The deficit is ballooning due to the coronavirus crisis.
Interim report on the financial situation in the municipal council.
The coronavirus crisis is making it difficult to maintain the Kurstadt. The Paracelsus spa and the Kurhaus are closed for the second time this year because of the partial lockdown, causing the corresponding impact on the finances of the city.
In the most recent session of the municipal council, treasurer Lucas Hansen detailed the financial consequences for the budget of the Kurstadt. The town must transfer more and more out of the core budget to the Freiheit und Tourismus Bad Liebenzell GmbH (FTBL) [leisure and tourism limited liability company].
The FTBL is a hundred-percent subsidiary of the town. A grant totalling € 1.5 million was originally planned. In the mean time, it seems that the town will now transfer three million euros to the limited liability company. The core budget shows a deficit of € 1.5 million because of the size of this grant to the FTBL. The municipality would have even been able to raise a surplus for its core budget if it had not been for the corona crisis and the resulting closure of the Paracelsus spa and the kurhaus.
Mayor Dietmar Fischer has made it clear that liquidity must be permanently maintained throughout this year. He spoke of an “especially critical situation”. The complete closure of the spa was described as “tragic”. He still appeared convinced that the FTBL would emerge from the crisis stronger as the adopted strategy was the right one.
Sebastian Kopp, Group Chairman of the Unabhängige Liste (UL) [Independent List] spoke about the federal state’s stabilisation program of € 15 million for municipal spas. The Paracelsus spa was one among the institutions eligible to apply. The mayor assured the public that the town would file such an application. The initiative for this programme came from Gemeindetag [Municipality Day] since the tourism sector was most affected by the coronavirus crisis. Employees are now subject to reduced working hours. Nevertheless, the town will invest heavily, which in turn will directly benefit the economy.