District Committee: Renovation of the K 33 near Oberwambach – good budget in sight

Message from 14.11.2022

Financial matters are an elementary part of municipal work. Budget plans, i.e. determining income and expenses, or taking out loans are part of everyday business in this area for many other things. Of course, there are also interim reports on the current economic situation and a look into the future.

The K 33 between Oberwambach and the border to the district of Neuwied is extremely dilapidated. A remedy is in sight. The contract for the renovation was awarded. (Photo: vh)

Altenkirchen. “Finally, finally” will be the cheers of those motorists who are driving on the K 33 between Oberwambach and the neighboring community of Rodenbach (Neuwied district). The free route, which is in the district of Altenkirchen, is finally being renovated after the section on “foreign” terrain was repaired years ago
was set. At its meeting on late Monday afternoon (November 14), the district committee unanimously awarded the contract to the company G. Koch GmbH from Westerburg, which submitted the “most acceptable” offer at around 492,799 euros after various price reductions. The difference to the second cheapest bidder was only 2.4 percent, to the most expensive 22.7 percent. Twelve companies had requested offer documents and five had shown an interest in taking over the work. Around 535 meters will be widened to accommodate traffic to a lane width of 5.50 meters (currently only between four and five meters). A side strip, each one meter wide, is flanged on on both sides. The expansion is carried out partly in full construction and partly in high construction. The result of the last visit gave this section a condition rating of 5, i.e. the worst classification.

Cheers to Biontech
Marc Schwan, Head of the Finance and Municipal Affairs department, summed it up succinctly: “The district of Altenkirchen is a major beneficiary of the new state financial equalization law.” Deprived of air, made it possible to reduce the district levy, through which the municipalities partly finance the district, by 4.5 percentage points from the current 44.5 to 40 percent. In the result budget there is a surplus of 946,404 euros, in the financial budget there is a surplus of 2,785,688 euros. The pivotal point is the key assignments. The ones that were previously valid under the old law have been completely abolished (in 2022 the district booked income of 45,128,700 euros in this sector) and replaced by the new key allocation B, which will flush the AK-Land a whopping 67,036,419 euros into the coffers. “There is so much money in the system thanks to Biontech”, Schwan explained the main reason for the extremely positive development thanks to the large trade tax payer, which is a biotechnology company based in the state capital of Mainz.

school and road construction
The biggest items of expenditure are for school building measures (payments 11,354,500 euros/payments 5,511,000 euros) and district roads (7,272,792 euros/4,852,822 euros). The difference between disbursements (EUR 23,415,019) and receipts such as grants and subsidies (EUR 10,288,072) is therefore EUR 13,126,947, some of which has to be offset by investment loans (EUR 10,341,000). The scheduled repayment of loans is set at EUR 4,390,000, the net new debt at EUR 5,951,000. The level of debt increases from EUR 88,500,000 (December 31, 2022) to EUR 94,451,000 (December 31, 2023). In view of rising interest rates, Schwan appealed to “keep an eye on them”. District Administrator Dr. Peter Enders spoke of “a transparent and well-explained presentation. The household figures are more gratifying than I have ever experienced”. In its last meeting of the year on Monday, December 19, the district council will finally deal with the figures.

Probably no addendum for 2022
The committee took note of the financial report (as of October), which documents the changes known to date compared to the estimates in the budget for the current year. A net loss for the year of just over EUR 3.0 million was included in the earnings budget and a shortfall of just over EUR 1.3 million in the financial budget. The income statement is currently showing a deterioration of EUR 973,000 and the financial statement is showing a deterioration of around EUR 568,000. The main deviations – improvements: grants for daycare providers 1.174 million euros, social assistance benefits 1.037 million euros, benefits for asylum seekers 485,000 euros; Deteriorations: child and youth welfare services 1.108 million euros, student transport/public transport 3.532 million euros, sale of land near the DRK hospital in Kirchen 550,000 euros, formation of pension/benefit provisions 413,000 euros, ongoing personnel expenses 350,000 euros and integration assistance services 291,000 Euro. At the present time, according to the financial report, some of the forecasts can only be based on estimates and projections, so they only reflect the current trend and only provide an outlook for the 2022 annual financial statements. Equity is expected to increase from EUR 82.8 million (31 December 2021) to 78.8 million as of December 31, 2022. The experts currently see no reason to enact a supplementary budget statute.

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Annual loss lower than planned
The presentation of the development of income and expenses as well as the development of the asset plan of the “cultural institutions of the district of Altenkirchen” (district music school, district adult education center and mining museum) also only served as information. The figures in the interim report as of October 31 gave reason to expect that the planned income would not be achieved in full and that expenses would not have to be fully spent either. The annual loss for 2022 is expected to be slightly lower than planned, as there will be positive effects from additional income, such as from new cooperations, or reduced spending. Some of the figures could not be reliably forecast until the end of the year due to the fact that visitor and user behavior is still difficult to plan and predict.

Balanced asset plan
According to department head Stefanie Neuhoff, the 2023 business plan for the “cultural institutions”, which the committee gave its unanimous approval to (final decision in the district council), shows these incomes and expenses – success plan: income of 1,450,551 euros and expenses amounting to 1,998,284 euros resulted in a net loss for the year of 547,733 euros. In the asset plan, income and expenses are balanced at EUR 575,834 each. From the proposed resolution: “The new annual deficit is almost identical to the deficit of the previous year, which was not to be expected due to the collective wage increases of 4.5 percent and rising energy costs (probably 11,900 euros), but is again the result of various measures. In the music school division additional income is achieved through increased cooperation with general education schools and day care centers. Currently 400 more students are being taught than last year (1452 in total). Further personnel changes have positive effects. The district adult education center (KVHS) sees an increase in lecturer fees and participant fees Since 2020, there has been a change in user behavior from the regular course area to teacher training courses and offers with schools. The homeland yearbook was published for the first time by the KVHS and is again included in the economic plan According to the decision of the ice day, the position of full-time director of the mining museum will not be filled again from August 2023, but will be continued on a reduced basis on a fee basis with limited opening hours. This results in further savings. As has been the case since 2013: The coverage of the cash-effective loss takes place after coordination with the ADD supervisory authority on the part of the district as the facility provider with liquid funds in the amount of the expected loss. The business plan in turn shows income from the dividend for the RWE shares in the amount of 0.90 euros per share, so that a gross dividend of 260,600 euros can be expected.” In total, the district holds 2,411,234 shares of the group, which are divided: 1,994,838 pieces in the sovereign property, 289,000 in the “cultural institutions” and 127,396 in the Westerwaldbahn GmbH (district-owned operation). (vh)

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