Sticker Shock: Paying to Park at ESU

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EAST STROUDSBURG -- Pulling into one of the parking spaces at East Stroudsburg University will soon come at a price.

The university is going to require everyone using the lots to pay for a parking permit.

Vice president of Finance and Administration Richard Staneski said it's something ESU just can't avoid.

"We`re at the point where we can no longer run our parking program without additional revenue," said Staneski.

Beginning this fall semester, those who drive a car onto the campus in Monroe County will pay $55 per semester to park, or $110 per year. Special parking passes with limited lot access are $10 dollars less per semester. It certainly has students talking.

"I think there`s other things that could be done other than snatching money out of student`s pockets. We`re college students, we`re pretty poor. I don`t have that much money, so I don`t want to be in that position, basically," said ESU student Stephen Bennett.

The fees collected from the new parking permits will help create more than 300 new spaces on campus, but not everyone believes that justifies this new expense.

"Regardless, I still won`t want to pay, even if they made more parking spaces, there`s no need to do that," said ESU student Gersham White.

Several students said they might look for free parking off campus instead. Something that worries some small businesses in nearby shopping centers.

"This parking lot, to be honest, is really small so for anybody to find parking it`s just impossible. I feel we`re going to lose business on that," said Steven Rivera of Adam's Jewelers.

ESU officials said the new spaces will be closer to classrooms, and it's something students will appreciate in the long run.

"I think many students, quite frankly, are ready to pay if they realize that at the end of the day they will see improvements in parking," said Staneski.

East Stroudsburg officials also said the parking permit fee may continue to rise in future years as they continue to expand and work to provide adequate parking for faculty, staff, and students.