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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 051-99051-00; Jefferson Parrish
PW ID# 12665; Alternate Project
March 11, 2010
Assistant Deputy Director
Disaster Recovery Division
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
State of Louisiana
7667 Independence Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Re: Second Appeal–Jefferson Parrish, FEMA-1603-DR-LA, PA ID 051-99051-00,
Alternate Project, Project Worksheet (PW) 12665
Dear Mr. DeBosier:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated March 12, 2009, transmitting the referenced second appeal on behalf of Jefferson Parish (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) deobligation of $150,597 for the demolition of the Jefferson Parish Courthouse (Courthouse).
On August 18, 2006, FEMA obligated PW 12665 for $112,811 to repair disaster damage to the Courthouse. FEMA subsequently increased the funding for the project to $150,597 on March 5, 2008. In a meeting with FEMA and GOHSEP on August 21, 2007, the Applicant stated that it planned to request an alternate project to demolish the Courthouse instead of repairing it. The Applicant submitted its request for an alternate project to GOHSEP on October 18, 2007. GOHSEP sent the Applicant’s request to FEMA in a letter dated March 12, 2008. The letter stated in part that, “The applicant will be notified not to commence work until all applicable reviews are completed and written consent to proceed has been received from this office.” The Applicant demolished the Courthouse in April 2008. In a letter dated May 12, 2008, to FEMA’s Environmental Liaison Officer, the State of Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation determined that the Jefferson Parish Courthouse was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and that demolition of the Courthouse will have an adverse effect on a historic property. FEMA de-obligated PW 12665 on June 9, 2008, because the Applicant demolished the Courthouse before FEMA completed the statutory review required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The Regional Administrator sustained this determination on first appeal in a letter dated October 21, 2008. The Applicant submitted a second appeal in a letter dated January 23, 2009. The Applicant stated that FEMA had sufficient time to complete the Section 106 review prior to it demolishing the building.
Section 106 of NHPA requires FEMA to evaluate the effects of its proposed action on historic properties. Although the Applicant discussed its intent to demolish the Courthouse in August
2007, FEMA did not receive the Applicant’s official request for an alternate project from GOHSEP until March 2008. Soon thereafter, FEMA began its consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) on the proposed project. Since the Applicant demolished the Courthouse before FEMA completed its consultation with the SHPO, FEMA cannot fund the project.
I have reviewed all information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with the statute and Public Assistance Program regulations and policy. Therefore, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my determination. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
cc: Tony Russell
Disaster Assistance Directorate