Dealing with the problem in the Eppsteiner Straße

“An accusation has been made, unlike anything the town’s administration has ever been accused of before” was how Dr. Eggert Wintert (SPD) commented on the claims by the BUND (the German branch of “Friends of the Earth”) that the removal of toxic waste from a piece of ground in the Eppsteiner Straße had caused health problems for one family who had run a shop there.

He quoted from the dossier, commenting on the fact that setting free toxic gases can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

But he also made clear that to make such claims, BUND must be able to prove them and take responsibility for the consequences of making them, concluding that the way the dossier had been distributed by e-mail and social media that it had been designed to cause a scandal. [Read more…]

The tale of the Ausziehgleis and the Pförtnerampel

One of the most hotly discussed topics in Oberursel this month must surely be the re-development of an area called the “Bahnhofsareal”.  Roughly speaking, that is the area between the flyover at the “Drei Hasen” where the Homburger Landstraße meets the Nassauer Straße, and the other end of the Nassauer Straße where it almost – but not quite – joins up with the Weingärtenumgehung.  Not quite, unless you include the temporary road that was put in place for the Hessentag to give residents access to the area.

In the middle of this area is the newly restored station, hence the term “Bahnhofsareal” – the area around the station.

The future of that area is not just being discussed now, it has been a topic of discussion and in the town council for the past 25 years, as Councillor Dr. Eggert Winter of the SPD reminded councillors last week before launching into a blow-by-blow account of the various plans that had been on the cards in that time, including plans for a tunnel under the area and closing the level crossing at the end of the Adenauerallee, and a new station combining both S-Bahn and U-Bahn tracks.

“It is good in part when things take longer, because sometimes you notice that the things that you have decided upon are not good”, he said. [Read more…]

Once upon a time, there was a sports field…

… and that field was one of the most discussed topics in Oberursel.

In fact, it was one of the decisive issues the last time the town council was elected, when the CDU and FDP were in favour of selling it to fund the new swimming pool, SPD, the Green party and OBG were against doing so.

How fast the parties can change their position became apparent last year, when the SPD and Green party sided with the CDU in a vote on the funding of the swimming pool project with a clause stating that the sports field would be sold if an alternative could not be found by the middle of 2013. [Read more…]

Last bid attempt to save the station kiosk fails

Following an appeal by local bus drivers and engaged members of the public, including discussions on Facebook, a member of the town council representing the party “Die Linke” put forward an urgent motion to extend the lease on the kiosk at the station at the council meeting last Thursday (22nd November, 2012).

The motion received the two-thirds majority that it required to be accepted onto the agenda, with all councillors voting in favour of its addition with the exception of one councillor from the CDU party who voted against it.

But with the town’s budget to be debated first, it was not until three hours later that the councillors actually got round to discussing the motion itself. [Read more…]

Who says that we can’t afford a swimming pool?

The Bürgerversammlung about the new swimming pool last week appears to have a lasting effect on many in Oberursel, because in the space of just a few days the political landscape in the town has changed dramatically.

Let me try and explain the past few years in simple terms first:

1. The indoor pool in the town was closed because the roof was deemed unstable.

2. The coalition of CDU and FDP wanted to sell of a sports field (Altkönigsportplatz) and the swimming pool car park to finance a new building, and an architect came up with a design to include a sauna and modernise the outside pool at the same time.

3. At the town parliament elections last year, the SPD, Green party and OBG were all behind the swimming pool, but did not want to sell of the sports field, and although the CDU remained the largest party in the parliament, the SPD/Green/OBG coalition gained a majority.

4. SPD/Green/OBG drew up a coalition agreement that they would build a new swimming pool, but would borrow at most only 20% of the capital needed to do so and would not sell of the sports field.

5. It was then decided just to build a new indoor pool and leave space for a sauna, moving work on the outdoor pool to a later date.

6. Planning permission was given, changes to Bebauungspläne were approved, and companies started giving quotes on the cost of actually building it.

7. A few weeks ago they even held a press conference to announce that building work would be starting soon.

You could say that everything was going swimmingly, until the town’s treasurer explained why the town could not afford to build it. [Read more…]

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