Money from tickets used for progress

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

$751,225. That amount of money could buy 7.5 million packages of Ramen Noodles, over 24,000 sweatshirts at the bookstore and 646 Super Flex meal plans. That it is also the amount needed to maintain and build streets and parking lots at SDSU.

During the 2006-2007 school year, students and faculty paid $517,790 in parking fees and $233,435 in parking fines.

Where does all that money go?

Mike Reger, the executive vice president for administration, said the money goes back into the thing that generated it: parking. The money is used to repair parking lots and streets, construct new parking lots and streets and a small portion goes to pay the minimum wage of the students who give out parking tickets.

Dean Kattelmann, the assistant vice president of facilities and service, said the physical plant budgets $650,000 to $700,000 for parking and traffic issues each year. $175,000 of that budget automatically goes to UPD for student labor and wear and tear on equipment, and the remaining $475,000 to $525,000 is used to repair the lots, streets and street lights, construct new lots and streets, remove snow and many other maintenance tasks that are not commonly thought of like annually repainting lines in parking lots.

Even though the money is used for many purposes, some still question whether or not all that parking money is really necessary?

Kattelmann believes so. “The money is not wasted,” he said. “No other fees go into maintaining lots.”

Last year, Kattelmann said the physical plant spent $95,000 on snow removal alone, and in 2005, the spent almost $17,000 to paint parking lots.

Constructing new parking lots are even more expensive. The Performing Arts Center parking lots, constructed in 2004, cost over $370,000, and the PAC east lot, constructed in 2007, cost about $650,000.

Street maintenance is another expensive area and is especially unique at SDSU. All the other colleges in the state are small enough that the local city takes care of their streets. Since SDSU is larger – and almost like a small city in itself, with 225 acres of land on campus, according to Kattelmann – it is the only campus in the state responsible for the upkeep, repair and snow plowing of its streets, said Reger.

In addition to 4.5 miles of streets, the physical plant must keep SDSU’s 19.5 miles of sidewalks and 567 street lights in working order, and with a growing campus, those numbers will continue to climb.