Halstead, Kansas, Acquisition/Relocation and Elevation
|Applicant||Kansas Division of Emergency Management|
o The Subapplicant, Halstead, Kansas, submitted an HMGP application through Kansas Division of Emergency Management as Applicant for funds to acquire/relocate and elevate eighteen residential structures. The project was approved, except that FEMA withdrew funding of a portion of the approved funding specific to a relocation and elevation that included addition of a basement. A request by the Applicant for reimbursement of the disapproved expenses was denied by FEMA Region VII. The Applicant appealed and the Region denied the appeal.
• Reason for Denial
o Construction of the basement as a component of the relocation and elevation did not comply with the provisions of the Harvey County floodplain management ordinance nor the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) standards under 44 CFR §206.407, and therefore the relocation and elevation were not eligible.
o 44 CFR §206.407 NFIP Minimum Standards; 44 CFR 13.22 Allowable Costs; Harvey County Floodplain Management Ordinance
o The Applicant argued that the elevation with basement addition was eligible under the NFIP and HMGP regulations, and requested that the 1st appeal denial be overturned, and the request for reimbursement be granted.
• FEMA Findings
o The 2nd appeal decision partially upheld the 1st appeal denial, denying funding of the ineligible basement construction, but conditionally approved the request for reimbursement of “legitimate” expenses for relocating and elevating the structure. The partial approval required certification from the State and Harvey County that the basement of the structure has been filled with appropriate material.
o The rationale for the decision was that the relocation and elevation were eligible activities under the HMGP, but the new basement with the floor “well” below the base flood elevation jeopardized the structure, posed a safety hazard under flood conditions, and therefore was not eligible for HMGP reimbursement.
o Reference(s): 44 CFR §206.407 NFIP Minimum Standards; 44 CFR 13.22 Allowable Costs; Harvey County Floodplain Management Ordinance
Washington, D.C. 20472
Kansas Division of Emergency Management
2800 SW Topeka Blvd.
Topeka, KS 66611-1287
Dear Mr. Krase:
I conducted a review of this project and other materials provided in this appeal. The floodplain management and NFIP issues identified by the Regional Director were valid concerns about the eligibility of this portion of the total project. Based on these concerns, I must deny a portion of the elevation expenses for the structure at XXXX S. Halstead Road in Halstead, Kansas. Elevation work on this structure included the addition of a basement. The home was not elevated in accordance with the provisions of the Harvey County floodplain management ordinance or the minimum NFIP standards under 44 CFR §206.407. Construction of a basement with concrete floor and buttressed stem walls was undertaken in direct contradiction to FEMA guidance.
The NFIP prohibits basements in the floodplain for several key reasons. Basements below the base flood elevation increase the possibility of structural wall failure during flood events and increase potential flood related losses. The new basement floor is well below the base flood elevation and poses a safety hazard for occupants during flood events while increasing the potential for future flood damages. Additional project costs were incurred to address the potential for structural failure. However, these unnecessary expenses would not have been incurred had the applicant followed NFIP regulations and not added a basement to the dwelling. Since the purpose of HMGP funds is to mitigate future damages, the new basement jeopardizes the structure and is ineligible for HMGP reimbursement.
However, I conditionally approve the request for HMGP reimbursement of legitimate expenses for relocating and elevating the structure at XXXX S. Halstead Road in Halstead, Kansas. In order to determine reimbursable costs, I ask that you forward an NFIP Itemized Statement of Loss for the flood that damaged this structure during FEMA-DR-1000-KS. I also request clarification of the originally submitted project receipts. Many of these receipts are made out to an R&D Motors.
Final approval and disbursement of funds is contingent upon the State of Kansas and Harvey County supplying FEMA Region VII with receipt clarification and an NFIP Itemized Statement of Loss for the Halstead Road structure. In addition, the State and Harvey County must certify that the basement of this structure has been filled with appropriate material or that other measures have been taken to meet NFIP requirements. The applicant is asked to certify basement fill or other compliance measures in order to ensure that the structure does not pose a threat to life or safety during flood events and also does not increase potential flood damage to the structure.
The enclosed analysis details the rationale underlying my decision. The issues raised in your appeal letter guided our review. We look forward to working with you in your efforts to reduce future flood damages in the State of Kansas.
Associate Director for Mitigation
Enclosure: Appeal Analysis