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    Default Emergency Facility Generator

    If you have been awarded for an emergency facility generator, did your department use funds to pay for concrete work?

    I am not asking if you can or not; I know the answer. I am asking how many have done so.

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    We were awarded funding for a station back up generator...to answer your question about the concrete work...NO we did not use any FEMA money for construction work...it is plainly spelled out in the Program Guidence.

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    Well, I don't if I would say plainly. But that isn't the point of the thread. Thanks for answering.

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    I'm not sure you're going to get many takers on this one. Very few got generators this year, so the odds of having a few posting regularly on the forums would be rare. Plus the way you state it is quite leading, anyone reading it can tell that it can't be something that's allowed.

    Kinda like someone else posting in an ISO forum that they borrow equipment from other departments for their audit. The powers that be do come here often. I wouldn't be surprised if 1 or 2 departments had their grants yanked because they talked about doing something that wasn't allowed in here, which tipped off the FPS that maybe they ought to do an audit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    I'm not sure you're going to get many takers on this one. Very few got generators this year, so the odds of having a few posting regularly on the forums would be rare. Plus the way you state it is quite leading, anyone reading it can tell that it can't be something that's allowed.

    Kinda like someone else posting in an ISO forum that they borrow equipment from other departments for their audit. The powers that be do come here often. I wouldn't be surprised if 1 or 2 departments had their grants yanked because they talked about doing something that wasn't allowed in here, which tipped off the FPS that maybe they ought to do an audit.
    Yeah, I didn't figure anyone who did would admit. What I was really after was those who did and didn't know it was not allowed.

    But your right, the chances of an awardee even being here is slim. Put this one to rest.

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    Seems to me that the concrete work for a generator would be only a couple hundred dollars anyway. Why would anybody put the whole award at risk for such a small amount of money!
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

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    Yes, the slab is new construction. The grant (including matching funds) cannot fund changes in the footprint of the station, including slabs for emergency generators, radio towers, etc, etc. So if you're putting in the slab, you have to pay for it out of pocket, which basically means that you have to overmatch the cost of the slab. It may mean you have grant funds left over but at that point it's not against the rules.

    Installation can be paid for but it can't pay for the concrete, only the cost of physically putting in the generator and the associated wiring.

    So, this means that if the concrete work cost $500 the you have to pay that out of pocket, and if nothing else changes then your install should only cost $7000 instead of $7500. So that may mean that you have $475 in federal funds and $25 of local funds leftover to spend on something. That can buy a nice desktop computer for fire prevention and other benefits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jboczek
    Seems to me that the concrete work for a generator would be only a couple hundred dollars anyway. Why would anybody put the whole award at risk for such a small amount of money!
    For the actual cost of the concrete...yes. But to have a general contractor do the work of putting in the concrete pad, we are looking at about $3,000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    Yes, the slab is new construction. The grant (including matching funds) cannot fund changes in the footprint of the station, including slabs for emergency generators, radio towers, etc, etc.
    This is where we have a problem with it. Our pad in NO WAY changes the footprint of the station. It is a separate object and is not even close to being part of the station. The Guidance clearly states that installation for a generator is included. I am not sure how they can expect a generator to be installed without a concrete slab. It weighs 2 tons.

    Anyway, no sense in complaining about it here. No one here can do anything about it.

    I was just curious how many people had used funds to pay for concrete and didn't know it was against the rules. I believe the Guidance is very misleading in this area and needs addressed. It is too subjective to be turning down payment requests after the fact.

    We are not happy.

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    In past PG's and in the Final Rule document (which hasn't changed since 2003) it plainly states no concrete pads. Not sure why the took it out for this PG. but it clearly states what is allowed, and only interior modifications that do not go against historical district rules can be performed.

    The part about footprint changes is if you are modifying the station itself, not putting in separate entities away from the station. But from an engineering perspective, any time you plant concrete is must be reported on the plat plans for the property with a new survey because concrete = permanent. Yes it could be taken out with a jackhammer, but the litmus test is reasonable effort. As much fun as jackhammers can be, it's a little beyond reasonable to expect the average person to remove an 8" slab.

