SGA discusses financial aspects of parking partnership

By Chau Tang

 

The Student Government Association had a meeting on Friday Oct 6 to talk about updates pertaining to student inclusion, the most important being the new parking partnership.

Before there was any new information about parking, Councilman TJ Dow — a representative of Ward 7, an area that includes the historic Hough district, Asia town market, St. Clair-Superior and Midtown neighborhoods — told his story of his experience at Cleveland State.

“It is crucial to obtain as much experience as you can,” Dew said. He went on to say that in addition to obtaining knowledge, students should get involved in clubs and activities, and to take advantage of internships.

Next, Vice President of Students Affairs Boyd Yarbrough and Director of Program Analysis & Assessments in the Of ce of Performance Management Ben Rogers, gave information about the future of parking at Cleveland State.

Rogers and Yarbrough came to SGA late spring of 2016 to speak about parking monetization. They have since changed the name to Parking Strategic Partnership Project.

Right now, Cleveland State owns and operates all of its parking lots and garages. The Parking Strategic Partnership is leasing those spaces to a private parking operator to run the garages for over a 50 year period of time.

“[The university] is looking for an [operator] who can fund it and handle the legal aspect,” Rogers said.

In order to help navigate between the school and the partner, there will be a concession agreement, which is a legal document that outlines the responsibilities of Cleveland State and the parking operator. The document will help hold each party accountable to their responsibilities.

Rogers and Yarbrough explained that the price of parking will increase either way, but that the exact rate of increase is unknown. However, the annual rate increase is a key element to the deal and will impact the cash payment that Cleveland State will get from leasing the garage.

If the rate increase percentage is low, then the check from the parking operator is low as well. If the rate increase percentage is high, then they will receive a bigger check.

“The school has taken the middle ground between white and green permit and extended it for a period of time. Based on the middle tier, 5.5 percent,” Yarbrough said, “$12.50 increase per semester will be the average increase in parking. In year ve, it will be $15 per semester more.”

In addition to the price increase, Cleveland State is running a risk by not being able to directly nancially bene t from any added parking spaces to the garages. Right now, they are committing the third-party parking operator to provide a minimum of 4,000 parking spaces to students — which is what’s available now.

The agreement says that the university will relinquish the asset for 50 years, but will be in charge of making sure the operator makes payments on time, maintains facilities appropriately and that things are safe and responding to concerns.

Currently, the university is on step three out of a 12 step process, so there are more things to do before completing the operation. Cleveland State plans to close the deal in the summer of 2018 and the parking partnership will be in effect by fall of 2018.

The upfront payment will go to an endowment, with the intent to never touch the principle of the endowment. Instead, the university will only use the money of the interest rate on an annual basis.

The interest gained from endowment is estimated to be $3 to $4 million a year that will go directly towards academic programs, campus infrastructure, campus operational support and student programs.

Public town hall meetings will be held on Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. and Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. in the Fenn Tower Ballroom.

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