Student, staff parking permit fees increase for fall

Valerie Maczak

Students and staff purchasing parking permits for the 2005-2006 school year may notice an increase in the price.

The price for both C and S permits increased $10 per semester, from $65 to $75, or $20 per year, from $120 to $140. The price of evening and summer permits will not increase for the next two years, said Larry Emling, assistant manager of Parking Services.

The rising costs of maintaining and developing campus parking lots made it necessary for Parking Services to implement the increase, Emling said.

“It’s unfortunate,” Emling said. “We know no one wants to pay more money.”

However, because Parking Services receives no university or government funding, the price increase is the only way to provide the same quality of service to Kent State students and staff, Emling said.

Parking fines generate some income for the department, Emling said, but Parking Services wants people to park in their assigned lot even though it results in decreased revenue.

Therefore, the department relies primarily on permit fees to finance its daily operations, maintain and build parking lots, provide motorist assistance, remove snow and ice and keep up the emergency phones on campus, Emling said.

Construction issues at the science complex lot and the commuter lot in front of the student center sent Parking Services over budget.

These issues, coupled with record snow removal costs from the 2004-2005 winter, required Parking Services to borrow money from the university. The permit fee increases are one way to generate the needed income to pay back the loan.

Emling said Parking Services studied the pricing structures for other universities, but said variables like parking garages, gravel versus paved lots and cultural price expectations make it difficult to base Kent State’s prices on other locations.

Angie Miller, a senior interpersonal communications major, said that although she would like to have cheaper parking, she understands the need for parking lot maintenance. Knowing all Parking Services’ expenses puts the price in perspective, Miller said.

Jennifer Rueschman, a senior English major at the University of Akron, is taking summer classes at Kent State and praised the university’s parking.

“It’s so expensive to park for the semester ($110 at the University of Akron) and you can’t even find a spot,” Rueschman said. “You can even tell the lots here have better maintenance. There are still so many gravel lots at Akron.”

Emling said there are always ample parking spots available on campus.

“It may be difficult to find a spot during peak times at some of the more desired lots, such as Verder, but there are always spots on campus. We like to offer a variety of rates and locations to encourage students to use those other lots during peak times,” Emling said.

Contact building, grounds and transportation reporter Valerie Maczak at [email protected].