Citation: FEMA-1857-DR-NY, Village of Gowanda, Crestwood Drive, Project Worksheet (PW) 1014
Cross-Reference: Improved Project; Hazard Mitigation
Summary: In August 2009, flooding caused by severe storms damaged Crestwood Drive in the Village of Gowanda. The Village of Gowanda (Applicant) requested FEMA funding for the repair of disaster damage and a hazard mitigation proposal (HMP). FEMA prepared PW 1014 for $105,416 for the repair of the road, and the Applicant submitted an HMP for $175,666 for drainage improvements to the road. Based on a benefit-cost analysis, FEMA determined the HMP was not cost-effective and, therefore, not eligible for funding under the Public Assistance program. However, the Applicant completed the scope of work approved in PW 1014 and the work associated with the denied HMP. The Applicant submitted a request for project closeout that included a request for additional funding based on its total, actual costs incurred for repair of disaster damage and the hazard mitigation ($258,269). Because the Applicant completed the hazard mitigation work along with the approved scope of work, FEMA determined that the Applicant performed an improved project and capped the eligible funding at the estimate for the scope of work approved in the PW ($94,315). Therefore, FEMA deobligated $11,101 from PW 1014. The Applicant submitted a first appeal, asserting that although the signed PW did not include the costs of the HMP, FEMA had approved the HMP when all interested parties signed the PW. The FEMA Regional Administrator denied the first appeal explaining that at the time of the Applicant’s signature, the HMP was merely a proposal and its costs were not included in the project total. The Applicant submitted a second appeal, reiterating its belief that by including the HMP with the original PW, FEMA approved the work.
Issues: 1. Did FEMA approve the HMP?
2. Was funding properly capped as an improved project?
Findings: 1. No.
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.201(2)(j), Definitions used in this subpart, Project approval; 44 CFR §206.203(d)(1), Federal grant assistance Improved projects; 44 CFR § 206.226(e), Restoration of damaged facilities, Hazard mitigation; FEMA Recovery Policy RP9526.1, Hazard Mitigation Under Section 406 (Stafford Act)