Busy discussions, planning and construction in the entire city area. How diverse the tasks and challenges of the municipality are, made clear the remarks of city hall chief Jurgen Kohmann at the citizens’ meeting in the foyer of the Adam Riese Hall.
Around 40 interested citizens, who had come despite the sunny weather, listened to the mayor, who painted an all-round positive picture of the town. Thus, he let it be known that the number of jobs in the city area increased by another 100 in 2016 compared to 2015. He is also pleased with last year’s record result of over 634,000 overnight stays.
After years of consolidation, the city council agreed on the already announced record investment of over nine million euros for 2017. According to Kohmann, the debt level is expected to increase from 17.923 million euros (end of 2016) to just under 20 million by the end of this year.
But there is also a lot going on in the city area, according to his remarks. Kohmann went into detail about the extensive renovation of the St. Anna Catholic kindergarten, which will be reopened in May, and about the renovation and barrier-free expansion of the Adam Riese School. Kohmann described the measures in the course of the fire department requirement plan as an “important investment in the safety of the citizens”. He is looking forward to the blessing of the new appliance house in Kummersreuth on 14 September. May and lent its hope expression that the equipment house new building in Uetzing still experiences its groundbreaking this year.
Record result for Therme
He also highlighted the lively village communities. How well these work, for example, the participation of the clubs and citizens in the village renewal in Wiesen has shown. In Romansthal, the EAFRD support (European Fund for Rural Development) is to be used for village renewal, which is also being considered for Wolfsdorf.
The mayor spoke of a “success story” in connection with the Obermain-Therme, which celebrated its “30th anniversary” last year could celebrate. Despite the construction site, the number of visitors in 2016 increased by 50,000 compared to the previous year to a record 775,000. The renovated outdoor pools will be back in operation from Whitsun, he announced.
Kohmann also addressed the problem of parking spaces at the spa. In spite of the creation of new parking spaces, especially in good weather and at weekends, the parking area reaches its limits. The mayor appealed to those who do not go to the spa to use the other parking spaces in the city instead of the spa parking spaces. The mayor would like to continue to dispense with a barrier solution as a last resort.
In 2016, the city has invested 600,000 euros in the rehabilitation of roads. The Bahnhofstrasse is already giving the spa town an even friendlier face thanks to its partial redesign. Concerning the “Art on the Building” project with the erection of a Victor von Scheffel memorial, coordination talks with the government would be held in two weeks, Kohmann said in this regard. The mayor also gave an outline of the further timetable for the further redesign of Bahnhofstrabe in the area still to be completed: in 2018, construction phase 4 up to Gartenstrabe is to be implemented, then in 2019, construction phase 5 up to the train station is planned, and this last phase will be realized in 2020.
Publicity for the community foundation
The budget volume of about nine million euros also includes mandatory tasks of the municipality. According to Kohmann, wastewater supply measures amounting to around two million euros are planned for 2017. Wiesen, for example, will be connected to the central sewage treatment plant in Bad Staffelstein, and the Frauendorf sewage treatment plant will also be abandoned.
A longer, but for the community important process is the elaboration of a utilization concept for the station building and for the property of the former restaurant “Schwarzer Bar”. Kohmann added that this point would also be part of the talks with the government in the near future.
The mayor addressed many other topics that affect the citizens, such as construction areas, broadband supply and flood protection with the planned raising of the dam in Wiesen this year. He also took the opportunity to drum up support for the newly initiated “Unser Bad Staffelstein” community foundation, with which everyone can support the common good in the municipality in many ways.
Tickets: Many reject vending machines
Following Kohmann’s remarks on the state of the city, the citizens had their say in the Adam Riese Hall. Ute Schader from Bad Staffelstein addressed the topic of bus connections. Here the mayor could come up with good news. He explained the lacing of a new line bundle in the course of the decided restructuring of the public local passenger traffic. All places over 150 inhabitants are to be integrated into the timetables to be designed then, the entire bus traffic is put out to tender anew. “This will be extremely user-friendly”, Kohmann said, but at the same time asked for “a little patience” because the existing concessions of the bus companies have to expire first.
The railroad station was a topic that was burning on the nails of the citizens that evening. “You speak from my heart, replied the mayor to the appeal of a citizen, who asked when there would finally be the possibility of a personal ticket sale again. For some things, the vending machine is not enough, and older citizens have their difficulties with the technology, the lady said. One is hand urgently on the search for an agency operator, so Kohmann.
Access should be barrier-free
The Ebensfeld, Zapfendorf and Ebing train stations now have an elevator, but Bad Staffelstein continues to look up at the mountains with a stovepipe when it comes to accessibility. The citizens (and also the guests) are dissatisfied with this situation, as was also expressed at the citizens’ meeting. Kohmann informed that after a discussion with Member of the Bundestag Emmi Zeulner, a planning order was issued to Deutsche Bahn by the Ministry of Transport. Two elevators are needed for barrier-free access to platform 2.