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Wels’ financial cushion grew to 90 million euros

Wels’ financial cushion grew to 90 million euros
Wels’ financial cushion grew to 90 million euros

The Volksgarten extension and the exhibition hall 22 are the largest upcoming projects in Wels.

The city of Wels is closing the 2023 financial year with a surplus of 33.3 million euros (2022 was 36.7 million). The reserves increased to around 90 million euros. “These high reserves will melt away for our planned major projects,” said Mayor and Finance Officer Andreas Rabl (FP) today at the presentation of the financial statements. 88 million are planned for investments in the next five to six years without the city having to take on new debt.

The largest projects include the expansion of the Volksgarten and the new exhibition hall 22 (see information box on the right). The city’s debt is currently around 7.9 million euros. Since the city is de facto paying zero percent interest on its liabilities, but is receiving around three million euros in interest on its reserves this year alone, the city will not pay off the debt until 2027.

Once again, Rabl criticizes the high transfer payments to the state of Upper Austria. “We pay in 64 million euros, but only get 20 million euros back. There is an urgent need to unbundle the financial flows.” It cannot be in the state’s interest for the number of municipalities leaving to continue to grow. “One possible solution would be for medical care to be the responsibility of the states and kindergartens to be the responsibility of the cities and municipalities,” says Rabl.

The Wels economy with its national and international companies contributed 53.2 million euros to the city budget – an increase of 7.5 percent compared to 2022.

City Councillor for Economic Affairs Martin Oberndorfer (VP) stresses that Wels’ strong economy provides financial flexibility for the city’s finances. “Buoyant tax revenues, not least due to high inflation, support packages from the state and federal governments, higher revenues from eww AG and fees led to a significantly larger budget surplus than forecast.”

The biggest projects of the next few years

Expansion of the Volksgarten with the State Garden Show in 2027: 29 million euros
Investment grant for Exhibition Hall 22: 17 million euros
Special construction programme for residential roads: 6 million euros.
New Traun Bridge to Schleissheim: 5.6 million euros
Schools: 5.1 million euros
New kindergarten building: 3.65 million euros
Second part of the renovation of Kaiser-Josef-Platz in 2026: 3 million euros
Lokalbahnplatz: 2.65 million euros
Renovations at the Welldorado outdoor swimming pool: 2.45 million euros;
new skateboard hall: 2.3 million euros
Pernau district park; 2.38 million euros.

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