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Tennis Court Repair

Appeal Brief Appeal Letter Appeal Analysis

Appeal Brief

DisasterFEMA-1008-DR
ApplicantWilliam S. Hart Union High School District
Appeal TypeSecond
PA ID#037-91183
PW ID#45277/88157/03384/68437
Date Signed1998-08-11T04:00:00


Citation: FEMA-1008-DR-CA; William S. Hart Union High School District

Cross
Reference: Earthquake related damages; restoration to pre-disaster function

Summary:
Saugus High School, within the William S. Hart Union High School District, has four side-by-side tennis courts constructed in 1976. DSR 45277 was prepared for an architectural and engineering study ($5,280). During the review process it was determined that funding of the study would not be cost effective and that a repair DSR should be prepared. A second inspection in November 1995 resulted in the approval of DSR 88157 for $9,270 to fund grouting of the earthquake caused cracks and restriping of the tennis court surface. The subgrantee non-concurred with DSR 88157. In a January 1996 letter the subgrantee requested hazard mitigation funding to replace the defective fill under the tennis court slab. A July 1996 third inspection team reassessed the earthquake damages and appropriate repairs and evaluated the request for hazard mitigation funding, but found the hazard mitigation funding not to be cost-effective. As a result, DSR 03384 was approved ($45,276) to inject epoxy grout into the cracks and resurface and restripe the tennis courts (less the eligible work funded by DSR 88157). In June 1996, the subgrantee first appealed the determination to deny funding for the replacement of the tennis courts stating that the repairs made eligible by DSRs 88157 and 03384 misrepresent the actual earthquake caused damages and do not restore the tennis courts to their pre-disaster condition. The subgrantee requested the restoration of the tennis courts by removal and replacement. FEMA denied the appeal in February 1997 stating that epoxy injection of the cracks and resurfacing of the tennis courts will result in a facility with the same size, capacity, and function as it had immediately prior to the disaster. Further, the repair cost ($56,516) is 39% of the replacement cost ($145,310), therefore, replacement is not eligible. With a March 9, 1998, letter, OES transmitted the subgrantee's second appeal which is based on the opinion of an engineering firm that such a repair is "neither cost effective . nor good engineering practice to repair the slab because of the high likelihood of the repair failing within a relatively short period of time."

Issues: 1) Does the approved repair restore the tennis courts to their pre-disaster function?

Findings:
1) Yes. Although the cracks in the tennis courts may continue to enlarge and expand, as they had prior to the disaster, the pre-disaster function of the tennis courts, as it was used with repaired cracks, will be restored with the epoxy cement.

Rationale:
1) 44 CFR 206.226(d)(1).

Appeal Letter

August 11, 1998





Mr. Gilbert Najera
Governor's Authorized Representative
Governor's Office of Emergency Services
74 North Pasadena Avenue, West Annex, 3rd Floor
Pasadena, California 91103

Dear Mr. Najera:

This letter is in response to your March 9, 1998, submittal of the William S. Hart Union High
School District's second appeal of Damage Survey Report (DSR) 88157 under FEMA-1008-
DR-CA. The subgrantee is appealing the FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer's determination
that replacment of the tennis courts is not eligible as restoration work.

As explained in the enclosed analysis, I have determined that the approved repair of the tennis court cracks with epoxy cement injection, resurfacing, and restriping of the courts restores the facilities on the basis of their pre-diaster design and function. Therefore, the appeal is denied.

Please inform the applicant of my determination. In accordance with the appeal procedure governing appeal decisions made on or after May 8, 1998, my decision constitutes the final decision on this matter. The current appeal procedure was published as a final rule in the Federal Register on April 8, 1998. It amends 44 CFR 206.206.

Sincerely,

/S/

Lacy E. Suiter
Executive Associate Director
Response and Recovery Directorate

Enclosure

cc: Christina Lopez
Federal Coordinating Officer
FEMA Region IX

Appeal Analysis



BACKGROUND


Saugus High School, which is within the William S. Hart Union High School District, has four side-by-side tennis courts constructed in 1976. In response to reported damages to the tennis courts from the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, an inspection team prepared Damage Survey Report (DSR) 45277 on October 20, 1994, for $5,280 to prepare an architectural and engineering study to evaluate damages and develop an appropriate scope of repairs. However, during the review process it was determined that funding of the study would not be cost effective and that a repair DSR should be prepared. DSR 45277 was processed for $0 on July 25, 1995. A second inspection was conducted on November 1, 1995, to facilitate the preparation of a repair DSR. DSR 88157 was approved on March 8, 1996, for $9,270 to fund grouting of the earthquake caused cracks and restriping of the tennis court surface. The subgrantee non-concurred with DSR 88157.

