During the incident period of May 5 – June 22, 2015, the City of Purcell (Applicant) experienced severe storms, straight-line winds, and record-breaking rainfall which resulted in damage to its Public Works Complex (PWC). At the time of the disaster, the Applicant did not carry flood insurance. FEMA developed Project Worksheet (PW) 1484 to address damage to seven of the facilities at the PWC. The Applicant applied for replacement of the buildings at $4,822,588.00, however an analysis of the 50 Percent Rule determined that the Applicant was eligible only for repairs in the amount of $332,161.95. FEMA then applied National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reductions, resulting in a total award of $107,042.94. On first appeal, the Applicant requested to amend its scope of work to include relocation of the facilities, and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (Grantee) requested that the project be considered for the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures (PAAP) Program. The Applicant also requested direct administrative costs (DAC). FEMA issued a first appeal decision finding that the Applicant’s request for permanent relocation included improvements that were not a part of the original scope of work or a result of the disaster. FEMA also denied DAC for lack of documentation. FEMA held that the Applicant did not apply for PAAP in a timely manner and the project does not meet the large project amount threshold. On second appeal, the Applicant again requests funding for ancillary facilities, DAC, and other expenses, and the Grantee requests that the project be considered for PAAP and that the NFIP reductions be reconsidered.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- Stafford Act § 406(d).
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.226(g).
- PAAP Pilot Program Guidance, Version 2, at 6 (December 19, 2013).
- PA Guide, at 121.
- To participate in the PAAP Pilot Program for this disaster, the Applicant and FEMA were required to reach an agreement on the cost estimate of the fixed subgrant within 9 months of the declaration date. Additionally, alterative procedures are only for large projects.
- FEMA approved the project for $107,042.94 which did not meet the large project threshold of $121,600.00 at the time of the disaster.
- Section 406(d) of the Stafford Act mandates a special reduction in the amount of Public Assistance funding for a facility that is insurable under the NFIP, located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), as shown on a FIRM, and damaged by floodwaters.
- The Applicant is located in an area that was declared a SFHA in 2009. The Applicant’s facilities and many of its contents were insurable under the NFIP, however, the Applicant did not carry flood insurance. FEMA appropriately made NFIP insurance reductions pursuant to the Stafford Act.
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.226(g) states that the Regional Administrator may approve relocation when a facility is and will be subject to repetitive heavy damage, the approval is not barred by other provisions of title 44 CFR, and the overall project, including all costs, is cost effective. When relocation is required by the Regional Administrator, eligible work includes ancillary facilities.
- The Applicant was approved for repair of its facilities and did not receive approval for relocation, and therefore funding for ancillary facilities is not eligible.
The Applicant did not meet the requirements to participate in the PAAP Pilot Program. FEMA appropriately took mandatory NFIP reductions from the project award. FEMA did not approve relocation for this project, and as such, funding for ancillary facilities is not eligible.