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Facilities Planning

MCA for Security Cameras

New Maximum Cost Allowance for State Aid on the Purchase and Installation of Security Cameras Beginning With 2012–13 Aid for Expenses Incurred July 1, 2011 and After

Beginning with 2011-12 expenses incurred on or after July 1, 2011, the maximum cost allowance for security camera aid claims pursuant to NYSEL 3602 6-c will be $2,000 per camera up to a maximum total security camera expense claim of $35,000:

All SAMS Form FB Schedule N aid claims for security camera expenses totaling more than $35,000, and incurred on or after July 1, 2011, will be rejected and will generate no State Aid.

Beginning with expenses incurred July 1, 2011, and forward, the purchase and installation of security cameras in excess of $35,000 must be included in or applied for as a regular capital project subject to the standard building permit review process: Office of Facilities Planning pre-approval is required to generate any State Building Aid. Aid for these projects will be generated via assumed amortization. The purchase and installation of security cameras totaling $35,000 or less should still be claimed via SAMS Form FB, Schedule N.

It is critically important to determine the proper way to claim aid for security cameras early in the process and before any work begins or any cameras are purchased. If the claim for an installed system is rejected by the State Aid Office for exceeding $35,000 under the Form FB process, it must also be rejected by Facilities Planning because it was completed prior to the issuance of a building permit. In this situation, no aid will be paid for the installed system.

To avoid aid ineligibility, contact Facilities Planning now if the security camera purchase/installation planned for the upcoming school year may exceed a total of $35,000.


Section 3602, subdivision 6-c of the Education Law includes the purchase and installation of security cameras to be eligible for building aid when installed in a student-occupied building. The purpose of this legislation is to allow a school district to install security cameras and claim Building aid on base year expenses separately from a traditional capital construction project. However, this subsection of Education law and the current Form FB Schedule N security camera claim process were intended to reimburse expenses for specific and discreet security needs identified by a district. It was not intended as a method to allow installation of comprehensive security systems which would otherwise be subject to the standard building permit review process at the Office of Facilities Planning. In accordance with General Municipal Law Section 103(1); all public work in excess of $35,000 must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. The Department is utilizing the intent of this statute as a basis for determining when a security camera project is substantial enough to require a building permit.

All questions on the determination of whether the purchase and installation of security cameras should be done as part of a capital project should be directed to the district’s SED Project Manager or to Rosanne Groff, Coordinator for Facilities Planning at (518) 474-3906.