Munnerstadt: gift with tough conditions

The trip to the ministry of home affairs in nurnberg this week was one of the tasks mayor helmut blank was very happy to take on. Because that’s where he received the notice of approval for the needs allocation. Two million euros in stabilization aid for the city of munich this year. For the fifth time in a row, the state of freestate is helping financially strapped municipalities. But the money does not come for free. "State minister albert furacker emphasized in his speech that the stabilization aid serves to reduce the debt of the municipalities in order to regain their financial capacity to act", says the mayor. In addition, the finance minister had pointed out that a number of conditions had to be fulfilled and that other municipalities were watching with suspicious eyes because they had also been happy to receive stabilization aid.

It is now the fifth approval notice, but this one is different. "It contains concrete, mabnahme-related conditions", explains chief executive officer stefan bierdimpfl. The letter from the government of lower franconia is eight pages long. Still on the first page, next to the approval of the stabilization aid, it can be read that this is tied to conditions that must be fulfilled by 31 december at the latest. March 2019 must be fulfilled. This includes first of all the revision of the submitted budget consolidation concept with the exhaustion of the savings and revenue opportunities in the area of voluntary services or. Deficitary facilities and the revision of the investment program. The next point is particularly important to helmut blank and stefan bierdimpfl, who is also the town’s chamberlain: "the municipality has to limit its investments to unavoidable reductions in the area of compulsory tasks or to the reduction of the budget for the year. Restricting the pensionable area", writes the government. "As far as possible, cost savings are also to be made in this area. Investments in the voluntary sector must be subjected to a critical assessment and may only be undertaken within the limits of financial capacity. (…) this also applies in particular to any considerations for the renovation of the indoor swimming pool."

And not only that. The discontinuation of the loss-making operation of the indoor swimming pool is a key component of the budget consolidation concept, emphasizes stefan biedimpfl. In the last year of full operation (2009), the city contributed 170,000 euros. This sum is now included as an annual saving in the budget consolidation concept. And this concept is the basis for the preservation of the stabilization aid. "This is a clear indication", says helmut blank about the government’s requirements. After all, the city has received 5.1 million euros in recent years thanks to the consolidation concept, and the debt level has been reduced by roughly this amount since 2014. "This is the work of my administration in cooperation with the district office and the government", helmut blank emphasizes. And stefan bierdimpfl adds: "this is due to the self-discipline of the city council." The mayor confirms that there were some outcries when the budget consolidation concept was being drawn up. Ultimately, the citizens are also affected, as is shown, for example, by the increase in cemetery fees. But there is no other way if the city wants to get the stabilization aid.

The government of lower franconia has also imposed conditions on stabilization aid and prescribes exactly how it is to be used: "1.5 million euros to cover the target deficit from 2017." The annual financial statements for 2017 show a target deficit due to investments of millions of euros, which will have to be balanced in the 2018 budget year. For this the 1.5 million euro. The remaining 500,000 euros may be used for investments in the area of basic municipal equipment, i.E. Kindergarten, schools, trams, fire department, but also for the city construction requirement. Only 5,000 euros of these 500,000 euros can be invested in municipal expenditures outside of the above-mentioned items. It is pointed out that the stabilization aid is authorized exclusively for these three purposes. "Any use that deviates from this can, under certain circumstances, lead to a claim for repayment of the stabilization aid granted."

Despite the high hurdles, the city has again received two million euros, which the mayor is naturally particularly pleased about. "We would like to thank the government and the legal supervisors in the district administration for walking this difficult path with us."

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