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Ommen has scope for investments in the community » Vechtdal Central

Ommen has scope for investments in the community » Vechtdal Central

Omine – Although many municipalities fear the worst for their finances in the coming years, Omine is doing well. Thus the municipality can invest a lot in the local community from its financial reserve in the coming years. This occurs, among others, in educational housing, living environment, rural areas, poverty reduction and debt assistance.

The framework memorandum is the policy document in which the municipality indicates how it wants to deal with the financial field in the coming years. It forms the starting point for the 2025-2028 multi-year budget and indicates where the mayor and council members want to invest. “There is a great deal of fear among Dutch municipalities about the coming years. Many municipalities are afraid that they will end up in the red,” says financial advisor Leo Bongers. This most likely does not apply to Ommen: “I expect that we will continue to see positive results in coming years. Not through cuts or failure to invest, but through economic and careful policy. There is a lot of scope for investment, and there is also financial scope to meet the desires of the municipal council.”
Bongers points out that despite the thriving starting position, there are many uncertainties. For example, the central government will change the distribution of public goods in the coming years. Moreover, the new coalition agreement will also bring changes.

Educational housing

The most striking part of the planned investments is the €13 million that the municipality wants to release in order to realize Kindplein Oost. This amount is financed from the general reserve. “It is very possible,” believes education consultant Alice van den Neuboer. “A large reserve is useful for unexpected developments, but it is not an end in itself. Why store money when there is a need to make very important investments?
So Omen will make progress in the field of education. Or rather: square meters, because investments are made mainly in school buildings. But also in the housing of the population. Van den Neuboer: “We continue to build for diverse target groups: from single households to families and for both young people and the elderly. But we also look at the possibilities of new forms of housing. For example, a study on care living is currently underway.

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Reducing poverty

OMIN will allocate an additional €155,000 annually to poverty reduction and debt assistance in the coming years. “This is really essential,” says responsible councilor Bart Jaspers Weiger. “We mainly aim to take preventive measures that prevent people from ending up in poverty.” In addition, more investments are being made in the living environment, especially in road maintenance, where significant reductions were made in 2016/17. “As a result, major maintenance work is now needed in some places,” the councilor said of this catch-up. For 2025 and 2026, incidental resources will be used, after which a structural injection of 3 tons is expected from 2027.
Furthermore, more money is being invested in green maintenance, including biodiversity in roadside management. “With the new Flierlanden area, the amount of green spaces is also expanding, which also makes more investment necessary,” says Jaspers Weiger.

Rural areas

The rural area will also improve in the coming years. It must above all be suitable for future cultivation. Over the next three years, 100,000 euros will be allocated, in particular to the workforce and management of projects that will shape the transformation of the rural area. Other investments relate to road safety (asphalt works), strong municipal regulation, and sports (replacement of artificial turf fields). The number of BOAs will also be doubled from two to four.
Mayor Hans Vroomen confirms that “the organization of the municipality will remain the same.” “Research conducted by Radboud University showed that the current design suits UMINE well. “We receive the recommendation to qualitatively strengthen our organization.” For this purpose, B&W wants to release a structural sum that will increase to half a million euros in 2028.
This results in an increase in municipal interest rates of 2.3 percent, roughly equal to the expected inflation rate. Prices based on full cost coverage may deviate from this. The municipal council will discuss the framework memorandum next month. This also serves as the basis for the multi-year budget, which will be discussed in November.

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Text: Hans Keesmaat