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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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This article is from the 11/16/2006 edition of the MSU Reporter.

Future May Bring Free Lot UpgradesMedia Credit: Kim Broback
Above is the existing free lot on Stadium Road. Currently, the lot is unpaved and the bus shelter is not heated. Along with lighting, these areas are the focus of the Parking Advisory Committee's upgrade recommendations.






Future May Bring Free Lot Upgrades

Committee to make recommendations.

by Kim Broback

Issue date: 11/16/06 Section: Campus News

The Parking Advisory Committee (PAC) will make recommendations soon to administrators about how to fund upgrades to Lot 23, which is the free lot.

The PAC members met Nov. 7 to discuss possible plans, and two main options developed. After getting feedback from the various committee constituencies, a recommendation will be made at the Annual Public Hearing in February.

PAC Chairperson David Cowan said there are two plans developed at this time, but that a number of other options are also possible. The plans for upgrades on Lot 23 will be made during the summer, when all maintenance is done.

According to the minutes from the Nov. 7 meeting, total projected costs for summer 2007 work is $309,584. The projected cost of work on Lot 23 is $189,019, which is over half the total.

The upgrades would include paving the lot, which is currently gravel, and adding "quality lighting," according to Cowan.

"We're not the final decision-makers on this hot potato," Cowan said. He added that the PAC members won't be voting on what recommendation to make to administration for a couple weeks.

"This may not be as controversial as smoking or non-smoking, but at that public hearing I'm sure the room will be full," Cowan said. "Twenty years ago, you wouldn't have seen this. Now lots 20, 21 and 22 are paved and well-lit with heated bus shelters. Lot 23 doesn't have a heated bus shelter."

Cowan also said that the PAC is "basically on its own" as far as coming up with finding for these projects. Money is generated through permit purchases, parking fines and the biggest amount, from the pay lot. Last year, the committee suffered a shortfall, spending more than it brought in. The pay lot generated $302,330 over the last 12-month period, which is roughly $1,700 for each of the 180 parking stalls in that lot.

Cowan said the committee's goal for 2006-07 is to bring in $1.6 million, and to spend $1.4 million.

According to the Nov. 7 PAC meeting Plan A "deals only with Lot 23 at $40 per year" and Plan B "merges free lot stalls with Orange and reduces Orange to $70 from $94 per year." The document also says the "free lot option had been around for a long time and that there would be a resistance to a charge to park in Lot 23."

Victoria Peters, an alternate member representing the Faculty Association, said she hasn't made a decision yet as to which plan she will vote to recommend.

I have to refer the options to the Faculty Association, and after I tell them what the options are, they'll give me feedback," Peters said.

Kim Broback is the Reporter Assistant News Editor