Controversy over Planned Costs of New Transit Station for Asylum Seekers

The SVP parliamentary group is not fundamentally against a new replacement building, said spokesman Philip C. Brunner. But: The planned costs of 12.5 million francs are too high given that it is a transit station.

While some school children are being taught in temporary accommodation, the canton in Steinhausen is planning a “luxury building with a Zug finish” for asylum seekers, said Brunner. The responsible government councilor Andreas Hostettler (FDP) said: “We didn’t want any frills, the planned center is simple, functional and inexpensive to maintain.”

The SVP parliamentary group requested not to enter into the proposal, but failed with 16 to 58 votes. Even their contingent motion that the new building should cost a maximum of 10 million francs did not find a majority with 16 to 56 votes.

The current transit center was built in 1991 as a temporary facility for around 88 asylum seekers. In its report and application to Parliament, the government writes that it now has considerable deficiencies in terms of construction, operations and hygiene. Instead of completely renovating the facility, a replacement building for around 150 people is to be built.

At the end of summer 2019, the council approved the planning loan, and on Thursday the building loan of CHF 12.5 million was on the agenda. In addition to the costs, there was also the fact that the new through station could absorb a fluctuation reserve of a maximum of one hundred additional people in exceptional cases.

It was unclear who would have to give consent in order to be able to use the strategic accommodation reserve. The responsible government councilor Andreas Hostettler (FDP) made it clear: “From the 151th person who needs a place, I can trigger this reserve.”

Among other things, the Stawiko demanded that the entire government council should make this decision, not just the director of the interior. A consultative vote carried out in the Council, which was non-binding for the government, showed that a narrow majority of parliamentarians would also welcome this.

FDP, Mitte, SP, GLP and ALG supported the loan for the new building. Mitte spokesman Jean Luc Mösch said it would be useful if the government made it clear that the maximum capacity of 250 would only be available in exceptional cases and as a temporary solution. The FDP wondered how the 250 people could keep themselves busy in an “extreme case”.

GLP spokesman Reto Vogel described the project as “reasonable, appropriate and well prepared”. There can definitely be no talk of a luxury project. Hanni Schriber-Neiger (ALG) said: “It’s finally starting the construction phase.” The final vote will take place at a later date after the second reading.

The new transit station for asylum seekers is to be realized by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kollektiv Juma Architekten GmbH / Studio W team, as the building management announced in early 2021. The “Kägi & Fret” project prevailed against 31 other projects that were submitted as part of a competition. The new building is scheduled for completion in early 2026.


2023-06-01 09:00:26

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