o The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) submitted an application on behalf of Drury University for the construction of a community safe room. The terms of the HMGP grant approval noted that use of the funds were permitted for design activities and that construction activities were not permitted until FEMA had approved the detailed design. Construction was initiated prior to design approval, and the Grantee was not provided by FEMA the notice to proceed. FEMA Region VII sent a Termination notice and determined that construction costs were ineligible.
• Reason for Denial
o Region VII based the denial of the 1st appeal on the fact that the construction had been initiated prior to design approval by FEMA per terms of the grant and that the construction costs were not eligible.
o 44 CFR 206.434 Eligibility; 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals, 44 CFR 206.436(d) Application Procedures; 44 CFR 13.30 Changes; FEMA 361
o SEMA filed a second appeal, stating that the grant had been fully approved, the design was eventually approved, the building was designed and constructed in accordance with FEMA 361, reimbursement of construction costs did not violate MRR-2-07-1, and that the mitigation objective had been obtained.
• FEMA Findings
o FEMA HQ approved the 2nd appeal, overturning Region VII’s decision to deny the 1st appeal.
o Rationale: A remedy for noncompliance, per 44 CFR 13.43, is to allow the grantee or subgrantee an opportunity to correct the deficiency and meet the grant objective. The safe room was properly designed and constructed in accordance with FEMA 361 and thereby met the grant objective to save lives.
Reference(s): 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals; 44 CFR 206.434 Eligibility; 44 CFR 206.436(d) Application Procedures; 44 CFR 13.43; FEMA 361.