Where should the city save money in the coming year, where should it invest?? The debate on the 2018 budget is already in full swing in the large county town. Before christmas, the budget is to be discussed in advance and decided by the city council in the new year.
There is already political agreement on some of the main issues, as the various statements, suggestions and motions submitted to the town hall over the past few days show. The parliamentary groups are united in their commitment to the consolidation course that has been embarked upon, unanimously call for more efforts and money to renew dilapidated roads, and all support the 24-million-euro major project "new old town".
What is the starting position? Although the chamber of commerce has been posting good tax revenues for years, it is struggling with rising expenditures at the same time. Since the 2015 budget year, the city has been consolidating its finances and has so far received five million euros in stabilization aid from the free state for its savings efforts. In view of the tight budget situation, the backlog of infrastructure renovation work and the millions of euros in investment that are due to be made, for example in the outdoor swimming pool on the terrace and in the pedestrian zone, most of the parliamentary groups are not insisting on additional major projects.
The csu, on the other hand, sees "sufficient scope for investments" and refers to additional revenues in the first half of 2017 in the amount of 776000 euros, to good forecasts for the coming year and to the prospect of further financial assistance from the government. For example, the projects "more places in kindergartens" and "more jobs in kindergartens" are necessary and "henneberg elementary school to be concretized. As in previous years, the union is also calling for "a modern and traffic-friendly redesign of berliner platz as a central bus station, writes party chairman steffen hortler. A proposal that is rejected, for example, by the free voters. At the moment, this is neither financially nor personnel-wise feasible.
The structural situation of the henneberg elementary school at the garitz, reiterswiesen and arnshausen sites is also a concern for the spd and the dbk. The school concept needs to be renewed, says the dbk’s statement. For the planning are to be requested demand funds and it must be provided money in the budget 2018. According to the spd, the development of school numbers calls for haste. The parliamentary group is proposing that sufficient funds be set aside to start planning the renovation or construction of a new school next year on the basis of a feasibility study.
After the recent sharp rise in personnel costs in the town hall, the csu is calling for a hiring freeze for both new positions and replacements. "We are concerned that the administration should not become even more bloated", hortler explains on request.
The green/bfu/opd and fpd committee, on the other hand, has for the first time in a long time decided not to make any savings proposals for the coming budget. The parliamentary group recently scrutinized the city’s voluntary services for potential savings. "In retrospect, we are pleased to note that the administration has implemented many of the cost-cutting measures we called for in this area", writes richard fix (grune). These are set at 650,000 euros less in 2018 than in the current year.
The committee merely refers to savings opportunities that have not yet been implemented, for example, in the case of the school requirement. The group also calls for user-based recording of key figures to better evaluate urban performance. "It’s interesting for both us city council members and the people of burgenland to know that every single admission to the terraced swimming pool is subsidized to the tune of about ten euros", so fixed.
csu the union demands not only the redesign of berliner platz and solutions to the issues of kindergartens and henneberg elementary school, but also the renovation of at least two roads each year and sufficient funding for the kissinger sommers and the klaushof wildlife park.
Spd besides the advancement of the new old town project and the planning for the henneberg elementary school, the spd is committed to road renewal, the revitalization of the inner city districts, as well as the situation of public toilets and handicapped toilets in the city and at the saline parking lot.
The grune/bfu/odp committee and the fdp announced that they would support agreed projects if they were sustainable, i.E. If the consequential costs were as low as possible. They demand that deferred savings measures and the priority list for road renewal, which has been postponed for years, finally be tackled.
Dbk the dbk refers to proposals from previous years, for example to expand a network of charging stations for electric vehicles, to revisit the topic of the new rider’s footbridge, the "club culture multi-purpose hall", etc to expand and rebuild in reiterswiesen and to improve the toilet situation at saline parking lot and park cemetery.
Free voters the group emphasizes that the mammoth project of the new old town should be brought forward. The participation and consultation of the residents should be intensified. In addition, they demand a comparison in the area of own work and outsourcing. It is more economical for the city to carry out minor repairs itself in a timely manner.