Concept should bring in demand funds

"It will make some people’s eyes pop open", with these words, mayor michael kastl (CSU) announced what will happen when the result of the redevelopment and structure concept for the water supply is available, during the discussion about the reduction in water and wastewater charges. In it will be determined what the city of munnerstadt has invested in recent years, and where, accordingly, will be investments. This makes it possible to create reserves for specific projects and avoid extreme fluctuations in the price of water. If the hard-case rule applies to the city, then there will again be demand funds for investments, and this will ultimately have a positive effect on the fees.

Recently, there were hardly any possibilities to get demand funds for investments in the area of water supply, says the mayor during a conversation with our editorial staff. This has now changed. Under certain conditions, a hard-case rule can apply, in which case grants are possible. But to do that, the city first needs a redevelopment and structural concept that lists, among other things, what is available and how old it is. This will make it possible to calculate what investments are likely to be required in the near future.

Repaying the reserves

"We were allowed to make reserves", says the head of the city. However, these funds must be earmarked for specific investments. "Otherwise, it may happen that we have to pay back the rebates." this is exactly what has happened now, in the case of water alone, around 800,000 euros were set aside, which will now be reversed within three years, resulting in an enormous price reduction for this period. At least that is the recommendation of the main and finance committee to the city council. After that the price goes up again.

Up to now, certain investments – for example, in the waterworks or in the high reservoir (pumps, control system, etc.) – have also been made.) – had been planned and included in the calculation. "What has been overlooked so far are the challenges that the network poses for us", emphasizes michael kastl. Naturally, funds have also been regularly allocated in the budget for repairs to the pipeline network, but the city hopes that the rehabilitation and structural concept will enable it to tackle the whole issue strategically. "We will be told how high the replacement value for the network is." so the city finds out what the network is worth and what it will cost to rebuild it. "There will also be clear recommendations as to the period in which renovation and replacement tree inspections are due."

In this context, the mayor once again emphasizes that the water facility is integrated into the budget, but there is no mixing of the cost-accounting facility and the rest of the budget. This is very important with regard to investments. "We have to look for ways within the cost-accounting system to keep rates stable, but also to build up sensible reserves", according to the mayor.

In a first step, the existing plans are now being brought up to date. In cooperation with the water management office, an application will then be made to demand the rehabilitation and structural plan, because this is also demanded.

The entire network is getting on in years, and michael kastl is convinced that the issue must be addressed in good time. He refers to the huge urban area. Because the uppermost districts of windheim and seubrigshausen have other water suppliers, the mayor is focusing the problem on the next districts. If we start with the rehabilitation of the network in reichenbach and arrive in grobwenkheim "then we can start all over again in reichenbach". The new concept gives the city the opportunity to think strategically and in the long term about the various investments and their financial viability. As the pipes get older, the number of selective tree removals will increase. It’s not a simple issue, but it’s an important one.

The expansion of the swimming pool path can also be included, for example. It could be prepared in such a way that even in the event of an accident there would be no danger to the nearby fountains. The karlsberg connection, which had been under consideration for decades, was a failure. "It is also about the long-term security of our water supply", emphasizes the mayor.

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