Corona costs the city a lot of money

Corona costs the city a lot of money

Income in the high double-digit millions is probably missing. How will this change the city? What else can we afford? Bertram felix is the undisputed master of the city's finances – and even these are not safe from the virus.

What does the corona crisis mean for the city's finances??

Bertram felix: the world after corona will also be a different one in budgetary terms. Although it is not yet possible to put a figure on the euro, we will only know more concrete effects in july. But we are likely to lose revenues in the high double-digit millions due to lower business, income and sales tax inflows alone. On the expenditure side, we have additional investments, for example, for protective equipment.

What remains of the 2020 budget that the bamberg city council passed in december?

The budget has not yet been approved by the government anyway and is therefore blocked in many areas. We must confine ourselves to the fulfillment of our duties. If need be, we'll have to finance them with cash advances. And perhaps after the budget is approved, we will have to create the formal conditions to maintain this state of affairs for a while longer. Because we want to achieve that the damage to the city is as small as possible.

There is no question of extending voluntary benefits, for example. We have to go on the most extreme austerity course and turn over every euro twice.

Does this mean that the city's tree removals that have already been started cannot be completed??

We will of course continue to support our craftsmen, tree removals that have been started, for example in the officers' housing estate or the general renovation of the blue school, will be completed. Maintenance plugs should also be kept open as long as possible. Some construction projects that have not yet started, such as the buger bridge, will have to be put on hold.

Like the social foundation, the city of bamberg will also put employees on short-time work in order to save on personnel costs?

The core administration is excluded from short-time work. At present, however, discussions are underway between employers and employees in the public sector as to the extent to which short-time working is possible in economically active units. In bamberg, these are primarily our budgeted facilities, such as the theater. The impact on employees has been small, even in the worst case they have kept 90 to 95 percent of their previous net income.

What will have to go first, the black zero or the crown jewels, i.E. The city's real estate??

A sale of crown jewels is not an appropriate way to respond to the crisis. The city will be damaged in the long term. As far as debt is concerned, it is basically a legitimate means if the framework conditions are right and important investments cannot be realized in any other way. The megatopics continue to be school building renovations, conversion, railroad expansion and childcare. But we must always ask ourselves: what is still feasible and in what timeframe??

The newly elected city council will agree on this?

I am confident that in this crisis situation all parties involved will become aware of their responsibility.

Will bamberg be a different city in a year's time??

I would not say that now. We are not talking about the plague in the middle ages – despite the seriousness of the situation. We will surely have an economic crisis. The federal government and the federal states are called upon to develop strategies for the companies. But already in 2008, some people were in a doomsday mood because of the financial crisis – and then, starting in 2010, we experienced a rough upswing.

It's going to be a tough time, but I'm confident that we'll get out of it in a sensible way. But for that we have to concentrate on the essentials again.

The interview was conducted by

Stefan fobel

What the policy says

While the factions of the new bamberg city council are still cautiously sniffing each other out, the corona crisis is overshadowing all other issues. One of the major questions in the coming months will be how to manage the budget under completely different circumstances.

For wolfgang grader (grunes bamberg) "it is now important to keep an eye on the big picture, on the future of bamberg and, above all, on the people, to separate the essential from the small, in order to maintain an intact and lively urban society, in order to preserve social peace". Two pillars had to be maintained: climate and economy as well as social affairs and mobility.

Transportation turnaround remains important

It is particularly important for the common good in bamberg to maintain, if not increase, investments in services for children, people on low incomes and those in need of care. An immediate program for socially contracted housing, for example, remains indispensable for the grunen, as does the municipal traffic turnaround.

"We are currently struggling with the health and medical consequences of corona. When we get to grips with this – hopefully soon – we will be faced with major economic challenges, states the deputy CSU faction chairman peter neller. "We must be aware that nothing will ever be the same again as it was before the outbreak of the crisis and that there will be painful cuts in the implementation of the budget adopted in december 2019."

Everything on the stand

"Now that the first restrictions are to be eased and economic life is to be revived, the effects of the pandemic will continue to leave their mark on our budget for a long time to come", says SPD faction leader klaus stieringer. All projects in the current budget had to be reviewed against the backdrop of the corona crisis.

Living on borrowed money?

Stieringer assumes that "contrary to our previous practice, we will also have to live on credit, i.E. We will have to borrow more heavily in order to strengthen the municipal economy.

This is what the SPD says

This is indispensable: according to klaus stieringer, the SPD city council faction is holding on to the continuation of the rough project "school building renovation" as quickly as possible, the flat-covering expansion of all-day and vacation care, the energy renovation of our buildings and the expansion of the mobility infrastructure with opnv and new cycle paths firmly.

This needs to be reconsidered: according to stieringer, new projects "had to be kept to a minimum", and spending should be limited to what is absolutely necessary to cope with the crisis. The future years are likely to be dominated by strict budget consolidation. It is necessary to examine "which services must be provided by law and which investments are 'only' socially desired".

Particularly important: as far as possible, the SPD recommends "investments in education, energy renovation, climate protection, expansion of childcare, traffic routes, the health system and digital infrastructure in order to revive the local economy

What grunes bamberg says

This is indispensable: according to party chairman wolfgang grader, grunes bamberg does not want to do without school renovations, the creation of childcare places (for example, by expanding the after-school care center), the implementation of the 2030 traffic development plan, the muna with a ban forest and a maximum of 20 hectares of development "with citizen participation". This must be reconsidered: the grunes see savings potential most likely in a postponement of the railroad expansion by several years, in the new construction of the buger bridge, in the city hall renovation and the resumption of budget consolidation in the personnel area. Particularly important: in view of the crisis, from a green perspective, investments had to be made in a commercial area association (city and state), in area-saving commercial development with a sustainable mix of industries, in culture ("is not only a valuable job security for artists, but also for gastronomy and tourism") as well as in the expansion of the care sector (short-term care, protective measures …).

What the CSU says

This is indispensable: according to peter neller, the CSU does not want any restrictions "on all measures relating to childcare, schools and, if possible, on existing voluntary services". There must be enough money for social and human interaction to help people cope with the consequences of the crisis. "The 'weak' in the city's society, children and seniors, are the top priority."

This needs to be reconsidered: savings potential is most likely to be found in projects that have not yet been started. "Here, priorities will have to be set with regard to the urgency of measures, whereby for the CSU, people have priority over asphalt and concrete."

Particularly important: to the extent that the city finances are at all justifiable, additional aid should be considered with regard to the effects of the corona crisis on the economy. "The sooner businesses recover, the sooner the city's financial environment will improve." That's why it's important to do everything in our power to support them

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