    And having done my own concrete patio with 9 yards of mix on site concrete, it's not that hard to handle if cost is an issue. Concrete plus plywood and rebar for a ~400 sq ft patio cost me $900. And if it's in an accessible area for the truck you won't have to wheel it 120 ft around your house when it's 106 degrees in August like my own dumb self did. With 1 wheelbarrow because the other one I rented got a flat on the first load. They gave me my money back but a lot of good that did me when the truck is in front of my driveway. Details.

    Either way, you're right, nothing can be done at this point. Except to remind people to CLARIFY ambiguous statements like "installation". Being an electrician's son, installation of a generator means to me wiring it in, it has nothing to do with fuel tanks, concrete pads, or anything else. Just switchgear. Like I've always said, subjective perspectives sink apps.

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    I have done 3 grant apps and won 2 and have never heard of the Final Rule document. Can you please point me to where I can find this document?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
    From the guidance.
    But before we proceed I am getting a written confirmation for approval of the porject, which will include the slab.
    If you even mention the concrete they will not approve it. If they do, let me know so I can do the same. I have already had this converstation with FEMA and they will in no way pay for the concrete materials or installation.

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    The funds may not to be used to supplement new construction.
    Slabs are new construction no matter where you put them because of the engineering impact to the property. Not that it can or will be sold at any point in the near future (I would hope), from a true real estate & tax perspective you would need a new survey and it would count as a taxable improvement to the property, same as my patio was.

    Different purposes since I don't see y'all having parties on the generator, but of course it would easily power a refrigerator. Or a Kegerator. Got that one on my list for Santa, but I'm not seeing that happen.

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    Final Rule, under the PG section

    http://www.firegrantsupport.com/guidance.aspx

    The Final Rule is actually the Legalese version of the Program Guidance, i.e. the actual wording of the law on the books. Been out every year since 2001, it just hasn't changed since 2003. Except for the dollar amounts in the program, which aren't in there anyway.
    Last edited by BC79er; 12-21-2005 at 11:10 AM.

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    OK, to make it even more simple, every piece of any project is separate. Putting down concrete is what the contractor calls "installation" but he can also reprice if you put in your own slab. If he doesn't, time to find another one. NORMALLY, yes slabs are PART of an installation package, but since they can't be paid for under this program, they can't be part of your installation as listed on the funding request. Believe me, the feds will own another generator if they find problems at audit time. It will be towed off. They have taken PPE, SCBA, tools, hose, and even trucks after an audit. It's not worth it because after that you may never see another grant award again.

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    Trojan,

    Consider yourself lucky that you are finding this out before you have done the concrete work. We weren't that lucky. Work has been done; billed has been received and paid. Made the payment request, and then got denied and find all this out.

    If it were just the cost of the concrete itself, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But we are talking $3,000 out of pocket vs. about $600 for just the concrete.

    Live and learn I guess.

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    So why bolt it to a slab? Leave option B open, someday that generator may be urgently needed elsewhere in your area. Install your switch gear and the trailer mount the generator. Call your friendly forester/FEPP for a DOD trailer suitable for load of _____ lb. Many good trailer options available thru the DOD surplus system. Or same source truck mount it.

    Which brings up the "why waste a grant/taxpayer $ on a generator" question? Our genset is a 200kw Cummins that I got from FEPP. Trailer from same source. Generator had 18 hrs on the meter when we picked it up. Near unlimited # of diesel and gas gensets (and all manner of trailers) available. Also many trailers with single or dual gensets installed. Normally don't find sets that make more than 750kw (most are less than 30kw).

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa
    So why bolt it to a slab? Leave option B open, someday that generator may be urgently needed elsewhere in your area. Install your switch gear and the trailer mount the generator. Call your friendly forester/FEPP for a DOD trailer suitable for load of _____ lb. Many good trailer options available thru the DOD surplus system. Or same source truck mount it.

    Which brings up the "why waste a grant/taxpayer $ on a generator" question? Our genset is a 200kw Cummins that I got from FEPP. Trailer from same source. Generator had 18 hrs on the meter when we picked it up. Near unlimited # of diesel and gas gensets (and all manner of trailers) available. Also many trailers with single or dual gensets installed. Normally don't find sets that make more than 750kw (most are less than 30kw).
    We actually applied for a mobile generator. When FEMA called me to ask if we would accept a reduced award, I was told they do not want departments buying mobile units, because the reward is only for a facility generator. Their thought was that the mobile would get used for other purposes besides an Emergency Facility Generator, since it could easily be carted off.

