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Monday, March 04, 2024

New parking garage could mean higher decal prices

When a new parking garage goes up on UF's campus, the price of parking decals will likely also rise.

One of the proposed amendments to UF's regulations in an annual review by UF Transportation and Parking Services would increase the cost of parking decals across the board by about 10 percent, said Bob Miller, associate vice president of business affairs .

The proposed increase is largely due to rising utility costs, general maintenance costs and the need to generate revenue to pay for the new parking garage on Gale Lemerand Drive.

The annual cost of a student decal would increase from $122 to $134, while the annual cost of decals for UF faculty would increase from $258 to $282.

Miller said Transportation and Parking Services is self-sustaining and does not receive state funds.

Transportation and Parking Services had a $650,000 utility bill for the 2007 to 2008 fiscal year, Miller said. The projected utility bill for this year is $900,000.

Additionally, UF paid for the new parking garage with borrowed money by selling bonds. Miller said the bond payments are going to increase by $500,000 this year.

A small part of the proposed increase would also account for the increase in the state sales tax, which increased from 6.25 percent to 6.75 percent.

To pass, the amendments will have to be approved in March by the Board of Trustees, UF's highest governing body. If passed, the amendments would go into effect April 1, Miller said.

The board is also expected to approve an amendment that will formalize UF's contract made with RTS last year that allows the spouses and domestic partners of UF students, faculty and staff to use RTS services for free, Miller said.

Another amendment was recommended to the board that would expand the definition of "employees" to include Shands at UF employees as well, though the hospital employees have been able to buy UF employee decals in the past, Miller said.

It would also exclude Segways and mopeds from the definition of "motor vehicle," meaning owners would not have to get decals for those devices. Miller said mopeds differ from scooters because they can be pedaled and are basically motorized bikes, thus they can be parked on the campus bike racks.

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Miller said the amendments are part of an annual review of parking regulations.

"Every year when we revise the parking regulations, we look for things that are like, 'Oh-that's not really clear,'" he said.

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