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The Daily Tar Heel

Parking fee still up for debate

The proposed $10.40 addition to the student transportation fee is still under debate after the student fee advisory subcommittee could not reach an agreement in what was supposed to be its last meeting on Friday.

Police Chief Jeff McCracken and Department of Public Safety representatives Wilhelmina Steen and Cheryl Stout spoke at the meeting Friday to clarify the reasoning for the fee.

DPS recently proposed a $28.41 fee increase for parking and transportation to the subcommittee, including $10.40 for nighttime parking.

The additional fee is meant to cover costs associated with the currently free system where students can park anywhere on campus after 5 p.m.

Student Body President Christy Lambden maintained his opposition to the fee.

“My main issue is that I see increases in costs in all areas, and no increase in services for students,” Lambden said.

The past few years of increases to the fee are part of DPS’s five-year plan, which originally intended to raise the fee by $14 each year.

If the fee does not pass, students could be required to purchase a $227 permit to park on campus at night.

Graduate School President Kiran Bhardwaj said she agreed that students should pay a fee but questioned the amount proposed by DPS.

“What I do not accept is the way the amount was reached,” she said.

Bhardwaj requested the fee be lower, saying there wasn’t enough information about why that amount had been chosen.

McCracken said the department decided on the $10.40 amount based on advice from an outside consultant. He said it is near impossible to find out exactly how much students cost the night parking system.

“I think we are all going to have agree to disagree,” McCracken said.

Subcommittee members opposed to the fee found it difficult to provide alternatives to support the parking infrastructure.

Other students have voiced varying opinions on the fee.

Freshman Billie Patterson supports the fee but thinks freshmen should be exempted because they are not allowed to have cars on campus.

Junior Dalisha Sturdivant said the fee would be worth it.

“Not having my car on campus or being able to park at nighttime is not convenient,” she said.

Because the $10.40 fee was not passed, the subcommittee was forced to schedule another meeting Wednesday.

If a consensus cannot be met then, the proposal will go to the Tuition and Fees Advisory Task Force for review.

university@dailytarheel.com

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