In a January 11, 1996, letter the subgrantee reiterated their non-concurrence with DSR 88157 and requested hazard mitigation funding to replace the defective fill under the tennis court slab. On
July 19, 1996, a third inspection team reassessed the earthquake damages and appropriate repairs and evaluated the request for hazard mitigation funding. As result of the third inspection,
DSR 03384 was prepared to inject epoxy grout into the cracks, resurface, and re-stripe the tennis court surface for $56,516. The eligible work already funded by DSR 88157 was deducted from DSR 03384 resulting in a net approved funding of $47,276 for DSR 03384 on December 6, 1996. DSR 68437 was prepared to evaluate hazard mitigation funding, but was determined to not be cost-effective and processed for $0.

First Appeal

On June 7, 1996, the State of California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), transmitted the subgrantee's first appeal of the determination to deny funding for the replacement of the tennis courts. The subgrantee stated that the repairs made eligible by DSRs 88157 and 03384 misrepresent the actual earthquake caused damages and do not adequately restore the tennis courts to their pre-disaster condition. The subgrantee maintains that the only repair that will restore the tennis courts is complete removal and replacement. The FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer denied the appeal on February 19, 1997, stating that epoxy injection of the cracks and resurfacing of the tennis courts will restore the facility to the same size, capacity, and function as it had prior to the disaster. Further, the repair cost ($56,516) is 39% of the replacement cost ($145,310), therefore, replacement is not eligible.

Second Appeal

With a March 9, 1998, letter, OES transmitted the subgrantee's second appeal of FEMA's denial of funding for replacement of the tennis courts. The subgrantee's appeal is based on the opinion of an

engineering firm that such a repair is "neither cost effective . nor good engineering practice to repair the slab because of the high likelihood of the repair failing within a relatively short period of time." The engineering firm estimates that "new cracking in a repaired slab would be expected within two years." OES' second appeal letter states that: "Although we are bound by regulations, this office recommends that FEMA review and evaluate the cost effectiveness of repairing the tennis courts versus replacing them." However, OES acknowledges that the facility was damaged prior to the disaster and the 50% rule does not apply.

DISCUSSION

Pre-disaster Condition and Disaster-Related Damages

The subgrantee states that the cost of repair versus replacement should not be used by FEMA in considering the eligibility of replacement. Rather, the subgrantee believes that replacement should be eligible because the function of the facility will not be restored with the approved repair. The subgrantee's engineer states that replacement is necessary because a "joint-free and crack-free surface is imperative to the function of the playing surface, no expansion or control joints are permitted in the surface" and "new cracking in a repaired slab would be expected within two years, which would damage the slab so that it will not function as a joint-free and crack-free playing surface."

While we agree that the tennis courts should have a crack-free playing surface, it is found that the proposed method of repair in DSRs 88157 and 03384 will accomplish this task by sealing the existing cracks, such that replacement is not required. This method of repair is considered a generally accepted method of repair of such conditions. Additionally, documentation submitted by the subgrantee states that the tennis courts had incurred cracks prior to the disaster and that these cracks had been repaired using a similar method to the at proposed in DSRs 88157 and 03384. It is understood that the courts were in active use prior to the disaster with this level of repair in place. This would suggest that the subgrantee has considered this method an acceptable method of repair in the past, providing an adequate surface for continued use of the facility. The subgrantee has not provided sufficient documentation to support why this method would not be appropriate for repair of the disaster-related damages. Accordingly, it is found that the scope of eligible work provided in DSRs 88157 and 03384 is adequate to restore the facility to its pre-disaster condition.

As the courts are considered repairable, and the cost for repair has been found to be less than 50% of the cost of replacement, there is no justification for replacement of the facility. Should the subgrantee choose to replace the court slab, this scope of work would be considered an improvement. Accordingly, it would be necessary for the subgrantee to apply to OES for an improved project in accordance with 44 CFR 206.203(d). Federal funding for improved projects is limited to the Federal share of the approved estimate of eligible costs as presented in the DSRs.

CONCLUSION

The approved repairs approved in DSRs 88157 and 03384 will restore the facility to its pre-disaster function as a tennis court. Therefore, the appeal is denied.