Public Assistance Updates

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Posted on 12/01/2015 by VLCT Communications

 

DR 4207 (severe winter storm of Dec. 9-12, 2014). All project worksheets have been written for DR 4207. If your town is still waiting for a payment, please make sure you have completed and returned all subgrant paperwork to Karen Smith (KarenMae.Smith@vermont.gov). Subgrant paperwork includes the signature page and Request for Payment (form 502). We also need a Project Completion and Certification Report form (PCCR), signed by the town and by your Agency of Transportation District Technician, to document that all work has been completed in accordance with the scope(s) of work of your project worksheets before we can release final payment to your town.

DR 4232 (severe storm and flooding of June 9, 2015). FEMA has written all 24 project worksheets for the nine Applicants (in Addison and Chittenden counties only) for this disaster, and all but three have been obligated.

DRs 4022, 4066, 4120, 4140, 4163, and 4178. A total of 141 open Large Projects remain to be closed out from Tropical Storm Irene, and a total of 23 open Large Projects from the various smaller disasters since Irene. Roughly a third of these have already been submitted to FEMA for review.

If you have questions about the status of an open Project Worksheet, please contact Public Assistance Officer Kimberly Canarecci (kim.canarecci@vermont.gov or 802-585-4209). For more information about the Public Assistance Program and to find all referenced documents, visit http://vem.vermont.gov/publicassistance.

Steps necessary to receive payment.

It is critical to maintain documentation of FEMA-reimbursable work, including pre-disaster inspection and maintenance records, site photos, and daily activity logs for town personnel and equipment used during disaster repairs. You should also review the new Applicant’s Guide and Checklist published at http://vem.vermont.gov/publicassistance as useful tools to guide your town through the FEMA Public Assistance process. The Applicant’s Guide lists the documents required when FEMA writes a Project Worksheet. The Applicant Checklist lists the 11 steps of the disaster recovery process.

For small projects (currently defined as projects with total eligible value of less than $121,800 but greater than $3,050), the Department of Public Safety (DPS) pays out 100% of the federal share (which is typically 75% of the project’s total eligible value) immediately upon notification of obligation, provided that the town has executed its subgrant agreement and submitted the GMU 502F Financial Report form, which is provided by the DPS Business Office as part of the original subgrant agreement packet). Towns do not receive the state share on small projects until they have completed the scope of work for every small project for that disaster and we have received the PCCR signed by your local VTrans District Technician to verify that all scopes of work were completed.

For large projects (greater than $121,800), payments are on a “reimbursement basis.” This means that payment is sent out only after the applicant (you!) requests payment from the Business Office by submitting a 502F Financial Report requesting partial payment, along with documentation of actual expenses incurred. They can only pay out up to 75% of the federal share prior to close-out. Partial payment drawdowns can occur at any time, whenever a town submits documentation of expenses incurred on its large project(s). The remaining balance of federal share and the state share is not paid out on a large project until the project is closed out.

For Large projects that are still “open” (i.e. not yet closed out by FEMA), you are federally required to report quarterly progress. The report form is simple and can be found on http://vem.vermont.gov/publicassistance. Email quarterly reports to kim.canarecci@vermont.gov by the 15th day of April, July, October and January for the preceding quarter.

It sounds confusing and it is! Again, if you are not clear on what is expected of your town or are not sure of how to receive funding for FEMA-eligible work already accomplished, contact Kim Canarecci.

ERAF: An update on how your town’s State Share is determined. The State of Vermont portion of the non-federal share for federally-eligible disaster assistance comes from the Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund (“ERAF”). The ERAF percentage paid to each town is based on whether or not the town has taken various measures. In the year since the new ERAF criteria took effect, the percentage of Vermont communities:

  • participating in National Flood Insurance Program has increased from 87% to 89%;
  • that have adopted up-to-date local Transportation standards has increased from 70% to 89%;
  • that have submitted up-to-date Local Emergency Operations Plans to DEMHS has increased from 60% a year ago to 86%;
  • that have submitted Local Hazard Mitigation Plans has increased from 36% to 58%;
  • that have taken additional measures to protect river corridors from future development in addition to the previous four criteria, thereby qualifying for 17.5% state ERAF share, has increased from 20% to 25%.

You can check any town’s status here (and look at each of the ERAF criteria) at http://floodready.vermont.gov/.