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Gani Art Garden

Appeal Brief Appeal Letter Appeal Analysis

Appeal Brief

DisasterFEMA-1498-DR
ApplicantChabad Hebrew Academy
Appeal TypeSecond
PA ID#073-USSYQ-00
PW ID#PWs 823 & 1079
Date Signed2006-03-31T05:00:00

Citation: FEMA-1498-DR-CA; Chabad Hebrew Academy, San Diego, California

Cross-reference: Collections and Individual Objects

Summary: The Cedar Fire burned 280,000 acres and was part of a series of wildfires that swept through San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties in the State of California from October 21, 2003, through March 31, 2004. The fire destroyed the grounds, buildings and other structures of the Chabad Hebrew Academy (Academy). PW 1079 was initially not funded due to incomplete information from the applicant. The Academy submitted an appeal for $158,000 requesting that FEMA combine the Gani Art Garden (Gani) sculptures listed under PW 1079 under PW 823, because PW 1079 was listed incorrectly under another Applicant’s name. The appeal also requested reconsideration of eligibility of the outdoor sculptures in Gani sculptures and grounds for stabilization and restoration work. FEMA determined that the scope of work for PW 823 covered only the fine art items housed within the Academy, while PW 1079 addressed the sculptures in Gani. FEMA then determined that those items listed under PW 823 were ineligible because they were completely destroyed by the fire and because some of the items were also used as a part of religious worship. Based on a report from the Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC), FEMA determined that nine sculptures under PW 1079 were eligible for stabilization and restoration measures in the amount of $34,498.75 ($110,073 less the anticipated insurance deductible $75,575). Estimates to regrade and stabilize the Gani Art Garden grounds and paths were not considered for eligibility because they were not identified in the original PW. The Academy submitted a second appeal for $146,461 addressing the same issues as the first appeal.

Issues: Are the Gani Art Garden sculptures and grounds eligible for repairs?

Findings: Partially. The Academy has demonstrated it is the legally responsible applicant for the Gani Art Garden. The costs for repair and stabilization of the grounds are reasonable, and it is reasonable to incorporate these additional costs as part of the facility repairs. Some of the costs for repairing the sculptures were supported by documentation submitted by the applicant or the WACC Report.

Rationale: FEMA Policy 9524.6, Collections and Individual Objects

Appeal Letter

March 31, 2006

Paul Jacks
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Office of the Director
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
P.O. Box 419047
Rancho Cordova, California 95741-9047

Re: Second Appeal, Chabad Hebrew Academy, PA ID: 073-USSYQ-00,
Gani Art Garden, FEMA-1498-DR-CA, Project Worksheets
(PWs) 823 & 1079

Dear Mr. Jacks:

This letter is in response to your February 14, 2005, letter forwarding the above referenced second appeal on behalf of the Chabad Hebrew Academy (Academy). The Academy is appealing $146,461 in costs for repairs to the sculptures and grounds of the Gani Art Garden Sculptures listed under PW 1079, and requesting that the applicant’s name on the PW be corrected from Gani Art Garden to Chabad Hebrew Academy.

As described in the enclosed appeal analysis, I have determined that the Academy has shown that it is the legally responsible applicant for the Gani Art Garden for PW 1079, and has demonstrated that an additional $99,802 in costs for permanent work for repairs to five of the sculptures and the surrounding grounds submitted with the second appeal is eligible for reimbursement. The Academy has not proven that the remaining $46,650 for repairs to four sculptures is eligible. Therefore, the Academy’s appeal is partially approved. The Regional Director will prepare a PW funding the associated scope of work.

Please inform the Academy of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR § 206.206.

Sincerely,
/S/
David Garratt
Acting Director Recovery
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Enclosure

