Hamburg Central School District officials have received word that $1.34 million in transportation aid New York State was seeking to retrieve from Hamburg does not have to be paid back.
The dispute with the state involved 14 transportation contracts going back eight years. The state had maintained Hamburg violated state reimbursement policies in the submission of the bus transportation contracts. The district had submitted the contracts and was reimbursed through clerical errors, the district said.
The state Education Department then sought to subtract the money Albany was owed from Hamburg’s state aid payments, and the district turned to its state legislators.
Several different state lawmakers sponsored legislation forgiving Hamburg. The measures reached the governor’s desk three times, and they were vetoed three times by two different governors, the latest by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last year.
Barbara Sporyz, the district’s director of administrative services, said the district wrote a letter again last November asking for amnesty of the clerical error on the transportation contracts. The district heard back in late April that any aid due will be paid. Since Hamburg already received the aid, it would not have to pay it back, she said.
“We were worried we would be subject to some sort of state aid take-back,” Sporyz said.
“Thank goodness the state has come through and given us amnesty,” Board President Joan Calkins said.