We have been adding new information to the parking proposal website, so I hope you’ve been visiting it frequently. One of the highlights is a video clip from President Gee’s recent Faculty Address, where he explains why looking for innovative funding solutions is about so much more than just money. If you weren’t there to see the address in person, please check it out [Video Feature].
I’ve also continued to receive a number of great questions, so I’ll address a few more of them today.
The first is about why we are considering a 50 year lease and not something shorter, like a trial lease or period. Simply, it’s because 50 years is the optimal time frame to make the potential investment worthwhile for investors as well as Ohio State. As we’ve said before, the university is looking to receive proposals of at least $375 million to consider moving forward.
We recognize 50 years is a long time, so we will be carefully screening each potential partner and would require any vendor to meet stringent requirements and a broad set of operating standards. There would also be conditions in the contract that would allow us to cancel if obligations are not met. To monitor, the university would use customer feedback and performance reviews.
Since we’re talking about some of the conditions in a potential lease, I also wanted to explain how fees and fines would be collected. While this would be the responsibility of the vendor, the university would stay involved in the background.
Because of this, a popular option that would remain available to faculty and staff is automatic payroll deduction, which allows parking permits to be purchased pre-tax. We know this is a widely enjoyed university benefit, and it would continue.
We would not give a vendor access to university data for any type of processing, so we would need to provide the potential vendor with a list of who is eligible for the various parking permits. As you know, permit eligibility is based on university appointment type for faculty and staff and class hours completed for students.
A reverse of that process would occur for fines. The vendor would provide the university a list of customers who would need to have holds placed on their Ohio State accounts due to unpaid fines or fees, and we would facilitate those actions. Placing holds on accounts for grades, diplomas or registering for classes are all ways in which we currently ensure that fines and fees are paid, and these methods would continue.
In the coming weeks, I will continue to provide background information about this potential funding solution and why we are exploring it. I hope that you will all stay engaged as we wait for the bids to be returned and begin briefing the university community on the details.