cc: Karen Armes
Acting Regional Director
Region IX

Appeal Analysis

BACKGROUND

The Cedar Fire was part of a series of wildfires that swept through San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties in the State of California from October 21, 2003, through March 31, 2004. The Cedar Fire started on October 25, 2003 and burned 280,000 acres. The fire destroyed the grounds, 21 modular buildings and other structures of the Chabad Hebrew Academy (Academy). The Academy is a subsidiary of the Friends of Chabad Lubavitch, San Diego, California, and is an eligible Internal Revenue Section 501 (c)(3), private non profit, accredited educational facility, which serves 320 students from preschool through 8th grade.
PWs 823 and 1079 contained overlapping scopes of work, but listed different Applicants.
PW 823 addressed destroyed fine art within the school buildings and was not funded. PW 1079 was for the stabilization of damaged outdoor sculptures in the Gani Art Garden, and was funded for the amount of $34,498.75 ($110,073 less $75,575 in anticipated insurance proceeds).
First Appeal
The Academy submitted an appeal for PW 823 on June 25, 2004, for $158,000 which the State forwarded to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on August 23, 2004. The appeal requested that FEMA combine the Gani Art Garden sculptures listed under PW 1079 under PW 823, because PW 1079 was listed incorrectly under another Applicant’s name. The appeal also requested reconsideration of eligibility of the outdoor sculptures in the Gani Art Garden for stabilization and restoration work, and provided additional information for stabilization and restoration of the Gani Art Garden grounds to its pre-disaster condition.
FEMA determined that the scope of work for PW 823 covered only the fine art items housed within the Academy, while PW 1079 addressed the sculptures in the Gani Art Garden. FEMA reiterated its determination that those items listed under PW 823 were ineligible because they were completely destroyed by the fire and because some of the items were also used as a part of religious worship. FEMA cited FEMA Policy 9524.6, Collections and Individual Objects, which states that “those [fine art items] that have been completely destroyed by the disaster will not receive any FEMA assistance.” 44 CFR § 206.221 (e)(1), prohibits funding for items of a “primarily religious purpose or instruction.”

FEMA retained the expertise of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC) to assess the damage and advise stabilization and restoration measures for the fire damaged Gani Art Garden sculptures listed under PW 1079. Based on the WACC report, FEMA determined that nine of thirteen sculptures were eligible for stabilization and restoration measures in the amount of $34,498.75 (110,073, less the anticipated insurance proceeds of $75,575). Estimates to regrade and stabilize the Gani Art Garden grounds and paths were not considered for eligibility because they were not identified in the original PW.
Second Appeal
The Academy submitted a second appeal on March 4, 2005, which the State forwarded to FEMA with its support on May 2, 2005. The Academy again requested that the Gani Art Garden Sculptures listed under PW 1079 be combined under PW 823, because the Gani Art Garden was legal responsibility of the Academy, and not a separate entity. The Academy requested consideration of $146,461 in costs to repair the Gani Art Garden sculptures and grounds.
DISCUSSION

After reviewing the appeal documentation, FEMA requested additional information from the Academy regarding the items and costs in question. The Academy submitted estimates and supporting documentation. The following issues were identified in the review:
Legal Responsibility
There was initial confusion on the part of the applicant regarding the Request for Public Assistance (RPA) process. As a result, the Academy submitted a separate RPA identifying the Gani Art Garden as a separate applicant. The Academy has established that the Gani Art Garden is its legal responsibility via ownership of the property and providing evidence that the sculptures were partially covered under the Academy’s Inland Marine Insurance policy. The applicant for PW 1079 should be changed from Gani Art Garden to Chabad Hebrew Academy.
Repairs to the Sculpture and Grounds
Damage to the grounds where the sculptures were located was not clearly documented in the original PW. However the grounds are an integral part of the damaged facility, and it is reasonable to incorporate the repair costs into the overall facility repairs.
These items include:
„X Construction of bases for sculptures already identified as eligible in the WACC Report and the first appeal response;
„X Equipment costs for placement of eligible sculptures; and
„X Stabilization of the grounds, and replacement of paths, benches and placards.
The Academy also appealed for additional restoration costs for sculptures determined to be eligible in the WACC report, as well as, fire damage to sculptures that were determined ineligible in the WACC report. Costs in the amount of $17,000 for surface cleaning and stabilization for the sculpture titled, “The Book of Genesis” were recommended in the WACC report, but inadvertently left off of PW 1079 Version 1 which was written for the first appeal decision. The Academy provided a note from the artist documenting the additional costs for restoration for the sculpture entitled “Menorah According to Rambam.” Attached is a spreadsheet that identifies the eligible repairs and associated costs.

The Academy did not provide adequate documentation to support the claims for repairing the remaining sculptures (Twelve Tribes of Israel, and Thirty Six Steps of the Lamed), and it was not possible to determine if the damage to some sculptures were fire related (Six Days for Creation and Shabbat, and Seduction of Adam and Eve).
CONCLUSION

The Chabad Hebrew Academy has shown that it is the legally responsible applicant for the Gani Art Garden for PW 1079, and has demonstrated that an additional $99,801.80 in costs for permanent repairs to five of the sculptures and the surrounding grounds submitted with the second appeal is eligible for reimbursement, less any anticipated insurance proceeds. However, the Academy has not shown that the remaining $46,650 in appealed work for repairs to four sculptures is eligible due to lack of supporting documentation. Therefore, the Academy’s appeal is partially approved.

Last updated February 4, 2020