Sluitende begroting met gezond toekomstperspectief

Het college van burgemeester en wethouders heeft een sluitende begroting voor 2018 vastgesteld. ‘Het is ons gelukt om de gemeente financieel weer op orde te krijgen,’ stelt wethouder Hans Marchal (financiën). ‘Dit heeft tot gevolg dat de lasten voor inwoners en ondernemers voor 2018 niet zullen stijgen. Ook betaalt elk huishouden volgend jaar enkele euro’s minder aan afvalstoffenheffing. We kunnen eventuele tegenslagen goed opvangen en, mede door het opgerichte ‘Innovatiefonds’, is er extra financiële armslag. Die benutten we onder meer door te investeren in een hogere kwaliteit van het groenonderhoud. Uit de eerder dit jaar gehouden Burgerpeiling bleek dat veel inwoners de staat van het openbaar groen beneden peil vonden, daar gaan we nu mee aan de slag!’
Voor het eerst sinds jaren geen verhogingen
Het college van SP, PCG en GroenLinks startte in 2014 met een groot tekort, als gevolg waarvan bezuinigingen onvermijdelijk waren. Door het voeren van verstandig financieel beleid en door hogere rijksinkomsten lukte het om de financiële positie van de gemeente te versterken. Voor het eerst sinds jaren is het nu mogelijk om de lasten voor inwoners en ondernemers niet te verhogen. Marchal: ‘We hoeven zelfs de inflatiecorrectie van de OZB in 2018 niet toe te passen. En normaal gesproken stijgt de rioolheffing elk jaar met 2%, maar ook dat is in 2018 niet nodig.’
Aandacht voor taalkennis en voor de Markt staan centraal in 2018
Daarnaast zijn extra middelen vrijgemaakt voor taalonderwijs. Wethouder Wil Kosterman: ‘Goede kennis en begrip van de Nederlandse taal zijn de basis van groei en ontwikkeling. Daarom willen we extra investeren in het Taalhuis en in de Taalklas, waar mensen en kinderen die beperkte kennis hebben van de Nederlandse taal zich hierin verder kunnen bekwamen.’ Als het aan de wethouder ligt, wordt 2018 ook het jaar waarin de plannen uit de visie Stadspromotie worden waargemaakt. ‘Verhuizen van het museum naar de Markt en herinrichten van het Marktplein maakt onze binnenstad nog aantrekkelijker. Een fijne plek om te verblijven voor zowel onze eigen inwoners als voor bezoekers. En goed voor de lokale economie,’ aldus Kosterman.
Meer lokale werkgelegenheid
Wethouder Jeroen Brouwer ziet dat de basis meer dan goed op orde is. ‘De voorzieningen zijn van een hoog niveau, of het nu gaat om zorg en welzijn, of dat ze het gebied van sport of het minimabeleid betreffen. Er wordt veel gebouwd, waarbij er ook volop aandacht is voor sociale huurwoningen. En er wordt geïnvesteerd in de lokale economie, zodat plaatselijke en regionale bedrijven zich ook in de toekomst in Wijk bij Duurstede willen vestigen en er meer werkgelegenheid komt. We kunnen nu de economie weer aantrekt, aan alle kanten vooruit. En dat allemaal met betrokken organisaties.’
Inzicht in het functioneren van de gemeente als organisatie
Burgemeester Tjapko Poppens geeft aan dat de gemeente met open vizier de toekomst tegemoet gaat. ‘Ondanks dat de ambtelijke samenwerking met Houten niet doorging, heeft het onderzoek naar een eventuele samenwerking ons veel kennis opgeleverd. Door hieraan te werken, hebben we scherp gekregen waar we goed in zijn en waarin we kunnen verbeteren. Daarnaast heeft de onlangs gehouden Burgerpeiling ons laten zien op welke onderdelen de gemeentelijke dienstverlening kan worden versterkt.’
Voorbereid op de toekomst
De Wijkse samenleving en de gemeenteraad hebben in de afgelopen periode hard gewerkt aan het traject ‘Toekomstblik’, waarbij wordt geanticipeerd op de wereld van morgen. Onderdeel daarvan zijn de maatschappelijke en economische agenda, waarbij ook de vraagstukken op deze domeinen tijdig in beeld zijn en adequaat kunnen worden opgepakt.
Het vervolgtraject
De meerjarenbegroting 2019-2021 is eveneens financieel gezond. Vanwege de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen in maart 2018 is het de laatste begroting in deze raadsperiode. Op dinsdag 10 oktober a.s. bespreekt de gemeenteraad de begroting, waarna op dinsdag 7 november a.s. een besluit wordt genomen over de begroting.
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