    So we took their advice to make them happy, and now look. Besides, the point is that the topic isn't really spelled out well in the Program Guidance. So far, the only people that interpret the Program Guidance to say we can't pour concrete for this is the FEMA people themselves. Everyone else just scratches their head and says WTF?

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    WEBFIRE go down to Home Depot or Lowe's and ask them to donate the Quickmix and an electric mixer, drag out a case of beer and 3-4 of you scrape the ground, lay some rebar and nail some 2 x 6' forms together and then stick your hands in it and sign your names in the wet concrete!
    Kurt Bradley
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
    What is FEPP? And what are you running with a 200KW generator. That's enough power to run 20 house.
    FEPP is DOD surplus equipment available thru your state forester. Do a search here.

    Could run most of our town with 200kw if required. Price is the same 200kw or 30kw (zero $, and the large Army gensets don't get used as much as the small/medium size). Go big or go home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ktb9780
    WEBFIRE go down to Home Depot or Lowe's and ask them to donate the Quickmix and an electric mixer, drag out a case of beer and 3-4 of you scrape the ground, lay some rebar and nail some 2 x 6' forms together and then stick your hands in it and sign your names in the wet concrete!
    Did you read the threads? The cost of the concrete and materials is not an issue. But WE HAVE ALREADY HAD THE WORK DONE BY THE CONTRACTOR!

    We could have easily covered the $500-600 in material and done the work ourselves. And we would have if we had known this was not covered. But we didn't, so we had the work done, submitted the bill for payment request, and got denied. Now we are stuck with the few thousand dollar bill.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
    I have to agree, it isn't clear in the guidance. I'm still waiting for a response from FEMA on this myself. However, at this time, their WEB site is down Seems odd though that they would want you to submit a complete and comprehensive project and then say parts of the project are out of the scope.
    TH, was it in your narrative that you would be using some of the money to pour concrete?

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    Sorry Webfire, the thread was so long I forgot you had said you already had it done. Mea Culpa guy!
    Kurt Bradley
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    It doesn't matter if it was or wasn't in the narrative. If it's not allowed, it's not allowed. That might have actually helped to avoid the situation, except that this being the 5th year of the program most ineligible items cause the whole app to be tossed not just pieces.

    This program is a case of Caveat civicus: awarded beware**. It is the award winner's responsibility to ensure that all pieces of all projects are allowed prior to spending any money. If one were to be literal with the PG, you must get ANY purchase approved, even the ones we all know to be allowed, such as PPE. I don't care if one of the experts (including me) told you that something is allowed. The FPS has the final word because they are the ones charged with complying with the law. Remember, this entire program is a law. Hence the reason that you can be brought up on federal charges.

    For those that actually know Latin, sorry for butchering it if it is, that was what Notre Dame's online translator gave me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    It doesn't matter if it was or wasn't in the narrative. If it's not allowed, it's not allowed. That might have actually helped to avoid the situation, except that this being the 5th year of the program most ineligible items cause the whole app to be tossed not just pieces.

    This program is a case of Caveat civicus: awarded beware**. It is the award winner's responsibility to ensure that all pieces of all projects are allowed prior to spending any money. If one were to be literal with the PG, you must get ANY purchase approved, even the ones we all know to be allowed, such as PPE. I don't care if one of the experts (including me) told you that something is allowed. The FPS has the final word because they are the ones charged with complying with the law. Remember, this entire program is a law. Hence the reason that you can be brought up on federal charges.

    For those that actually know Latin, sorry for butchering it if it is, that was what Notre Dame's online translator gave me.

    Which is why the Program Guidance needs to be more specific on these issues. We DID look to make sure everything we needed was included. We saw NOTHING that told us the concrete base would not be allowed. It is only by interpretation that we are being told this isn't allowed now.

    I hate to know the number of departments that have unknowingly done something that was against the rules. Hopefully nothing ever comes of it for them.

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