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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 231-U5F9L-00; Clay County Highway Department
PW ID# 1398; Alternate Project Request
Citation: FEMA-1766-DR-IN; Clay County Highway Department (Applicant)
Cross - Alternate Projects
Summary: Heavy rainfall in June 2008 caused severe erosion in Clay County, Indiana and completely destroyed a bridge. The reinforced concrete structure was built in 1915 and measured 42.5 feet long x 20.1 feet wide x 3 feet deep. FEMA held a Kickoff Meeting with the Applicant in July 2008. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 1398 in September 2008 for $331,654 to replace the bridge structure. The Applicant submitted a request for an Alternate Project to the State of Indiana and subsequently to FEMA on October 2, 2009. The Alternate Project request stated that Clay County decided that the interests of their citizens would be better served by purchasing highway equipment since their 2010 highway budget was recently cut by $500,000. The Applicant began purchasing said equipment in June and September 2009 and included receipts with the request for an Alternate Project. The Applicant claims that it misunderstood the deadline to request an Alternate Project and believed it was before the project completion date. FEMA denied the Applicant’s request because it did not comply with the policy that was in effect when the disaster was declared. FEMA updated Recovery Policy 9525.13 on August 22, 2008, two months after the disaster declaration to eliminate the requirement for applicants to request an Alternate Projects within 12 months of the Kickoff Meeting.
Issue: Did the Applicant submit the request for an Alternate Project within 12 months of the Kickoff Meeting?
Finding: No. However, FEMA waives Section 7E of the 2001 policy and approves the appeal.
Rationale: FEMA RR Policy 9525.13, Alternate Projects, dated July 31, 2001 and Recovery Policy 9525.13, Alternate Projects, dated August 22, 2008.