery Division
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, California 95655
Re: Second Appeal–Los Angeles County, PA ID 037-99037-00,
Net Small Project Overrun, FEMA-1498-DR-CA, Project Worksheet (PW) 702
Dear Mr. Jacks:
This is in response to your letter dated August 27, 2007, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of Los Angeles County (Applicant). The Applicant is requesting the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) reconsideration of its denial of Net Small Project Overrun (NSPO) funding in the amount of $25,215.
As a result of wildfires that occurred during the period of October 21, 2003, through
March 31, 2004, PW 702 was prepared in February 2004 and obligated in the amount of $1,045 to demolish chimneys and related structures of 22 residences in Palmer Canyon because the structures presented an immediate threat to the health and safety of the general public. Because the Applicant was expected to recover the costs of demolition work from the property owners’ homeowner’s insurance, the obligated amount was to cover uninsured properties only. The PW’s scope of work provides for project management costs to oversee the demolition work and to obtain the clearances, insurance information and other documents from the 22 homeowners whose residences were identified for demolition. The scope of work does not include debris removal from private property.
The Applicant submitted an appeal on June 8, 2004, requesting an increase in the demolition costs estimate, and also submitted an estimate for project management costs. FEMA does not review small project cost overruns on a project-by-project basis; therefore, the appeal was denied. However, the Applicant was advised to appeal, if necessary, for a NSPO at the completion of all the Applicant’s small projects.
Following the completion of all small projects, on November 10, 2004, the Applicant submitted an NSPO adjustment in the amount of $25,215 under PW 1248, which reflects the total cost overrun for PW 702. The Acting Regional Director approved the NSPO request on
July 18, 2005, but reversed the decision on March 27, 2007, based on a quality control review of the appeal support documents. It was determined that the documents in the NSPO package
included invoices for debris removal, but did not include the required detailed cost breakdowns of the actual project management costs, the actual costs of obtaining clearances and other documents from homeowners, or a detailed cost breakdown of demolition work.
On July 2, 2007, the Applicant filed its second appeal stating that FEMA erred in associating costs claimed in the NSPO for PW 702 with ineligible debris removal in another PW. The applicant claimed that it incurred $2,400 to remove hazardous structures from private properties and $23,860 for project management, which represents 40 percent of the total project management costs for the debris removal effort. The scope of work for PW 702 included knocking down hazardous chimneys. It did not include removing the resulting debris from the sites. The requested amount of $2,400 appears to be associated with the removal of debris from the sites. The Applicant’s request for $23,860 for project management related to knocking down chimneys on five properties seems excessive (approximately $4,800 per property). The Applicant did not provide any information to explain the level of effort expended to accomplish the approved scope of work. Therefore, there is no basis for approving the appeal. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Nancy Ward
FEMA Region IX