Last spring, students were told the rise in their parking fees, from $20 to $40, would go for the repaving of the West parking lot, presumably by the time they returned for the fall semester.
So, what happened?
“The first two times we asked for bids,” said Paul Mendoza, Vice President of Student Services, “the bids came back over the amount we had.”
With bids averaging between $560,000 and $750,000 from the second set of bidders, the college decided to put it off. A decision they soon regretted.
“We should have gone with it the first time,” said Mendoza. “Simply because what’s happened to all of us over time.”
Mendoza cited current geo-political conditions of war and oil prices as reasons for a rise in the prices of products, something that became clear after the second round of bids rose dramatically.
However, the project has not been scrapped.
In the past, one hundred percent of the money necessary to affect repairs would come from the reserve fund. Money for parking services like police and lot repairs comes from two places. First, a restricted fund that comes out of the college’s regular apportionment from the state and second, a categorical fund, called a Fund 12, which is where the fees paid by students go. Each year $80,000 is placed in reserve for parking maintenance.
Plans are to get the West parking lot repaved in the summer of 2005. Sometime in late this fall a Request for Proposal will go out to seek bids from companies that may be interested in the project. The bid will be awarded sometime mid-spring. Then when the semester ends in June, the hopes are construction will begin and end in a 10 to 12 week period.
There are, however, several concerns. The first is Yuba College has sought bids twice and rejected them. Will contractors take the district seriously a third time?
“This is sort of like the boy who cried wolf,” said Mendoza. “”Is Yuba College interested in getting the job done? And the message is we are interested and serious.”
The other concern is the amount of large projects, like housing and bond measures requiring construction going on in the area.
“There’s a lot of work out there, a lot of demand,” said Mendoza of the contractors and builders. “Our project will be seen in the overall scope of if they can get X million dollars or one that’s only so many thousand. We’re facing competition.”
Mendoza is hoping the college can communicate to contractors that there is an opportunity here from the college.