The undergraduate and graduate student governments recently passed a resolution requesting that the Mines administration change the way that they work regarding parking on campus. The resolution had two primary requests. First, that the campus administration forgive a portion of an internal loan to parking services equal to the cost of replacing parking spaces being eliminated due to the new dorm and welcome center construction. Second, the resolution requested that the cost of replacing parking spaces be incorporated into future construction projects.
This resolution arose out of controversy over planned increases to the parking permit fee. These increases were needed to pay for the construction of new parking lots being built to replace parking lots being lost due to construction.
Parking services, a part of facilities management, is what is known as an auxiliary service for CSM. What this means is that parking services is required to operate so that revenue it generates pays for all of its expenses. Their primary source of revenue is parking permit fees, so when parking services needs to generate more revenue, it generally needs to increase those fees.
The construction of the welcome center and new dorm will eliminate approximately 200 parking spaces. To replace those, parking services is building new parking lots with more than 200 parking spaces, taking a loan from the school’s general budget to do so. In order to repay this loan, parking services needed to increase its parking permit fees.
The joint governments do not have the power to effect this kind of change in planning and fiscal policy; the resolution is intended to communicate the desires of the governing bodies and their constituencies.
In addition to the passage of the parking resolution at their meeting on March 7, the joint bodies also heard a presentation from Chris Cocallas about the current status of the campus master plan, and approved the school’s plans for fees for next year.
Most fees for next year will not increase beyond inflation, and some fees, including the Academic Construction Building fee, the Associated Students fee, and the Intermodal Transportation fee, will not increase at all.