On 2/6/2020 we received notifications from WSU Transportation Services proposing that parking rates should increase. The justification for this increase was centered around a need to generate an additional $4.8 M over 8 years to cover “capital maintenance and repair projects”.
I have several concerns:
First, according to transportation’s publicly available budget, they already account for costs associated with maintenance ($536,109 / yr) as well as depreciation ($619,992 / yr accounted for in real dollars). Why then, is there a need to spend more on maintenance and repair projects?
Second, in the budget there is a ($989,450 / yr) line item for “Debt Service”. It is unclear to me what “Debt Service” entails. Is this transportation paying down its own debts? The university debt? Something else? If transportation is able to take on debt, then should they finance their 8 year maintenance and repair project over the projected lifetime of the resulting parking spaces so as to equitably defer the cost among all parking users both present and in the future?
Third, what is the ($491,452 / yr) “Administrative Service Charge”? Is this salary for administrative positions that is separate from the other wages ($1,566,240 / yr)?
Overall, since the proposed rate increase seeks to generate an additional $600k / yr – I would like to know what is the projected increase in yearly revenue that will result from the rate increase? Has transportation services considered cutting expenses in the areas of debt service, administrative service, or positions (wages) to save this amount rather than increase parking rates?