Section 3: Types of Eligible Moving Expenses - Non-residential

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A non-residential displacee is entitled to reimbursement for moving expenses determined by TxDOT to be reasonable and necessary. The amount of reimbursement depends on which of three methods listed below is used to accomplish the move. The move may be accomplished by one or a combination of these methods, providing there is no duplication of payment in any part of the move.

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Commercial Move

A non-residential displacee may be reimbursed for the costs of a move performed by a qualified individual or company. Itemized receipts and lists of goods and property moved must support such costs.

The displacee, before the start of his move, should:

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  • advise TxDOT of his intention to have his goods and property moved commercially, and provide the name of the company or individual who will perform the move;
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  • inform TxDOT of the date of the move in advance and allow TxDOT to monitor the move; and
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  • inform TxDOT of any unusual conditions or special handling requirements that could affect the moving cost.

The department should:

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  • perform a pre-move, displacement site review, when possible, to verify the displaced property list and any special conditions and requirements that could affect moving costs;
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  • monitor the move;
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  • perform a post-move replacement site review, when possible, to determine if personalty is actually moved and installed as stated in submitted invoices;
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  • verify submitted invoices and receipts with issuing organizations and individuals; and
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  • advise displacee of TxDOT’s determination regarding eligibility of expenses before start of the move.

In complex moves and in any move where costs are expected to exceed $20,000, develop a moving plan as described under the Self-Move section immediately following.

When moving costs are expected to exceed $20,000, obtain two supporting cost estimates from qualified commercial moving firms or individuals.

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Actual Cost Self-Move

If a non-residential displacee elects to perform his move on an actual cost basis, the move shall be supported by paid receipted bills for labor and equipment. Hourly labor rates should not exceed the rates paid by a commercial mover to employees performing the same activity and, equipment rental fees should be based on the actual rental cost of the equipment, but not to exceed the cost paid by a commercial mover.

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Negotiated Self-Move

If a displacee chooses to take full responsibility for all or part of moving his displaced personalty, payment may be approved for his moving expenses not to exceed the lowest acceptable estimate obtained or prepared by TxDOT. Additional documentation of expenses by displacee is not required. Payment should include all eligible moving costs; however, removal and reinstallation expenses may be considered as separate claims. When possible, all claims related to a particular move should be submitted for payment simultaneously. A negotiated self-move must be handled in the following sequence:

For complex moves and moves expected to cost over $20,000, the displacee, with assistance from the department, must prepare a moving plan prior to moving the displaced property and before other actions are initiated. The moving plan should identify all factors that could affect the moving cost and should:

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  • be in writing, dated, and agreed to by both the displacee and department before any moving cost estimates are obtained;
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  • contain a brief, clear description of the property to be moved, the location of and distance to the replacement site, and the date the move is to be performed;
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  • outline work specifications and requirements for each phase of the move, detailing identification of items requiring removal and reinstallation and any special handling, packing, or crating;
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  • conform with TxDOT requirements and recognized moving principles;
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  • identify all allowable services, including disconnect/reconnect of utilities and other types of services; complex services, as determined by TxDOT, shall be performed on an actual cost basis.
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  • include only personalty owned by the displacee to be moved to the new location. Resolve any questions regarding allowable costs or items or personalty, which may have been acquired as realty before releasing the plan for a cost estimate. Refer questions not resolved at the project level to ROW Division HQ.
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  • include a signed and dated inventory of all tangible personalty to be moved. When the number of items to be moved is so great that a detailed inventory is impractical, use photographs or videotape to supplement the inventory. For example, parts stored in bins do not need to be inventoried, but list the number of bins to be moved and a summary of their contents in the inventory, and document them with photographs. Support photographic inventories with sketches showing the location and direction of each photograph, as shown in Inventory Diagrams.

For moves expected to cost $20,000 or less, TxDOT and the displacee must agree on work specifications and requirements of the move. The displacee must provide a signed and dated inventory of property to be moved, including identification of all items requiring removal and reinstallation, packing, crating, or individual handling. The displacee must also provide a list of other services, including utility and telephone connections. These functions must be completed before other actions are initiated for moving the displaced business.

Upon finalization of the moving plan or agreed terms and conditions for the move, the displacee must submit an application for self-move, form ROW-R-119, to the department before the move start date. Applications must be accompanied by the plans, inventories, and information outlined in the preceding paragraphs. Negotiated self-move requests will not be accepted after the start of any move. Therefore, carefully consider the timing and handling of the submission. Before starting the move, the negotiated self-move must have department approval.

After receiving the displacee’s application for self-move, the department must secure two cost estimates from qualified commercial moving firms or individuals. These estimates must be based on the moving plan or agreed upon terms and conditions. As an alternative, when the cost of moving is expected to be $2,500 or less, payment may be based on a single moving expense finding prepared by a qualified TxDOT employee. In any case, supporting estimates must not include compensation for ineligible items or services and that all displacees understand that only reasonable and necessary expenses that can be fully supported will be allowed.

If estimated moving expenses are $20,000 or less, the displacee’s application for self-move must be submitted to the department for approval. File the displacee’s application, along with required supporting information and cost estimate, in department records.

If estimated moving expenses exceed $500,000, submit the displacee’s application for self-move, with originals of supporting information and R/W-PD’s recommendation, to ROW Division HQ for approval before starting the move.

If a requested self-move payment exceeds the low cost estimate or is considered unacceptable for other reasons, open discussions with the displacee to arrive at a reasonable payment that is less than the low cost estimate. If an amount can be agreed upon, submit the displacee’s application for self-move, with supporting information, for approval by the authorized person. If discussions prove unsuccessful, return the displacee’s application for self-move to the displacee and relocate the displaced property on an actual cost basis as a commercial move or, if eligible, as an alternate self-move.

Each displacee should understand that if he does not perform his self-move according to provisions under which the agreed amount was reached the payment will either be denied or adjusted in proportion to the work performed.

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