In Alpirsbach, things will go well over the next few years. The 2022 budget was again on the agenda of the last session of the city council. The city council approved the budget with the changes approved in the previous session.
Alpirsbach – In his introduction, Mayor Michael Pfaff first presented a concept of how to rearrange the budget in the short and long term, but limited that these were thoughts and not final decisions.
Budget consolidation should be done together with the city council, so saving alone is not enough. Yields also need to be raised. As an example, he cited asylum fees, for which a 20 percent cost recovery could be claimed, administration fees, cemetery fees, dog tax, show tax, and tax of stay.
Leases and leases as well as property tax should be reviewed and adjusted. The administration refrains from a trade tax increase to send a positive signal to traders.
Ideas to reduce costs
Pfaff also discussed ways that could help reduce costs in the long run. Here he defined the construction of a new elementary school as “radical approaches” – also in relation to the fact that from 2026 there is a legal right to continuous assistance – on the guesthouse site and the conversion of the previous elementary school as a new town hall. This can then be sold. The Peterzell elementary school building could also be closed and a nursery school could be set up there. As for the Sulzbergschule school center, the mayor said plans are underway to close the schools and the sports hall and to convert the area into construction sites. Other ideas include merging the high-altitude districts with a local council and the sale of the administrative buildings in Römlinsdorf and Reutin. Another option he mentioned was the sale of the administration building in Ehlenbogen. This building could also be converted into the municipal archive.
The children’s home instead of the garden
Pfaff went on to say the sports house could be sold to the sports company. As for the nurseries, he explained that the municipal facilities in Rötenbach and the Brenner kindergarten could be closed to build a new children’s home on the station site instead. This could be transferred to church sponsorship. The nurseries in Römlinsdorf and Reutin could also be combined into a single children’s home.
A sale and privatization of the outdoor pool is also worth considering. Additionally, Pfaff suggested outsourcing the tourism business and redesigning the municipal library. According to Pfaff, these are all proposals for consolidation of the administration, which has made it clear that what needs to be implemented must now be worked out.
Precarious financial situation
The leader of the group Jaleh Mahabadi entered the speech on the budget of the FWV emphasizing the precarious financial situation. Your group has achieved at least partial success with the request for a global reduction in spending, which will hopefully be implemented. Seen as a whole, it is just a drop in the ocean. The rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment plant, the construction of the fire station and the expansion of childcare are forthcoming important tasks and involve significant investments. The question is also what will happen to the outdoor pool and its renovation. Because the city does not have 1.5 million euros available. The guest house is also up for grabs because it causes an annual shortage of 200,000 euros.
“How will the school landscape continue? Can the current offer be maintained to be attractive to families as well?” He asked. The question of funds for the acquisition of building land across the city for future citizens or new settlements for industry or trade is a major concern of the parliamentary group. Now is the time to make decisions and implement them consistently, Mahabadi said. The questions for future families were: “What can be implemented, what is financed or what do we need to separate from?”
Power generation with wind turbines, photovoltaic or hydroelectric plants is also a matter of city development. This is in particular where there is still room for photovoltaic systems or other sources of regenerative energy. For the parliamentary group, questions also arose about how much energy Alpirsbach needed and how one could become self-sufficient, according to Mahabadi.
Lots of investments
For the parliamentary group SPD, Frauenliste and Verdi, Thomas Römpp said that the current budget will be overtaken by the shadows of the past. In 2016 it was decided to build a new fire station at the station. Now the committee is dealing with it again and doesn’t even have a plan for a new fire station. And there are still other investments to be made, such as the purification plant, the Peterzell through road, the digitization of the administration, for crèches, crèches, the renovation of schools or spa gardens.
No money for freestyle
As chairman of the UBL parliamentary group, Gerhard Walter gave the budget speech. A budget with a deficit of € 3.5 million should be adopted. “We are unable to generate depreciation and operating costs that are used to preserve assets. We have reached a point where we need to consolidate the budget in a targeted and consistent way,” he explained. One can focus only on fulfilling mandatory tasks and eliminating voluntary services. However, this path would only lead to a downward spiral and the city would become less attractive. He criticized the fact that the development of the Höhen 1 commercial area proceeded only slowly. The administration was asked to engage in politics and to report the tense financial situation, especially since from there more and more positions were transferred to the municipalities, concludes Walter.
Losses higher every year
For the parliamentary group ZfA, Thomas Gutmann said that each year there are greater losses in the budget. It is necessary for the future to consolidate the budget through additional income and savings. It is also important to reduce spending in the area of human resources, which exceeds five million euros. Six months ago, his group called for a six-month hiring freeze. The training period for new employees should also be kept to a minimum, according to Gutmann. Therefore, the finance and administration commission or the city council should be involved in new or replacement appointments, which they intended as a question.
Mayor Pfaff is in favor of canceling voluntary services. But that would mean the city would no longer be livable and lovable, says Gutmann. And this also has an effect on the motivation to volunteer. Gutmann asked for the construction of the premium hiking trail, the development of the commercial area of Höhen 1 and the creation of construction sites for citizens and businesses.
The city has lost more than 200 residents, amounting to over € 200,000 with a subsidy of € 1,000 per inhabitant. Gutmann also turned to Hetal’s site and warned that more attention should be paid to it. He also suggested providing parking spaces for charging stations for electric vehicles on the occasion of the refurbishment of Schillerstrasse. Gutmann concluded that the extent to which the city itself could build wind turbines should certainly also be considered.
Mayor Pfaff said he doesn’t normally comment on budget speeches. However, it is needed here. He had argued that the speeches should not contain motions. The parliamentary group may submit a written application for a ban on vacancies. Regarding the Hetal office, there are contacts with both the district office and the owner. The outcome of the relationship must be awaited.
The mayor then put the 2022 budget to the vote. The majority voted in favor with three votes against and one abstention.