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Project Management Costs

Appeal Brief Appeal Letter

Appeal Brief

DisasterFEMA-1379-DR
ApplicantCity of Houston
Appeal TypeSecond
PA ID#201-35000-00
PW ID#730, 750, 756, 759, 761, 1359
Date Signed2003-12-09T05:00:00
Citation: FEMA-1379-DR-TX; City of Houston, Project Management Costs; Project Worksheets (PWs) 730, 750, 756, 759, 761, 1359

Cross-reference: Project Management Costs; Time Limitations

Summary: Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Allison in June of 2001 caused flooding in the City of Houston (City) resulting in damage to facilities under the City’s Convention and Entertainment Department. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved PWs 730, 750, 756, 759, 761, and 1359 in September and December 2001 to repair these damaged facilities and to replace equipment lost due to the flooding. The City hired the Gilbane Company to manage these projects. FEMA noted on PWs 730, 756, 759, and 761 and formally communicated in writing to the City in August 2001 that the costs for project management and supervision services from Rodriquez, Villacorta, & Weiss (RVW, Inc.) were not eligible costs because these activities were covered under the City’s administrative allowance. The City submitted a first appeal on January 29, 2003, claiming that the services provided by RVW, Inc. were eligible based on the fact that RVW, Inc. were the project managers for the cleanup and debris removal operations for the Theater Facilities. The FEMA Region VI Acting Regional Director denied the appeal because it was submitted eighteen months beyond the 60-day regulatory time limit for appeals as outlined in 44 CFR §206.206. The City submitted its second appeal on June 9, 2003. Neither the City nor the Texas Division of Emergency Management (State) disputed the fact that the first appeal was not submitted within the statutory and regulatory time frame for appeals. However, the State supports the City’s second appeal for $200,000 for project management services provided by RVW, Inc. to clean up the Theater Facilities following Tropical Storm Allison.

Issues: Are the project management costs provided by RVW, Inc. eligible for reimbursement?

Findings: No. The appeal was not submitted in a timely manner.

Rationale: 44 CFR §206.206; Section 423 of the Stafford Act

Appeal Letter

December 9, 2003

Mr. Richard Patterson
State Coordinating Officer
Division of Emergency Management
Texas Department of Public Safety
Tropical Storm Allison Close-Out Facility
2575 West Bellfort Street, Suite 300
Houston, Texas 77054-5025

Re: Second Appeal – City of Houston, PA ID 201-35000-00, Project Management Costs, FEMA-1379-DR-TX, Project Worksheets (PWs) 730, 750, 756, 759, 761, 1359

Dear Mr. Patterson:

This is in response to your letter dated August 6, 2003, that transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the City of Houston (City). The City is requesting reconsideration of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) decision to deny $200,000 for project management costs from Rodriquez, Villacorta, and Weiss (RVW, Inc.).

Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Allison in June of 2001 caused flooding in the City of Houston (City) resulting in damage to facilities under the City’s Convention and Entertainment Department. FEMA approved PWs 730, 750, 756, 759, 761, and 1359 in September and December 2001 to repair these damaged facilities and to replace equipment lost due to the flooding. The City hired the Gilbane Company to manage these projects. FEMA noted on PWs 730, 756, 759, and 761 and formally communicated in writing to the City in August 2001 that the costs for project management and supervision services from RVW, Inc. were not eligible costs because these activities were covered under the City’s administrative allowance.

The City submitted a first appeal on January 29, 2003, claiming that the services provided by RVW, Inc. were eligible based on the fact that RVW, Inc. was the project manager for the cleanup and debris removal operations for the Theater Facilities. The FEMA Region VI Acting Regional Director denied the appeal because it was submitted 18 months beyond the 60-day regulatory time limit for appeals as outlined in 44 CFR §206.206.

The City submitted its second appeal on June 9, 2003, requesting reconsideration of FEMA’s determination that the project management and supervision services provided by RVW, Inc. were covered under the City’s administrative allowance. The City stated that RVW, Inc. was hired to conduct the emergency work for PWs 759 and 761 while the Gilbane Company was hired to handle the reconstruction work for PWs 730, 750, 756, 759, 761, and 1359. The City did not submit any information disputing the Acting Regional Director’s determination that the first appeal was not filed within the 60-day regulatory time limit.

After reviewing the second appeal package, I have determined that the City failed to submit the first appeal within the 60-day regulatory timeframe specified in 44 CFR §206.206 and the implementing legislation. Therefore, the appeal is denied. In addition, the services provided by RVW, Inc. are not eligible because they were covered under the City’s administrative allowance as explained in the Acting Regional Director’s letter dated March 28, 2003.

Please inform the City of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206.

Sincerely,
/S/
Daniel A. Craig
Director
Recovery Division
Emergency Preparedness and Response

cc: Gary Jones
Acting Regional Director
FEMA, Region VI