Still free parking; more revenues being explored

The fall 2013 semester was originally going to see the end of free parking on campus, and an increase in parking permit cost. Currently, however, permit prices have not increased, and free parking still exists in the south parking lot.

Sean James, Bakersfield College’s executive director of administrative services, had hoped that recommendations he had submitted to generate funds would have been approved and implemented this semester, but this has not been the case.

The planned removal of free parking and the increase in the parking permit costs were designed to raise money to battle a growing debt in the parking fund, which James notes is in critically bad shape, being negative $130,000.

“The [parking fee fund] has operated at a loss since 2007-2008, and the losses have totaled over $534,000 from that point forward. There was a balance in the fund when we started losing money so it burned off all the excess money in the fund. The end balance as of June of 2012 was -$22,000 and in 2013 we lost another $108,000.”

This debt must first be paid off, hopefully without dipping into the general funds. These changes would start generating money for very necessary maintenance on all the campus parking lots notes James: “The parking lots are deteriorating, the surfaces are deteriorating, the lighting is inadequate”

James submitted his analysis and recommendations to Zav Dadabhoy, the vice president of student services, during the spring semester of 2013, who then presented it to the Student Government Association for review and input.

“The student government is very active, and had lobbied for not increasing parking fees to the maximum limit, which was what the original proposal was, and we have agreed to a much lower rate [$40] than what the maximum was,” said Dadabhoy.

Dadabhoy says the student government had suggested several alternatives, including a tiered payment system, but many of these ideas would cost much more in enforcement than the revenue they would generate.

With the input form the SGA, James’ recommendation will be submitted to the board of trustees during their meeting on September 12, in the Forum building, starting at 1 p.m. James hopes that by spring of 2014 BC can have these changes in place, and begin the long process of repairing the parking facilities at BC.