The Parking Advisory Board will propose a two-year plan that would annually increase both parking permits and meter fees.
“I think it’s essential to raise prices if they want to have more room for people to park,” said Hailee Mattmiller, biology major. “Last semester when I drove to campus for a 10 a.m. class, even Lot Q would be full.”
The proposal explains that over the next two years, parking passes will increase from $118 to $154 and metered parking will increase from 50 to 75 cents per hour.
Tyler Forsythe, chair of the board, said the largest concern is that there will not be adequate commuter and event parking for students and visitors.
He foresees metered parking going from 50 to 60 cents next year and 75 cents the following year. He said parking passes will probably increase from $118 to $146 one year, and from $146 to $154 the next.
From this point, the proposal will go to the University Affairs Committee, which is comprised of faculty, staff and students. Then it will go to both Classified Staff Council and Faculty Senate. If approved, it will be sent to the chancellor for the final signature.
“I don’t feel like it makes sense to raise the prices for spots that are usually really far from campus,” said Dallas Hytry, sociology major. “The ones that are close to campus are always full and stay that way for the majority of the day.”
Another reason for the increase is from the loss of cash reserves, which are significantly diminished. Forsythe said this is due to the loss of Lot X and the $400,000 spent on snow removal last year, which is roughly double the amount spent this winter.
Bill Rowe, Parking Services director, explained that cash reserves allow Parking Services to purchase homes, specifically on Briggs Street, that will be constructed into additional parking for students and faculty.
“We’ve got to have cash reserves available to buy these properties,” Rowe said. “We’ve bought two in the last year, which has allowed us to build parking Lot Y. Without the cash reserves to buy those homes, this parking lot wouldn’t be possible.”
Rowe said if the university is forced to build a parking ramp due to a lack of space, the structure would cost anywhere from $9 to $16 million.
“We’re just trying to fulfill the campus growth plan,” Rowe said.