United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals Denies Request for Replacement of Timberton Park

United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals Denies Request for Replacement of Timberton Park

Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Thursday, January 20, the United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals ruled to deny the City of Hattiesburg’s request for full replacement of Timberton Park Complex, which was damaged in the January 2017 tornado.

The arbitration decision, which was made by a three-judge panel, did grant additional funds to aid in repair.

“We remain committed to rebuilding Timberton Park,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “While we are disappointed in the three-judge panel’s decision to not grant the full cost of replacement, we are pleased that some additional funds were granted. I hope that with a final funding decision now rendered, FEMA can now approve a scope of work that can assist us in repairing the park and getting it open again.”

This decision comes approximately four months after filing a request for arbitration and one month after the two-day arbitration hearing.

Barker added, “Throughout the past four years of fighting through these hearings for both Fire Station #2 and Timberton Park, we learned how imperative it is for the City to do a better job of insuring itself. It is clear that communities cannot depend on FEMA alone to assist with the rebuilding of public assets. Toward that end, we have increased the City’s outdoor fixtures insurance coverage over the past five budget cycles. We will continue taking steps that can make us more financially resilient.”

At the time of the January 2017 tornado, the City of Hattiesburg’s outdoor fixtures policy was insured up to $150,000 and it covered all outdoor amenities throughout the City of Hattiesburg – such as fencing, ballfield lights, city-owned street lights, traffic signals, signage, etc.

Year over year, city officials have incrementally added more to its policy funding. As of Fiscal Year 2022, the policy coverage is at $2 million.

This arbitration decision is the final step in FEMA’s appeal process, which is pursuant to the provisions of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act Section 1219, which amended Section 423(d) of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.S. 5189a).

Throughout the next several months, city officials will work alongside FEMA to re-work its project worksheet to determine the final funding amounts to aid in repair.


A timeline for Timberton Park Complex is as follows:

January 21, 2017 Timberton Park Complex is destroyed by 2017 Tornado.
May 1, 2017 FEMA Cost Estimation Format calculates damages totaling $565,572 to Timberton that was based on a site visit by city staff and FEMA. It was not based on an engineer’s report, as required by FEMA for large category projects.
June 20, 2018 The City of Hattiesburg appeals the original damage estimates of $565,572 to FEMA with an engineer estimate of $2,455,418.00.
October 18, 2018 Fire destroyed the large press box at Timberton. It sustained minor damage during the 2017 tornado. The City of Hattiesburg was paid in the amount of $147,287.43
April 1, 2019 FEMA issues revised Cost Estimating Format of an additional $1,888,182 for a total of $2,456,078.48 obligated for repairs at Timberton Complex.
August 20, 2019 Congressman Steven Palazzo announces the obligation of $1.4 million for Timberton Complex. 
September 26, 2019 The City of Hattiesburg receives an obligation letter of $2,456,078.48 for Timberton Park Complex. However, it was determined that approximately $957,683.00 was omitted from cost revisions related to project management and construction trade requirements such as permits, safety & security, bonds, insurance and architect/engineering costs.
September 29, 2019 The omissions related to the most recent obligation were submitted to FEMA for correction.
January 21, 2020 3rd Anniversary of the 2017 Tornado. 
February 13, 2020 The City of Hattiesburg receives a letter from FEMA that $1,717,425.48 of the $2,456,078.48 obligated for the repair of the Timberton Park Complex was de-obligated due to FEMA re-inspection. 
April 29, 2020 The City of Hattiesburg files an appeal to the February 13 obligation letter.
August 19, 2020 The City of Hattiesburg receives notices that FEMA received the first appeal for 4295-DR-MS City of Hattiesburg Project Worksheet (PW) 44.
December 4, 2020 The City of Hattiesburg receives an email update from MEMA Director of Public Assistance that the appeal remains in process.
January 28. 2021 City of Hattiesburg receives email update from Mike Siler, MEMA Director of Public Assistance, that the appeal for 4295-DR-MS City of Hattiesburg Project Worksheet (PW) 44-Timberton is still in FEMA Review.  
August 16, 2021 The City of Hattiesburg receives a determination letter from FEMA stating that the City’s appeal has been denied, again. 
October 14, 2021 The City of Hattiesburg files a Request for Arbitration by the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) under the arbitration rights set forth in section 423 of the Stafford Act. 
January 20, 2022 The City of Hattiesburg receives notice that the CBCA denies request for replacement of Timberton Park.