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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 079-02BF2-00; Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services Information Manageme
PW ID# 280; Repair Communication Systems
Citation: FEMA-1933-DR-WI, Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services Information Management Services Division, Repair Communication Systems, Project Worksheet (PW) 280
Reference:Pre-Disaster Condition, General Eligibility
Summary: Between July 20 and July 24, 2010, flooding damaged four of the fourteen analog repeaters (channels) at the Applicant’s Channel 58 public safety radio tower. The radio system is a nine-site, analog, simulcast system with fourteen channels located at each site. When equipment at one site needs replacement, it must be replaced with the same model as the other sites in order for the entire channel to operate properly. If that model is no longer available, the channel must be replaced at each of the nine sites in order to provide full functionality. Because the model damaged in the flood was obsolete, emergency repairs were made following the event to restore functionality, and PW 280 was prepared for management and administrative costs associated with the Applicant’s maintenance contract and direct administrative costs. FEMA adjusted the eligible cost by a mandatory National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reduction, and obligated PW 280 for $2,725 on January 5, 2011. In the first appeal, the Applicant stated that the system was only operational during the FEMA inspection because parts were borrowed from temporarily disabled radio towers. The Applicant argued that, in order to return full capacity, the Applicant must permanently replace the four damaged channels, which included replacing equipment at all nine sites at a total cost of $453,677. On July 12, 2011, FEMA denied this appeal on the basis that emergency repairs returned the damaged tower to its pre-disaster design, function and capacity. In a January 20, 2012 second appeal, the Applicant reduced their request to $118,043 for replacement of equipment at seven towers for the one channel that eventually failed at the flooded site. Repairs performed by the Applicant immediately following the disaster returned the tower to pre-disaster functionality. There was no indication of failure in any of the repaired equipment until the Applicant filed the second appeal almost 16 months after the damage occurred, and past the regulatory timeframe established for filing a second appeal. Further, there is no indication of when the equipment failed in any of the documentation submitted by the Applicant, and no proof that the failure of equipment was a direct result of the disaster.
Issue: Is the replacement of radio repeaters eligible for funding when repairs to the system restored pre-disaster condition and functionality?
Rationale: Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) §206.206 Appeals; 44 CFR §206.223 General work eligibility