You can visit, but don't stay too long – it'll cost you. That may be the unintended message as the Department of General Administration jacks up parking rates for visitors and even agencies that park fleet vehicles on the Capitol Campus after July 1.
The hourly rate for visitors is going up three-fold from 50 cents to $1.50 and the price for a state agency's yearly pass is hop-scotching from $120 a year to $200.
The new rates are supposed to generate $885,000 in the 2011-13 biennium, which starts July 1, GA spokesman Steve Valandra said in an email Tuesday.
But state employees who park in the roughly 6,000 "zone or reserved stalls" on campus won’t see an increase.
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Rates last were adjusted in 2008 for zoned and meter parking. Money from the new rates is supposed to help GA pay the campus parking program's administrative, enforcement, debt and maintenance costs.
Little comment has been received at GA so far after notices went to state agency directors on Monday and other details went out to subscribers to "campus update" emails the following day.
GA's email notice said lobbyists, contractors and others pay to park at the Capitol but "this fee increase does not apply to employees who work in cafeterias and snack bars on campus that are run by the Department of Services for the Blind."
Here is GA's chart that describes the rate changes: