UF increases campus rent fees to cover costs

Published: Monday, January 19, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 11:44 p.m.

For the first time, all University of Florida residence hall students were sent an additional rent bill of $40 to cover increasing utility rates for the spring semester.

"Housing administrators who have worked here over 30 years do not believe that there has ever been a mid-year rent increase to campus residents," said Sharon Blansett, assistant director of housing for marketing, public relations and research.

This past year's soaring energy costs were passed along to the University of Florida, which increased utility costs beyond the budgeted projections, said Blansett.

"Nationwide, most energy providers raised rates during the fall semester to cover increases," she said. "UF was able to absorb utility rate increases for fall semester, but needed to pass through these ongoing utility increases for spring 2009 to keep within budget."

In October, the Department of Housing and Residence Education sent students an e-mail informing them that they were seeking approval for a Spring '09 Utility Adjustment Rent Charge to cover a "record unforeseen increase in utility rates."

The UF accounting staff worked with utility providers to determine that $40 would be sufficient to cover the increased rates.

This reflects an extra $10 a month to cover electricity, water, chilled water and waste water.

In December, UF Housing administrators presented the proposal to the UF Board of Trustees, who approved the mid-year utility adjustment.

The adjustment does not apply to graduate student and family housing, who receive monthly bills for electricity and were immediately charged more for the electricity utility increase during the fall.

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