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Hünstelden is the first municipality to leave the Hesse fund

Minister Boddenberg: “The account statement is balanced”

Hünstelden -The municipality of Hünstelden was the first municipality ever to be released from the Hessenkasse debt relief program. The fact that Finance Minister Michael Boddenberg (CDU) canceled the appointment with Mayor Silvia Scheu-Menzer (independent) on Wednesday in the town hall in Kirberg at short notice due to the worsening Corona situation did not change that.

With consistent action, Hünfelden managed to get rid of cash advances in the amount of 2.5 million euros in just three years, as the Hünfelden administration chief emphasized in an interview with this newspaper yesterday. By 2018 it had already been possible to significantly reduce the load. The remaining 700,000 euros are now history, as the state of Hesse took over 350,000 euros and the municipality saw itself in a position to balance the rest through the current 2020 budget until September despite the Corona times. “We could have put off the repayment five years before us, but now we wanted to bring the matter to a good end,” said the mayor.

Other municipalities have so far not been able to do this because they have also financed investments and repayments of other loans through cash loans over the past few years. Scheu-Menzer believes that the municipality of Hünstelden never did that and was rewarded by the state for it. This means that she was accepted into a “hybrid program” along with nine other Hessian municipalities, which guaranteed her not only help with cash repayment from state funds, but also investment subsidies amounting to 2.1 million euros at free disposal for the coming years .

Construction of a new kindergarten

The support of the country is worth gold for Hünstelden. Scheu-Menzer reported that 500,000 euros of this would be used next year to build a new four-group kindergarten in Nauheim. Another half a million should later flow into the renovation of the outdoor pool in Kirberg. Another 400,000 euros are to be used to repay municipal debts in 2023.

With its investment program, the Hessenkasse is helping municipalities that have operated sparingly and, despite limited funds, have managed to get along with little or no cash loans, explained Boddenberg.

“The community of Hünstelden is out of the overdraft facility and its account statement at the Hessenkasse has thus been balanced,” said Boddenberg. By voluntarily participating in the Hessenkasse, the politically responsible people in the community took advantage of the historic opportunity to rid Hünfelden of contaminated sites and thus to open up new design options and future prospects. The minister declared: “The Hessenkasse is a unique program in Germany and therefore a role model for many other federal states.”

According to Boddenberg, the corona crisis has unfortunately worsened the financial situation in the municipalities again. But also thanks to the Hessenkasse, Hessian municipalities are basically in a position to cope better with this crisis. “Those who enter the crisis stronger than before can cope better,” the minister thinks. He drew a positive interim balance for the Hessenkasse. “The goal of relieving the Hessian municipalities has already been achieved,” said the CDU state politician. At the end of 2019, the cash loan portfolio of the Hessian municipalities was only 240 million euros. This means that the Hessenkasse has already reduced the cash loan volume of the Hessian municipalities by 95 percent.

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