More diverse activities during the May 5 festival
The annual liberation festival attracts more and more visitors each year. Over the past years, more irritations arose about the organization, locations of stages and the disappearance of other stages. Wageningen is full of diversity which we should cherish. Connect Wageningen believes that the 5th of May liberation festival is for every resident and therefore should have a variety of activites for different target groups. Connect Wageningen does not think that financial cutbacks at the 5th of May 5 festival are suitable, as this will only lead to fewer types of activities. It is also important for us that the celebration does not override the memorial.
As the newest political party, with the main aim to include more new and young Wageningen citizens in politics, we have chosen not to change too much in the current financing structure of the municipality. At this moment, we focus our plans mainly on climate strategies and realizing a bicycle tunnel at Bornsesteeg.
Wageningen receives about 50% of our income from the government. As a political party we have no influence on this number. 25% comes from outstanding loans, subsidies and interest on savings. The other 25% comes from local taxes and levies; here we can have an influence and Connect Wageningen sees opportunities. Half of these local taxes come from the OZB (property tax). Wageningen is in the top 10 of the 53 municipalities in Gelderland with the highest tax rates. We want to change this.
Using the capital without destination for an investment on climate
The municipality has a budget of € 4.5 million that is simply in the bank account. This was kept because of a favorable interest rate, which yielded money. This favorable interest rate is now approaching 0. Connect Wageningen wants to use this budget to acquire more knowledge and expertise in the field of climate. At first it will be an investment for Wageningen, followed by becoming a frontrunner in climate adaptation and become an example for other municipalities who are interested in the same knowledge and research on how Wageningen will have achieved this. In this manner, we create revenues. Currently, the municipality has 0 income in spite of its knowledge and expertise. A missed opportunity!
Allocate part of the ring road budget for a bicycle tunnel
Wageningen has saved money for years to improve Wageningen's accessibility. Before, Wageningen could make their own plans. However, now the province has taken over this portfolio because 'the Wageningen city council has not met the expectations’. The province has opted for the cheap solution, so we have a surplus in money (which was saved). Connect Wageningen believes that the budget can be allocated to realize several projects: (1) noise-reduction (2) greening at the ring road (3) bicycle tunnel at Bornsesteeg intersection.
Reduce the dog tax to cover other costs
Connect Wageningen believes that the dog tax must be cost-effective for the extra measures that the municipality must take to keep the streets clean of dog droppings. As far as we are concerned, the waste bins and dog outlet fields are paid from the dog tax. However, in reality a large part of the dog's tax does not end up for this, but simply disappears in the pocket of the municipality. For this reason, Connect Wageningen would be in favor of a reduction to balance income and expenses in the area of 'dog affairs'.
Invest in a city marketer who seeks opportunities for more subsidies
We want to appoint a city marketer who acts as the bridge between the external and internal environment of Wageningen. He or she will be given two tasks: 1. To profile Wageningen outside of the city and strengthen the Wageningen brand. And 2. Bring ideas and subsidies from Foodvalley, Gelderland, NL and EU to Wageningen. These subsidies can be used for the municipality, organizations and start-ups.