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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-ULVHC-00; Administrators of Tulane Educational Fund
PW ID# 6922, 7436, 8462, 9819, 10454, 12199, 11843, 14593 & 18199; Hazard Mitigation
December 10, 2009
Disaster Recovery Division
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
7667 Independence Boulevard
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70806
Re: Second Appeal–Administrators of Tulane Educational Fund, PA ID 000-ULVHC-00, Hazard Mitigation, FEMA-1603-DR-LA, Project Worksheets (PW) 6922, 7436, 8462, 9819, 10454, 12199, 11843, 14593, and 18199
Dear Mr. DeBosier:
This is in response to your letter dated May 14, 2009, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Administrators of Tulane Educational Fund (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of hazard mitigation funding for several facilities.
Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005, resulting in heavy flooding that damaged many facilities on the uptown campus of Tulane University. FEMA prepared PWs to repair damage to eligible facilities, but denied the Applicant’s requests for hazard mitigation funding related to the following facilities because the proposed projects were not an integral part of each damaged facility.
· Diboll Memorial Complex (PW 9819): The Applicant did not submit an estimated cost in its Architect and Engineering (A&E) recommendation.
· Power Plant Complex (PW 12199): $1,931,328 to construct a floodwall.
· Wilson Athletic Center (PW 10454): $1,428,448 to construct a floodwall.
· Howard Tilton Memorial Library (PWs 8462 and 11843): $20,932,320 to add two floors and move mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) equipment and a historical collection of government documents from the basement to the upper floors.
McAlister Auditorium (PW 6922): $522,989 for mitigating to flood-of-record.
· Alumni House (PW 14593): The Applicant requested $657,000. FEMA approved but did not obligate $379,904 to elevate the main building to Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE).
Joseph Merrick Jones Hall (PW 7436): The Applicant estimated mitigation costs of $384,190. FEMA approved $99,010 for wet- and dry-proofing and elevating MEP equipment. FEMA denied the Applicant’s request to mitigate the elevator because the elevator was not damaged.
· FEMA also denied the Applicant’s requests for hazard mitigation funding related to elevation to the flood of record level. FEMA limited elevation to the Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE). Additionally, FEMA denied the Applicant’s request to mitigate the Alumni House annex and garage.
In addition, FEMA denied the Applicant’s request for approximately $1.5 million for mitigation planning services fees (PW 18199). On first appeal, the Acting Regional Administrator denied the requests for PWs 8462, 11843, 9819, 10454, and 12199, citing Response and Recovery Policy 9526.1, Hazard Mitigation Funding under Section 406, dated August 13, 1998. Specifically, the policy stated that section 406 hazard mitigation must be an integral part of repair of the damaged facility. The Acting Regional Administrator stated that the Transitional Recovery Office (TRO) staff was working with the Applicant to resolve PWs 6922, 7436, 14593, and 18199. Therefore, the Acting Regional Administrator did not adjudicate these disputed PWs.
The Applicant submitted information to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) to support its second appeal on April 9, 2009, but did not submit a formal appeal letter. GOHSEP transmitted the Applicant’s second appeal on May 14, 2009.
Section 406 of the Stafford Act and 44 CFR §206.226(e), Hazard mitigation, authorize reimbursement for cost-effective hazard mitigation measures related to the restoration of damaged facilities. Response and Recovery Policy 9526.1 requires that section 406 hazard mitigation measures be directly related to eligible disaster-related damages and must directly reduce the potential of future, similar damages to the eligible facility. Regarding PW 9819 (Diboll Complex), PW 10454 (Wilson Athletic Center), and 12199 (Power Plant Complex), the floodwalls and floodgates are cost-effective and these measures will protect the damaged parts of these facilities and reduce the likelihood of future, similar flood damages. Similarly, the Applicant’s hazard mitigation proposal described in PWs 8462 and 11843 to add two new floors to the Howard Tilton Memorial Library is cost-effective and these measures will prevent future, similar flood damage to the collections and MEP equipment. Based on review of all information submitted with the appeal, I have determined that the revised proposals that FEMA developed are eligible cost-effective section 406 hazard mitigation projects. Accordingly, I approve $5,391,031 for the floodwalls (PWs 9819, 10454, and 12199) and $15,958,827 for the hazard mitigation project at Howard Tilton Memorial Library (PWs 8462 and 11843). The approved amounts are based on current FEMA estimates.
I have also determined that the hazard mitigation projects at McAlister Auditorium, Joseph Merrick Jones Hall and the Alumni House that TRO developed are eligible and cost-effective section 406 mitigation projects. I approve $468,974 (PW 6922) to elevate the MEP enclosure at the McAlister Auditorium; $372,180 (PW 7436) for elevator controls mitigation and additional dry proofing at Joseph Merrick Jones Hall; and, an additional $247,903 (PW 14593) for elevating the Alumni House, garage and annex. Last, I have determined that the $1.5 million for mitigation planning services that the Applicant requested may be eligible as project management or direct management costs, provided the Applicant provides the appropriate documentation to FEMA to demonstrate the services were provided as such.
I have reviewed all of the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the hazard mitigation proposals and mitigation planning services fees are eligible for reimbursement under the Public Assistance program. Accordingly, I am approving the second appeal as outlined above. By copy of this letter, I am requesting that the Acting Director of the Transitional Recovery Office to take appropriate action to implement my decision.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Gary Jones
Acting Regional Administrator
FEMA Region VI
LA Transitional Recovery Office