According to Kämmerer Uwe Becker (CDU), the agreements in the coalition agreement between the Greens, SPD, FDP and Volt could cost the city “at least well over 100 million euros” per year. The long-term planned annual ticket for local public transport at a price of 365 euros would burden the municipal budget with at least 55 million euros, said Becker on Thursday in the city council. The short-term planned assumption of the transport costs for all students suggests another 25 million euros per year. "This is the most expensive coalition agreement in the history of Frankfurt," said Becker. There is a threat of a development towards chronically loss-making households with high levels of new debt, which are then no longer acceptable to the Ministry of the Interior as the supervisory authority."If this coalition agreement is implemented in this way, the budgets will no longer be eligible for approval."
"Coalition relies on bad checks"
Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung, responsible for the Rhein-Main section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
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Becker's statements were the answer to a question from Nils Kößler, the CDU parliamentary group leader in the Römer. Kößler spoke of an "enormous spending program" that the new four-alliance had agreed upon. When it comes to financing the promised perks and “excessive spending”, the coalition counts on “bad checks”. Kößler criticized, among other things, that the number of full-time members of the magistrate - in addition to Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD) - should be increased from ten to eleven. According to Kämmerer Becker, the city council expansion alone costs taxpayers around an additional million euros per year.
The treasurer pointed out that the city had generated a budget increase of 209 million euros in 2014, which had shrunk to 183 and 40 million euros in the two following years. From 2017 onwards, all urban households were then associated with taking on debt. The warning he has recently repeatedly put forward that the city must forego large projects that are desirable but no longer financeable - such as that of a children's and youth theater - is now apparently being thrown to the wind by the new V-Ampel coalition.
Martin Huber (Volt) and Bastian Bergerhoff (The Greens) mainly defended the climate protection agreements in the coalition agreement.
In view of the dramatic climate change, inaction, according to Huber, is also a form of incurring debt.
In the long run, investments in climate protection and local public transport would pay off, added Bergerhoff.
Location in the city forest continues to be "dramatic"
Environment officer Rosemarie Heilig (The Greens) expects massive consequences for the city's drinking water supply should there be another hot summer. The heavy rain in the first few months of this year was not enough to replenish the groundwater in the city forest. As Heilig announced to the city council, the large amounts of water and the temperatures that are too low for the time of year, especially in the spring months, have somewhat relaxed the current situation for nature in the city forest. Unlike in previous years, the young trees planted in autumn 2019 are currently showing good vitality. “It's green in the city forest.” But the environment officer fears that another hot summer could ruin the successes of the past few months. Overall so holythe situation in the city forest is still "dramatic".
A few hot days, as Frankfurt is currently experiencing, are, in Heilig's opinion, enough to show how quickly the situation could worsen. The city warned again on Thursday of the risk of fire in the city forest. A ban on barbecues in the parks may also be up for debate again soon. The situation of the city forest for the city's drinking water supply is particularly dramatic. Frankfurt promotes a third of its consumption itself, the city gets the rest from the Vogelsberg and the Hessian Ried. The largest part of the drinking water self-supply make up water abstraction from the city forest. For this purpose, as in the Hessian Ried, treated river water is seeped away in order to obtain drinking water from it.
According to Heilig, it is crucial that citizens use drinking water more sparingly and, for example, refrain from sprinkling the lawn with drinking water. The Green Space Office is now also trying to irrigate the trees more often with Main water. In the case of new development areas, pipes for service water would also have to be laid in the buildings parallel to the drinking water pipes. Heilig announced that she was also speaking with the municipal drinking water association Hessenwasser about expanding the infiltration of Main water in the city forest in order to secure the groundwater level. Otherwise, the regional council of the city of Frankfurt, which is responsible for the extraction of drinking water, could one day forbid the extraction of drinking water from the city forest.
The more intensive treatment of Main water for the infiltration in the city forest is an "expensive undertaking", so Heilig. That could not be financed from the city budget. One must therefore consider together with Mainova, which brings the drinking water to the end consumer, whether the introduction of a drinking water cent is necessary.