Parking fees could increase

Greg Kane

Sacramento State students, staff and faculty could see semester parking fees increase by approximately $60 over the next three years if a proposal unveiled by President Donald Gerth Thursday is approved.

The proposal would raise parking fees by $5 a month three times over the next 36 months, Gerth said in an address to the Faculty Senate. The funding would go toward the construction of a third and fourth parking structure on campus.

Semester, monthly, weekly and daily parking permits would also be affected if the increase is approved, said Nancy Fox, University Transportation and Parking Services manager. Semester passes would be increased by approximately $20 during each semester increase, or $5 per month.

“Students who want to park on campus would need to purchase a semester, weekly or daily parking permit at the fee amount set for that particular period of time,” Fox said.

Sac State already has one parking structure, and a second is scheduled to begin construction in the fall, but the growing numbers of students enrolling at the university would make the two proposed structures necessary, Gerth said. The fee increase would be an important step in acquiring funding for their construction.

“I have been reluctant to sock it to the students [in the past],” Gerth said. “We have reached the point where a president is delinquent if he?s not doing anything.”

The president has the authority to raise parking fees for students and staff but not for faculty, due to their union status, Gerth said. The proposal will have to be approved by the faculty before it goes into effect, but no negotiations are scheduled.

If the proposal does not pass, a tiered parking system is also being planned to generate funding, Gerth said. Permits further away from campus would cost the least, and permits closer to campus would be more expensive.

The specifics of the tiered parking fee system are still being considered, Fox said.

Senate members responded with mixed reactions to Gerth?s proposal. Social work Professor Sylvia Navari recommended that the plan include special considerations for those who commute using public transportation but sometimes need to bring a vehicle to campus.

“Maybe some mechanism can be available for those of us who do use public transportation, and only infrequently use our cars,” Navari said.

English Professor Joan Bauerly questioned the proposed increase, saying that the building of structures on campus should come from the budget rather than the pockets of employees and students.

“I?ve never understood why people have to pay to go to work,” Bauerly said.Gerth responded by saying, “It is public policy that all state employees should pay for parking if the structure is provided.”

The third and fourth parking structures would add 2,800 spaces to the campus if built, Fox said. Parking Structure II, which is scheduled to begin construction in November 2001 and should be completed prior to spring 2003, will add 1,000 spaces.