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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 037-52004-00; Nashville-Davidson County
PW ID# PW 5276 ; Improved Project
Conclusion: Nashville-Davidson County (Applicant) did not demonstrate that the requested costs were associated with eligible disaster-related work. Accordingly, the appeal is denied.
From April 30 through May 18, 2010, severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and tornadoes caused damage throughout Nashville-Davidson County (Applicant). As a result of the disaster, the Cumberland River overflowed and flooded the Applicant’s Metro Transit Authority Maintenance and Administration facility Facility. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 5276 to address the damage and return the Facility to its predisaster condition. The Applicant requested an improved project and FEMA approved it, capping the costs at the original approved amount of the PW. The Applicant submitted a cost overrun request and FEMA denied it, stating that the improved project costs were correctly capped. The Applicant appealed FEMA’s determination and requested $438,287.00, reflecting the difference between the actual costs to complete the disaster-related work and the amount originally obligated. The Applicant noted that FEMA had accepted overruns on eligible scope portions within an improved project where those costs were tracked separately, as the Applicant asserted it demonstrated in this instance. The Region IV Regional Administrator (RA) partially granted the Applicant’s appeal. She determined the Applicant did not demonstrate that the costs claimed were separately documented, with a few small exceptions. She noted that the invoices submitted did not contain enough detail to accurately establish whether the reported project management costs were associated with eligible disaster-related work or with the improved project. The Applicant appeals the RA’s decision and claims only costs related to the eligible flood repair scope of work were submitted for consideration, which were tracked separately from the costs associated with the improved project. The Applicant includes spreadsheets demonstrating its overrun analysis representing the scope of work related to repair and replacement work.
Authorities and Second Appeals
FEMA may reimburse costs when an applicant makes improvements, but still restores the predisaster function of a damaged facility. However, pursuant to 44 C.F.R. § 206.203(d)(1), funding for improved projects is limited to the Federal share of the approved estimate of eligible costs.
The PA Guide notes FEMA may adjust its contribution if an applicant can establish that eligible costs exceed the original estimate. To be eligible, the Applicant must provide documentation establishing the additional costs are separate from improvement costs.