Neuenmarkt’s finances are in good shape

The core message of mayor siegfried decker (NG) at the meeting of the municipal council on monday evening was: the handling of the 2017 budget is going well, with a plus of around 100,000 euros expected in property and trade tax alone. According to decker, the participation in wage and income tax as well as sales tax is also stable, even with a clear upward trend: "the budget estimates will be achieved, most likely even exceeded." Key allocations are also running exactly according to plan. Mayor decker began the meeting by thanking the 37 election helpers in the federal election and noting that everything had gone smoothly.

Mayor siegfried decker spoke of a pleasing development in revenue, which made neither a cash loan nor the planned taking out of the approved loan of over one million euros necessary: "we even granted the municipal utilities an overdraft loan of 500,000 euros. We trace a bit the positive economic situation in our country and hope that the current labor market figures 2018 will continue."

Decker pointed out that the talks between the leading municipal associations and finance minister markus soder on the 2018 municipal fiscal equalization scheme had begun. "We expect the municipalities to participate appropriately in the positive development of the state finances. Only with active support from the federal and state governments can we meet the upcoming challenges in municipal road construction, childcare and schools."

The mayor told his councillors that they would try to end the 2017 budget year with a surplus.

For the remainder of the budget year, the urgent renovation of laubenstrabe from the rothemund bus terminal to the existing end of the road must be carried out. The work has already been awarded to gunther-bau gmbh, stadtsteinach. The costs will amount to around 122,000 euros. Decker: "the sidewalk will be resurfaced, the driveways will be lowered and a new base course will be applied to the road. I hope that the weather will cooperate and that we can still manage this this year."

At the same time, the ing.-IBP, kulmbach, was commissioned with work phases 5 to 9 for the full extension of laubenstrabe from the friedhofstrabe junction to the rothemund bus terminal. The public invitation to tender for the work is to be issued at the turn of the year 2017/18. If possible, the development work in the "steigengasse" building area should also be completed to be brought to completion. Currently, the work for the flood protection and the road construction will be tackled. The first building plots are also to be sold to interested parties this year.

The council approved the purchase of new hardware and software for the computer system in the town hall. Costs of around 22,000 euros must be expected here.

The mayor also announced a letter from telekom concerning the broadband expansion. After that, the declared goal was to have the fiber optic connections available for booking by about the middle of september 2017: "unfortunately, we have not yet achieved this goal in full. The main reason for this is simply that the capacities on the market for civil engineering, fiber optic installation, planning and design are not always available to the extent needed." 133 of 158 possible fiber-optic house connections are connected to the network, of which 118 have been completed.

The declared goal of the municipality of neuenmarkt is to continue to save energy, increase efficiency and use renewable energies. As mayor siegfried decker (NG) stated in the most recent meeting, a lot has already been achieved in this sector, but according to him there is still a lot to do. The municipality of neuenmarkt has already successfully applied for the program "energy coaching plus" and the project "keen" applied to the government of upper franconia and will receive ten days of advice on all questions related to the energy transition. This project is also managed by the northern bavaria energy agency, and markus ruckdeschel, who is responsible there for public relations work among other things, also presented the upper franconia municipal energy efficiency network (keen) at the meeting on monday evening.

As far as the community's possible energy-saving concept is concerned, according to the head of the community, it is a matter of potential savings in the town hall, in the street lighting and the entire school complex, and the northern bavarian energy agency has also made an offer on this, which markus ruckdeschel presented and also outlined the possible requirements.

Ruckdeschel also discussed the differences between the "energy coaching plus" program and the "energy efficiency" program and the project "keen a. In one of the next meetings, the council will decide whether to accept the offer. It runs over a period of three years and requires a contribution from the municipality after deduction of the federal requirement.

He made it clear that there was an urgent need for action in the energy efficiency sector and that, in his opinion, there were still many "treasures" to be tapped to be raised. In any case, reading the meters alone is not enough to make progress in saving energy. The annual costs for "keen between 5,000 and 10,000 euros, depending on the type and number of structures brought in, will not be refinanced, at least in the first few years, as markus ruckdeschel pointed out: "that would be too sporty!" Using the example of the city of kulmbach, however, ruckdeschel made it clear that over a period of ten years savings in energy costs of around 30 percent were achieved.

There is still a lot to do in the municipal energy turnaround. Coaching by the northern bavaria energy agency in around 150 french municipalities confirms the experience gained in municipal energy management. Markus ruckdeschel: "the municipalities urgently need more professional support. Most municipalities, not only the small ones, have an enormous need for neutral advice on concrete savings potentials."

In detail, ruckdeschel presented the municipal energy efficiency network upper franconia, which is required by the federal office of economics and export control. This is a professionally supervised, multi-year network collaboration with the goal of jointly identifying and generating energy savings with the support of a network team. The start is planned for 2017 and the challenge will run for three years with a maximum of twelve participants per network, who will meet quarterly. Ruckdeschel: "our network in upper franconia has three pillars: the network meeting with technical input on various aspects of the municipal energy transition, the energy management with the monitoring and reduction of energy consumption in own properties and the training of one of our own employees to become a municipal energy representative." The main purpose of the quarterly exchange is to benefit from the experience of others.

While there are no costs for the municipality in the case of energy coaching, the funding rate for the energy efficiency network is 70 percent in the first year and 50 percent in each of the second and third years. The concrete benefits of the project are transparency in energy consumption, technical support, energy efficiency in the network and a forward-looking and sustainable solution with help for self-help and the training of energy officers.

Local councillor klaus zahner suggested that instead of the school complex, for which the school association is responsible, the wastewater plant should be included in the energy-saving concept. As far as the use of renewable energies is concerned, however, the operators of the local heat supply system have not had the best experience: "because little has come out of it for neuenmarkt." Until the final consultation and decision in the municipal council, the topic of the municipal energy efficiency network in upper franconia will continue to be an exciting topic.