University to implement higher parking fees next fall

By Julie Gutierrez—

Intercollegiate athletics and parking fees on the Tarleton campus are going up in the fall 2014.  The athletics fee will increase from $16 an hour to $22 an hour.  Tarleton Vice President for Finance and Administration Tye Minckler said this fee is used to support the athletic program across all sports.

Currently, students are paying $25 per semester for parking on the Stephenville campus, and faculty and staff are paying $50 per year.  There will be two parking options available to students in the upcoming fall—premium and remote.  People who drive to campus will begin paying a premium to park close in.

“Starting this academic year, students, faculty, and staff who do not opt for remote parking will experience an increase in their parking fee from the current $50 to $75,” Minckler said.

The increase will include the cost of parking during the summer semesters.  Rusty Jergins, Tarleton’s vice president for student life and dean of students, said that the increase “will entitle students to an on-campus parking option and continue to implement the reserved lots and spaces for faculty and staff.”

One of the slides in Dr. Dominic Dottavio’s presentation to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Committee on Finance stated, “A recently completed parking study by Kimley-Horn has recommended several changes to our parking plan, among them an increase in rates.”

The proposed fee for FY 2015 is $75 per year for both students and faculty and staff to help improve campus parking in the future.

“Our intent is to increase parking in several steps over the next few years in order to support a parking garage. A parking garage is needed because of the lack of surface lot options,” the slide also stated.

Minckler defined premium parking for fall 2014 as any parking on any portion of the campus bounded by Fry, Washington, Ollie and Harbin streets.  Parking outside of these boundaries will be defined as remote parking and will cost $25.

Minckler said some of the extra revenue might be used to build a parking garage.  It has not been determined who would be allowed to park in the garage or how much it would cost.

Minckler said that remote lots should ease the parking situation at Tarleton.  The university plans on expanding parking across Washington Street, near the Horticulture Center and Baseball/Softball complex.

The university also plans on looking for more remote parking areas.  The new remote parking location will implement the use of shuttles, which will take students to and from The Grove, Mustang Ranch and Oak Tree Apartments.  The shuttles will not add any additional cost to the new remote parking fee.  However, students who opt to use premium parking will not be allowed to use the remote parking lots and vice versa.

When asked why shuttles and remote parking areas had not been considered before this year, Minckler replied that most schools with such options are substantially larger than Tarleton.   Specific schedules for the shuttles have not been determined at this time, but they will be limited to traveling between campus and the remote lots.  It has not been determined if the shuttles will eventually serve areas off campus.  It also has not been determined if incoming freshmen will be required to use these new remote lots.

Savannah Trantham contributed to this report.

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