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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 057-U2G3H-00; Bayou Civic Club, Inc.
PW ID# N/A; Request for Public Assistance
August 11, 2011
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 – Bayou Civic Club, Inc., FEMA-1786-DR-LA, Request for Public Assistance (RPA)
Dear Mr. DeBosier:
This is in response to your letter dated April 8, 2010, that transmitted the referenced second appeal for the Bayou Civic Club, Inc. (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to deny its Request for Public Assistance (RPA).
In 2008, Hurricane Gustav caused significant damage in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. The Applicant submitted an RPA to FEMA for repairs to its facility. The Applicant applied as a private nonprofit (PNP) facility listing “parish evacuation center/community park & civic center” as the facility’s main purpose on the PNP Questionnaire. FEMA denied the RPA in a letter dated April 21, 2009, citing FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP) 9521.3, Private Nonprofit (PNP) Facility Eligibility. This policy states that recreation facilities are not eligible PNP facilities.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal September 21, 2009, requesting reconsideration of the RPA. The Applicant stated that the same facility received funding from a 1985 declaration and included more information about facility activities. The FEMA Regional Administrator denied the first appeal November 4, 2009 because the Applicant did not meet the criteria for eligibility under DAP 9521.3, Private Nonprofit (PNP) Facility Eligibility. The Regional Administrator also noted that the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 and applicable regulations have undergone numerous revisions since 1985.
The Applicant submitted a second appeal January 19, 2010, to Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (State) and FEMA Region VI received a letter from the
State dated April 8, 2010. The Applicant requested approval of their RPA. The Applicant provided a list of community center activities as evidence of their eligibility as a community center. The State included a detailed appeal analysis on behalf of the Applicant, stating that over 51 percent of the activities listed were social, educational, or community service activities consistent with DAP 9521.3, Private Nonprofit (PNP) Facility Eligibility.
In October 2010, FEMA Headquarters requested additional information about the facility’s activities. The Applicant requested a meeting with FEMA to discuss the second appeal, and on February 10, 2011, met with the Acting Director of the Public Assistance program in Washington, DC to present additional information supporting their appeal. FEMA requested additional documentation as a result of this meeting, and the Applicant provided a plat of all indoor and outdoor facility areas on February 25, 2011 and a revised calendar of events and usage chart on March 24, 2011. FEMA then requested further clarification, and the Applicant submitted a written explanation of the plat and usage rates for the facility grounds in May 2011.
Disaster Assistance Policy 9521.3, Private Nonprofit (PNP) Facility Eligibility, states that community centers are eligible facilities. The Applicant is claiming eligibility as a community center. Disaster Assistance Policy 9521.1, Community Center Eligibility, states that for a community center to be eligible, it must be “primarily used as a gathering place for a variety of social, educational enrichment, and community service activities.” Further, this policy states that “primary use can be established by approximating the space and time dedicated to community activities.” In accordance with DAP 9521.1, Community Center Eligibility, the Applicant provided information to establish their eligibility as a community center. A calendar list of events scheduled at the facility, with the total number of days and estimated number of community members served per event, was provided. The Applicant organized all activities into four categories, and listed the number of “service days” for each eligible and ineligible activity. Of the four categories of activities the Applicant provided, two are eligible according to DAP 9521.1, Community Center Eligibility; Cultural/Educational Activities and Community Activities. The total number of “service days” for eligible activities listed in the documentation provided by the Applicant totals 60.06 percent, which is consistent with DAP 9521.1, Community Center Eligibility, that states more than half of the total use of the facility should be used for eligible purposes. The Applicant was able to show that their facility is primarily used for eligible activities through the time spent on actual events in the space, consistent with FEMA policy.
I have reviewed the documentation submitted with the second appeal and have determined that the Applicant is an eligible PNP facility. Therefore, I am approving the second appeal for favorable consideration of the Applicant’s request for public assistance. By copy of this letter, I am informing the Regional Administrator of my determination in order for him to implement this decision.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
cc: Tony Russell
FEMA Region VI