Parking changes imminent

On Wednesday the parking committee will finalize a list of proposals for campus parking prices and ticketing hours.

Changes include:

  • Increasing the cost of “no zone” permits from $204 to $250.
  • Increasing the cost of “general” permits from $110 to $120.
  • Increasing permit cost from free to $10 for retired faculty and staff who are no longer working on campus.
  • Increasing the cost of a “day permit” to $5 per day for over the counter sales at the parking office.
  • Extending ticketing hours from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If the parking committee agrees to these changes, the proposal will go to administration for final edits and approval.

The parking office held an open forum Feb. 26 for students to ask questions and express concerns. KC Clark, parking coordinator, said few people stopped to talk, but those who did asked why prices were going up. Clark said that taxes are a main reason.

“Last year was the first year the business office informed us that there would be a tax on the parking permit,” Clark said. “The $10 increase is because of taxes. We either tell the students it’s ‘$100 plus taxes’ or just build it into the fee.”

Clark said that the parking office is not given a budget by the school or state but rather is self-funded. The money they receive in parking tickets and permit sales funds them.

Katie Baker, a double major in mass communications and English, is upset about the rising permit costs.

Baker did not purchase a permit for the 2012-2013 school year, but with the new 3-hour parking laws enforced by the city, the young mother is upset about the parking circumstances for the student body.

“I’m a full time student and all my classes are back to back. I only have 15 minutes tops between each class. I have to move my car after every class,” Baker said. “It’s a burden because I don’t get to eat lunch, and I don’t get to have conferences with teachers.”

Baker feels that certain student demographics are disadvantaged by the proposed permit prices on top of the new 3-hour parking law.

“It targets the students with less money who simply can’t afford a permit on top of tuition,” Baker said. “It’s a real disadvantage of students with a disability but don’t have enough disability to get a permit. Another group they target are full-time students, not part-time students who can leave within three hours.”

Baker has over 30 signatures on her petition. She said she will continue with the petition because it will raise interest. Also, she invites anyone to email her at bakerka@mnstate.edu.

Likewise, Clark encourages students to contact the parking office with suggestions and concerns. Clark will present all suggestions from the office and from students to the parking committee. The office number is 218.477.2449 and its email is parking@ mnstate.edu.

All changes will go into affect in July.

BY MEGAN HAVIG
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