After months of meeting with tenants and employees, the Juneau International Airport administration proposed revising its monthly employee parking fee from $35 per person to $35 per space so employees can share a parking space.
The Juneau Assembly approved the proposal Monday evening. The amended fee will take effect on Jan. 1.
Since airport authorities started charging employees a monthly $35 parking fee on July 1, they have been inundated with petitions from employees and tenants. The airport administration began implementing the employee fee to balance the airport's increasing expenses.
Some tenants who don't pay for their employees' parking said they are concerned about losing employees, while others who will pay parking fees might have to lay off people.
The proposal will work well for small airline operations whose employees can share parking spaces. But it won't benefit the 60 screeners who work for Transportation Security Administration.
"We have two shifts in the winter and they have an hour and half overlap between shifts," said Keith Whitehead, representative of Transportation Security Administration in Southeast Alaska. "It's still problematic for them to work that out."
Whitehead said the area surrounding the airport doesn't have much parking space. The screeners cannot take public transportation because the morning shift, which starts at 5 a.m., begins before Capitol City bus service does.
James Reedy, a screener supervisor, said he is upset that the board didn't accept his suggestion of issuing each employee a key card.
"When you come to work, the card will take $1 off," Reedy said. "There will be no billing and no collection people."
Reedy once bought $35 worth of groceries and lined up the milk and cans of Prego mushroom pasta sauce in front of the Juneau International Airport Board to show it how the fee change would affect the employees.
"They are still trying to make money out of the deal," Reedy said.
I-Chun Che can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.