February 10, 1998
Brigadier General Francis LadenActing Assistant DirectorNebraska Army National GuardNebraska Emergency Management Agency1300 Military RoadLincoln, Nebraska 68508
Dear Brigadier General Laden:
I am writing with regard to the appeal submitted by your office for a proposed levee project under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) in the Village of Dodge, Nebraska. Through a Phase One grant approval and the Hazard Mitigation Technical Assistance Program (HMTAP), we have performed detailed engineering, economic, and program eligibility reviews based on your appeal. We appreciate the cooperation from your staff, the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission, the Village of Dodge, and Johnson, Erickson, O’Brien (JEO) Engineers. Their cooperation has greatly aided FEMA in making a thorough evaluation of this project. In our review process, we uncovered new information that was not available to our Regional Office at the time of their review.
Based on the review and engineering analysis, FEMA conducted conference calls on November 4, 1997, and December 17, 1997) with staff from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, the Village of Dodge, JEO Engineers, FEMA Headquarters, FEMA Region VII, and Woodward-Clyde Federal Services. The purpose of the calls was to discuss the findings, come to closure on outstanding appeal issues, and to provide final recommendations on the proposed levee project. The following summarizes the conclusions reached during these discussions:
1. HMGP eligibi1ity - The levee proposed by the Village of Dodge is eligible for HMGP funding.
2. FEMA project cost-share - The applicant's original proposed total construction cost estimate was approximately $400,000. Based on the availability of new information and subsequent design modifications to the levee, JEO Engineers revised the original cost estimate to $859,000. FEMA agreed to support the proposed mitigation project based on the applicant's original proposed total construction cost estimate of $400,000. Though the project was originally submitted under DR-908-NE, with an associated 50/50 cost-share, the State expressed interest in possibly funding the project under a disaster with an associated 75/25 cost-share. Therefore, if the State chooses to fund the project under DR-908-NE, FEMA will provide $200,000 in project funding. If, on the other hand, the State chooses to fund the project under a disaster with a 75/25 cost-share, then FEMA will provide $300,000 in project funding. The State, along with the community agreed to secure the additional funding required to meet the difference between the Federal/State share and the revised cost estimate of $859,000.
3. National Environmental Policy Act issues - There are no apparent outstanding environmental issues. An update of the previously completed environmental assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact may be necessary due to subsequent modifications to the levee design.
In the course of these discussions, the Village of Dodge expressed their wish to secure the additional funds needed to construct the proposed levee project. Because of the potential obstacles in obtaining additional funds, FEMA also offered the Village of Dodge the option of participating in community planning assistance to investigate non-structural alternatives available to the community. Such alternatives might include the relocation ofthe most flood prone structures from the southern to the northern side of the Village. Whether a structural or non-structural project is pursued, FEMA is committed to supporting the Village of Dodge in the flood mitigation project of their choice.
Also during the course of these discussions, it was decided that there are no outstanding appeal issues remaining. As such, our Regional Office in Kansas City will now take the lead on finalization of this project or any alternative. Should the Village of Dodge wish to pursue an alternative project identified under the community planning assistance, they would be required to submit a new project application for consideration under the standard HMGP eligibility review process. Our Regional Office stands ready to provide whatever assistance is necessary.
Again, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for your cooperation and patience throughout this evaluation process. If you have any questions or concerns with this determination, please contact either me at (202) 646-4622; or Mr. Craig Wingo, Deputy Associate Director for Mitigation, at (202) 646-3026.
Michael J. ArmstrongAssociate Director for Mitigation
cc: John Miller, Regional Director, FEMA Region VII