A meeting last Thursday between museum representatives and state and federal officials failed to resolve the question of whether FEMA will or should complete the project. "We may have to elevate this matter to Washington at this point," Collins says. "We have no resolution here."
David Frankle, FEMA's representative at the meeting, declined to discuss in detail how the agency arrived at its current position, but he offered an analogy: "Let's say you had a Volkswagen that was destroyed in the storm, and you came to me and wanted a Cadillac. I'm not going to buy you a Cadillac, and where I am in this situation is that I need a basis for understanding what a new Volkswagen should cost. Short of being able to clearly determine that, we have no other choice but to deny.