Parking permit fees are changing

Meghann Rise

Meghann Rise

The prices of student parking passes are scheduled to increase with the 2009-2010 academic year.

As of next semester, student resident passes will cost $62; reserved spots will be $240, commuter spots will cost $120 and remote spots will be $80 for a 10-month decal. With this new system, all students will receive one tag, or parking ID. Each year, students will receive a different sticker to place on the parking ID. Students will also be able to purchase parking IDs online, cutting down on the lines at the South Dakota State University Police Department.

“Not everyone is going to be able to afford a reserved spot. Some people won’t even be able to afford the regular spots if they up the prices,” said Mary Tiffany, a sophomore art and sociology major.

“People might chose not to come here because they can’t afford to park here,” said Emily Ramerth, a sophomore communication studies and theatre major.

This price increase is due to combined factors of increased costs in maintenance and inflation, and the university has decided to increase prices to cover future maintenance fees.

Each year, the university sets aside a budget for snow removal. Typically, the university budgets $50,000 for snow removal on campus each year. However, the university had spent $80,000 by Dec. 1, 2008.

The cost of snow removal is an issue because the university owns its own property, and therefore, the city does not help in the removal of snow. The university must utilize its grounds workers to work on snow removal each winter.

“It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for our students,” Dean Kattelmann, assistant vice president of Facilities and Services, said.

As well as snow removal, the money helps build new parking lots, purchase sidewalk lights and keep the call boxes functioning.

Kattelmann helps budget the money received from parking decals. Each year, between parking decals and parking tickets, the university earns about $800,000.

“We are able to build a new parking lot every two years,” Kattelmann said. “This summer, an additional 200 spaces will be added on the southeast part of campus, and a year from now, another 300-space parking lot will be added.”

For students, the issue with building new parking lots on campus is the fact that they are getting farther and farther away from the heart of campus.

According to Kattelmann, there are nearly 800 spots left open on campus each day. However, these spots are located near Coughlin Stadium and the Performing Arts Center, where few students park. Kattelmann encourages more students to walk to class to avoid the lack of parking in the heart of campus.

Although the hike in prices could hurt already financially stressed students, many students understand the need for continual maintenance.

Senior global studies major Josh Buehner cannot afford to purchase a parking decal with the increase in prices.

“I understand the need for higher fees due to maintenance and inflation rates, but I will not be purchasing a decal because as a poor college student, I cannot afford one,” Buehner said. “Unfortunately, that means the burden falls upon other students.”

“I am a poor college student, and I don’t like that I have to pay so much money to park on campus,” said Miranda Carmon, an economics major. “I know the maintenance and upkeep of parking lots is important, so I understand.”