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The Daily Tar Heel

Administrators Hear Facts About DPS

The Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee voted on recommendations last week that identified new strategies to raise revenue starting in the 2002-03 fiscal year.

Revenue recommendations from the Feb. 13 meeting included charging for night parking on campus and increasing the cost of daytime parking permits.

The vice chancellors had planned to discuss these recommendations, but the vote was invalidated after TPAC Chairman Bob Knight said he had misrepresented the chancellor's involvement in the recommendations.

Knight and Carolyn Elfland, associate vice chancellor for campus services, delivered Tuesday's presentation to the vice chancellors. Elfland said it included a slide show and a discussion of ways to raise the $2 million they need to cover additional costs, including the construction of parking decks. "Basically they were just given a short version of the presentation made at the three campus forums," Elfland said, referring to forums TPAC held Feb. 5 to get feedback from the University community on ways to raise revenue for the DPS.

Elfland said TPAC will try to come to a final recommendation at today's meeting. She said she thinks the committee agrees the hours for visitor parking should be extended and academic departments should pay a higher transit fee. But she said there might be some disagreement about the suggestion to charge for night parking permits -- a proposal so contentious that it could delay the recommendation by a week.

Despite any disagreement, TPAC absolutely must come to an agreement by next week about how to raise revenue, Elfland said. "The real problem we're coming up on is that parking registration starts in April, and until the recommendations get made, they can't start," she said.

Provost Robert Shelton attended the meeting and said that though TPAC is just an advisory group, its recommendations carry weight. "The chancellor made it clear that he wanted collective wisdom and advice from TPAC," Shelton said.

When the vice chancellors see a final budget proposal, they will not vote on it but instead discuss it and make suggestions to the chancellor, Shelton said.

He said the vice chancellors also want to look at how campus parking will evolve over the next five or six years, not just in the immediate future, and he added that Tuesday's presentation addressed some long-term issues.

Knight said long-term parking issues are next on TPAC's agenda, after a final budget recommendation is made. "We need to take a look at what's going to happen not just next year, but the year after that and five years down the road," he said.

Shelton said it was helpful that Tuesday's presentation included specific budgetary figures as well as a discussion about the University's overall attitude toward parking. "I didn't find anything startling or new in concept," he said. "What was helpful to me was to see some actual numbers."

Shelton said, "It was a good discussion about the overall philosophy of parking."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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