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What you need to know for 08/22/2017

Niskayuna school district may owe $1.9M to state

Niskayuna school district may owe $1.9M to state

Niskayuna Central School District officials are going over the numbers of the recently completed bui

Niskayuna Central School District officials are going over the numbers of the recently completed building project after being put on notice that the district is in danger of having to repay as much as $1.9 million in building aid.

Officials, however, have been given the opportunity to get that number lower. That, coupled with a repayment plan on whatever is left, means the proposed 2014-2015 budget can go forward.

The notice came earlier this month from the state Department of Education relating to the $99.2 million in building projects approved by district voters in 2006 and completed by 2013.

The district received building aid on that number based on cost estimates. When final cost reports came in, though, expenses appeared to come in lower than anticipated on some projects, triggering a possible repayment.

State officials have given the district a second chance to submit the cost information. Project officials are now going over the expenses to ensure that everything was stated correctly.

District Assistant Superintendent for Business Matthew Bourgeois told board members it may be a matter of costs not being allocated between projects in the best way.

Board member Kevin Laurilliard asked Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio if she was confident that the right people were looking at the issue.

“I am very confident that they are the experts that will help us resolve this issue,” Salvaggio said.

Those people include the project architect and a retired state education official.

The result could be reduction in the amount the district would have to pay back.

District officials expect the repayment number to be less in the end. Whatever the number is, the district would have the option to pay it back over time, in one, three or five years.

Whatever the district will ultimately have to pay back wouldn’t affect the budget until the next fiscal year.

The bulk of the building projects — $94.5 million — were approved by district voters in January 2006. Those projects finished by 2013, resulting in improvements to each of the district’s facilities.

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