December 3, 2021

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Discussing the municipal budget 2022 | Room for growth but needs restructuring

The mayor’s proposal for a business plan and four-year financial plan allows for greater welfare and significant investments in elderly care, schools and energy savings. But it requires restructuring and simplification. Adapting to a greener and more environmentally friendly everyday life. Simplifications to ensure that every tax-financed kroner is used in the best possible way.

opinions This is the topic of discussion. The publication expresses the author’s positions.

ambitious commitment

The municipality of Sandfjord has in many ways a unique financial position: we have low debt, population growth, “record” funds and efficient operations. This combination gives us opportunities not available in many other municipalities – opportunities to prioritize growth and development. At the same time, the ambitious budget investment means that our loan load will also increase over time, and that we will have to pay somewhat higher interest rates and premiums on our operating budget in the coming years. Therefore, we must also ensure the necessary restructuring as more energy efficient solutions, offensive digital development, and continued discreet use of the money we have at our disposal on the operating budget. In addition, we will have a green shift. The budget presented contributes to this with the launch of our first climate budget. It gives us the tool to cut climate emissions by 55 percent by 2030.

Investments worth 1.7 billion

The business plan and financial plan include both the operating and investment budget in a four-year perspective. We also show the long-term path to 2040, so we can illustrate the consequences of what we’re doing today for budgets and future generations. Here we can see that the higher the investments now, the higher the burden on the operating budget in the future. We continue to recommend increasing the amount of investment because the buildings and the real capital we have at our disposal is just as important as a part of our common assets as the financial capital we manage in the form of an energy fund. It is public administration that decides whether what we do is sustainable from a generational perspective. In this plan we plan to invest NOK 1.7 billion, with some of the biggest investments being in schools in Vesterøya, care homes in Stokke, a new building that will provide daycare for people with disabilities, changing rooms in Jotunhallen, an upgrade of Sandar Heredshus, completion of a cultural plaza New flexible, new treatment plant, expansion and modernization of Nygård nursing home and nursing homes on Aagaards plas.

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Several important measures

The operating budget also includes extensive investments. We increase the effort to maintain buildings and roads by 20 million kroner annually, there will be more staff in childcare and kindergartens, more will be devoted to measures within the mental health of children and young people, ICT networks in schools will be upgraded, opportunities for young people outside work and education, Work in health and care is increasing. To name a few a wide range of measures.

efficient operation

The municipality of Sandfjord is managed efficiently. About. NOK 200 million annually cheaper than the average for similar municipalities. The municipality’s financial management and budgetary control have always been good. It will continue to be so, and the investments we’ve made presuppose that. Everyone can certainly want a higher budget in their area, whether you are a recipient, relative, or employee. But for all to be good and fair, it is necessary that we give priority to money and use it effectively. All of this benefits in the long run.

The municipality’s first climatic budget

Transforming the Sandefjord into a more climate-friendly community is a necessary development. In this Business Plan and Financial Plan, we show what is required by the municipality’s first climate budget. Here it is documented that the measures we have adopted are leading us in the right direction, but that we also need more and more comprehensive measures to achieve the goals we have set to reduce emissions. If we are to succeed, this requires the participation of the entire local community – residents, organizations and businesses. The Financial Chamber of Maneuver in the municipality of Sandefjord gives us opportunities. But the opportunities must be managed in the long term and in a sustainable way.

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