Construction, debts, taxes, new municipality, projects… Thierry Lefort, mayor of Douvres-la-Délivrande in the west of France, talks about the construction projects and expenses that will occur in 2016:
Q: What are the latest updates regarding the progress of construction projects in the municipality?
A: We began the construction of the pedestrian zone from Malherbe Road to Clément-Marot Middle School. This will allow the students to walk to school without coming across a single car, and also to bike, since we have created a bicycle lane between the Thomas Walk and the middle school.
We will also finish the renovation of the Saint-Rémy Church: roofing and transept. We have also changed the dojo this summer. To host the land-use rights department (le service des droits des sols), we have renovated all of the accounting department offices as well as the local Communal Social Welfare Center (CCAS) located in the annex of city hall. The painting, the floor and the heating.
Q: With the decrease in State endowments, what will be the investment capacity of the municipality?
A: For three years, we will be losing € 70,000 per year. For 2015, our global budget was € 7.2 million with € 2.3 million of operating expenses. But thanks to the efficiency of our technical services, we were able to pull out € 644,000 to allocate them to investments.
Q: Is the City in Debt?
A: Yes, the City has a debt of more than € 5 million for the construction of the police station. This represents 80% of our debt. The interest rates are mostly covered by the rent that the police department pays to the municipality. And I wrote to Bernard Cazeneuve, the Minister of the Interior, to have the repayment of the loan taken into account when granting the State endowments.
The outstanding debt per resident is € 1,240 with the police station and € 426 without the police station. While the regional outstanding debt per resident in the region is about € 800.
Q: Are you thinking of increasing the local taxes?
A: I will do everything in my power not to increase the local taxes, but we have the responsibility to find solutions for the debt’s repayment.
Q: Is this the time for you to be planning the possibility of a new municipality?
A: Yes, by uniting ourselves with two, three, four municipalities, we will be able to share our resources and freeze the State endowments. This can be done with Cresserons, Plumetot, and Luc-sur-Mer. I proposed a group meeting. But each mayor makes their own decision.
Q: What are the big up-and-coming projects for the municipality?
A: If we do not create 40 housing units per year, we will be losing residents. Today we have 5,293 residents. We will not exceed 7,500 residents. Our Hauts-Prés ecodistrict project will allow us to create 700 new housing units. We held a public meeting about this project on September 9, 2015. The construction will begin in 2016.
The construction of the Lesage Square, which will boost the town center, could begin at the end of the 2016 summer.
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Original article, originally published in French, here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.