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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 157-26828-00; City of Hammond
PW ID# 15; Private Property Debris Removal
Citation: FEMA-1941-DR-MN, City of Hammond, Funding for Labor and Equipment Costs, Project Worksheet (PW) 15
Reference: Debris Removal, Work Eligibility
Summary: Severe storms and the subsequent flooding of the Zumbro River resulted in damage to property throughout the City of Hammond (Applicant). A private citizen and resident of Millville, Minnesota (Citizen) used his skid-steer loader over a period of seven days to help residents of Hammond rescue heavy items from homes and move debris from private property to the public rights-of-way. FEMA prepared PW 15 for $19,892 to reimburse the Applicant for removal of debris under a contract with La Vigne Enterprises, Inc. and for services rendered by the Citizen. Upon review, FEMA determined that the work performed by the Citizen was ineligible because FEMA did not authorize debris removal from private property. Consequently, FEMA reduced the eligible cost on PW 15 by the $5,704 associated withthe Citizen’s 71.3 hours of work. FEMA denied the Applicant’s first appeal because there was no contractual agreement between the Applicant and the Citizen, citing the applicant’s contract administration requirements in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) § 13.36(b)(2).
In the second appeal, the Applicant concedes that it did not have a contract with the Citizen, but argues that an “oral agreement” existed by virtue of the National Guard having permitted the Citizen access to the “locked down” city with other debris removal contractors. The Applicant has submitted no documentation that demonstrates that the Citizen’s services were appropriately procured in accordance with Part 13 of 44 CFR. Furthermore, moving debris from private property to the right-of-way is the property owners’ responsibility. However, under exceptional circumstances, FEMA may reimburse eligible applicants the costs of debris removal from private property when the debris results in a widespread threat and FEMA provides approval prior to the applicant initiating work. In this case, FEMA granted no such approval to the Applicant, rendering the work ineligible for reimbursement.
Issue: Are the costs for the debris removal services performed by the Citizen eligible for reimbursement?
Rationale: 44 CFR §13.36(b) Procurement Standards; Disaster Assistance Policy 9523.13, Debris Removal from Private Property