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BALLSTON SPA: School stands firm on parking fees

As promised, the Superintendent of Ballston Spa Central School District gave answers to several parents who had previously questioned the district's student parking policy. Although little was said on the topic at last week's board meeting, letters had been sent home mid-month to parents Brian Dunlavey and Cheryl Casa who had asked the board to elaborate on the policy several weeks before.

The permit was, and is, used as a way for the district to not only regulate and monitor the parking lot but also to help identify the owner of a car that might have its lights on, has been hit accidentally or for any other problem that can arise, said Superintendent Raymond C. Colucciello in the letter.

He said Ballston Spa began to charge the $15 fee about four or five years ago as a way to encourage students to "be more responsible and take this privilege seriously."

In response to Dunlavey's question about where that money goes, Colucciello said the money is deposited into a general fund. The $2,000 -$2,400 the district earns through collection of the permit fees does not cover the costs of maintenance for the parking lot, an estimated annual cost of $20,000-$30,000.

Casa had suggested the board was discriminating against students by making them pay the permit fee while teachers were provided parking at no cost. In his letter, Colucciello indicated that school districts typically provide parking for their staff as a means for the staff to "arrive and depart from the schools conveniently."

Colucciello closed the letter by stating that he did not feel the existing policy needed to be changed at this time.

School Board president, Kathy Jarvis read the letter at the Wednesday, Jan. 24, meeting and agreed with its contents.

"We consider this to be a privilege," she said. ""

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