Public Assistance Updates

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Posted on 10/13/2015 by VLCT Communications

 

  • The Public Assistance Applicant Guide and Public Assistance Applicant Checklist can help you with the Public Assistance Grant process. They list the documentation required when FEMA writes a Project Worksheet and provide 11 steps to guide you through the disaster process.
  • Project Thresholds for the New Federal Fiscal Year. With the start of the new federal fiscal year, FEMA has published new thresholds for the Public Assistance program. For disasters declared after October 1, 2015, the minimum amount for a Project Worksheet has increased from $3,040 to $3,050, and the Small Project threshold has increased from $121,600 to $121,800. Any project with a total cost exceeding that amount is now considered a large project.
  • Quarterly Large Project Progress Reports. If you have an open Public Assistance subgrant from DPS, Quarterly Large Project Progress Reports are due soon. They must be emailed to Public Assistance Officer Kimberly Canarecci at kim.canarecci@vermont.gov by the 15th day of April, July, October, and January for the preceding quarter. Quarterly reporting is federally required for all open large projects until they are closed in FEMA’s database. These reports give visibility on your project progress and whether or not you will need to submit for a time extension. The quarterly large project report form is posted here.
  • Small Project Monitoring. With small project thresholds up to $121,800, applicants can expect fewer large projects in future disasters. Large projects have to go through the formal closeout process because final payments are based on actual documented project costs. When FEMA writes a small project (i.e., below the threshold, which is now $121,800), we can release the federal share to you immediately (provided that you have executed your subgrant), based on the value of the Project Worksheet, even if it was an estimate. Just because a Project Worksheet is a “small project”, however, does not mean that no cost documentation will ever be required. Federal agencies and auditors expect the State to conduct random sampling of small projects from each disaster to conduct “mini-closeouts”, verifying that the applicants have properly procured contractors, complied with permit requirements, and can provide material invoices, time cards, and equipment usage records for review. It is always important to keep all paperwork for each project separate, so that you will be prepared in the event of an audit. Even for projects below $121,800, it is also important to follow your local procurement standards when hiring contractors.
  • DR4207 (severe winter storm of Dec. 9-12, 2014) Update. All projects have been written for DR4207. If your town is still waiting for payments, please make sure you have completed all subgrant agreement paperwork and returned to Karen Smith (KarenMae.Smith@vermont.gov). You must submit for payment by completing the signature page and request payment on the 502-F form. Your Project Completion and Certification Report (PCCR) should also completed which verifies that all work was done according to the approved FEMA scope of work.
  • DR4232 (severe storm and flooding of June 9, 2015) Update. FEMA has projected a total of 24 project worksheets for the nine applicants of DR4232, with three of those anticipated to be large. This disaster was declared for only Addison and Chittenden counties. Eighteen projects have already been written, of which two have been obligated/awarded for payment.

For more information on the Public Assistance Program, visit http://vem.vermont.gov/publicassistance.