old office –There will be room for investment, while reductions in structural costs remain necessary. This is the message of the Oldambt municipal executive when submitting the budget for 2023 to the city council. Therefore, the first budget of the new council is an exceptional budget.
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Finance Board Member Geir Klein explains: “We have received more money from the central government for the coming years up to 2025, which includes several million. At the same time, we also know it will become more realistic after that. So now there is room for spin-offs, and we Of course we are very happy with it. At the same time, we still need to cut back on our spending to stay in good financial shape in 2026 and beyond.” The city council will meet to discuss the budget on November 3.
Space for spin-offs
The budget for 2023 and multi-year estimates show a positive result until 2025. In total, it comes to several million in favor of the Oldambtster budget, which, among other things, is used to designate investment funds in a number of subjects. Moreover, a positive result of about 500,000 euros is expected in 2023, rising to nearly 1,000,000 euros in 2024 and 2025, and decreasing to 30,000 euros in 2026. To some extent, coffee beans are still looking : “Nobody knows how the world is looking forward to next year. We’ve tried to take things like inflation into account as much as possible, but how that will eventually happen remains uncertain,” says Geir Klein.
Funds for sustainability, energy poverty and spatial quality of villages and neighborhoods
Until 2025, Oldambt can therefore use additional funds to cover incidental expenses. It has been proposed to the Council to create three funds of approximately €4 million each in the coming years, for one-time investments in sustainability, energy poverty, and the spatial quality of villages and neighbourhoods. Alderman Geir Klein: “These are the topics that have emerged from the coalition agreement and on which the municipal executive wants to make additional efforts. We would like to discuss the details surrounding the implementation with the council and with the residents.”
Space was also found in the budget to reverse a number of austerity effects, in line with the coalition agreement. For example, a budget is included to reverse cuts to poverty (€90,000) and there is more money for green spaces (including €40,000 to combat exotic species such as Japanese knotweed and hogweed) and safety.
A budget has also been allocated to create a partnership fund (90,000 euros) and maintain one of the sheep herds (35.000 euros). In response to recent developments, the committee has included temporary budget items, among other things, to compensate for inflation, information and communications technology and personnel.
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More generous compensation by the government
The positive outcome of the coming years budget is the direct result of a more generous repayment by the central government, in apparent combination with the continuation of the austerity strategy. The closure of the swimming pool and De Hardenberg gymnasium in Finsterwolde with effect from 1 July 2023 was a direct result of this.
“It remains doubtful that the pool will be closed now while we have additional money to invest in the coming years. This is because in the long run we will not be able to afford the high annual costs of the pool and the money we have now is only incidental. In addition, the positive result is achieved on the The budget, including structural cuts to be made in total, is about €2.4 million, including that of De Hardenberg”, says Geir Klein.
In the social field, for example in the field of youth care, cuts are still to be made in 2023 according to the 2019 recovery measures.
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