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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 011-32000-00; City of Hollywood
PW ID# 5943; City of Hollywood
Citation: 1906-DR-FL, City of Hollywood, Hazardous Trees, Project Worksheet (PW) 5943
Reference: Hazardous Trees
Summary: In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma struck the City of Hollywood (Applicant) causing significant wind damage and local flooding. As a result, the Applicant initiated debris removal operations throughout its jurisdiction. FEMA prepared PW 5943 in the amount of $113,127 to cover the removal and disposal of an estimated 104 hazardous stumps, four hazardous trees and 442 hazardous limbs. FEMA reviewed a sample of hazardous trees and limbs provided by the Applicant’s monitoring firm and concluded that only three percent of the work was eligible. The Applicant disagreed with this determination and FEMA agreed to review its eligibility determination. FEMA acknowledged that version zero was based on inappropriate guidance and obligated version one of PW 5943 based on the determination that 69 percent of the initial data set of trees was eligible. The Applicant then disagreed with FEMA’s decision to base eligible hazardous limb costs on a 50-50 percent allocation between large and small limbs. FEMA agreed and adjusted the percentage of large and small hazardous limbs from version one and included additional funding of $720,862 for version two. Following obligation of version two, the Applicant disagreed with FEMA’s quantification of the number of hazardous trees and limbs, but FEMA took no action at that time. At project closeout, the Applicant submitted actual costs of $6,768,635 which was a $4,603,653 cost overrun above the previously obligated amount. The FEMA closeout team drafted PW version five that approved the entire $4,603,653 in additional costs. However, the obligated closeout version was approved for only $114,270.65 on the basis that final funding was limited to FEMA’s approved scope of work described in version two. In the Applicant’s first appeal, the Applicant argued that it exceeded the amount of documentation required by FEMA and that it established that the entire amount invoiced by the contractor was eligible for assistance. The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal on the basis that the Applicant did not demonstrate that the debris was an immediate threat to the public and because the appeal was submitted six years after the regulatory deadline. In the Applicant’s second appeal, the Applicant argued that FEMA based its final obligation on the estimate in version two of the PW and did not consider the documented actual costs.
Issue: 1. Did the Applicant submit its first appeal within the regulatory deadline?
2. Has the Applicant provided documentation to support the eligibility of the work performed?
Finding: 1. Yes
Rationale: Title 44 CFR 206.224(a), Debris Removal, Pubic Interest, 44 CFR §206.206(c)(1) Appeals, Time Limits