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The Daily Tar Heel

Officials Will Cut DPS Budget to Fix Deficit

On March 28, the UNC Board of Trustees rejected the UNC administration's proposal for a night parking fee that would have alleviated DPS's projected budget shortfall of nearly $2 million.

The proposal was sent back to Moeser and his vice chancellors with a request to submit a balanced budget without a night parking plan.

Carolyn Elfland, associate vice chancellor for campus services, said data will be collected to determine what the potential costs and impacts of cutting expenses would be. She said a group within DPS will meet internally today to begin discussing various alternatives and their consequences.

Cheryl Stout, assistant director of parking services, said she will be at the meeting. She said that nothing is established at this point but that participants of today's meeting will discuss what needs to be done next.

Elfland said that after this group meets, it will make suggestions to a larger group of key leaders of groups that use parking and transportation services.

This group, which she said will meet next week, will give input and cite what its members predict will be the impact of budget cuts in their respective areas.

Representatives from the Employee Forum, Faculty Council, student government, the Division of Student Affairs and UNC Hospitals are all possible members of this committee, Elfland said.

Moeser said the committee will look at several different scenarios for reducing parking expenses.

But Elfland said there are no plans to cut any services that would affect safety.

"I do not envision us at all doing anything to reduce security," she said.

Elfland said there are two ways to balance a budget. She said DPS can either increase revenues or cut expenses. Because the BOT rejected the administrators' proposal, which would have increased revenues by charging for night parking, the only option left is to cut expenses, she said.

Elfland said no one has finished going through the budget to determine potential cuts. But she said there are certain areas of the budget that cannot and will not be cut. She cited as an example anything required by the University's Development Plan, which cannot be eliminated.

The Development Plan, which is in its first year, is an eight-year guide for campus growth. Elfland said UNC has committed to complete the Development Plan with the town of Chapel Hill and must now honor that commitment.

When Moeser confirmed that officials will not again try to have a night parking fee approved by the BOT, he said the administration will have to find other ways to cut the budget.

He said Nancy Suttenfield, vice chancellor for finance and administration, would be primarily responsible for guiding the details of the process, along with Elfland.

Suttenfield could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Elfland said, "As far as I know, the (BOT) resolution directs us to come back to them to give them a balanced budget without a night parking plan, so that's what we're going to do."

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