Kurfürsten- and Frankenbad on verge of closure

Board signs off on new swimming pool in Bonn-Dottendorf

So soll das neue Bad von außen aussehen.

An artist’s impression of the new swimming pool.

Bonn. The Stadtwerke Bonn supervisory board has unanimously agreed to the building plans for the project on the Wasserland site. The city of Bonn will take out a loan of Euro 60 million for the project.

The planned swimming pool in Dottendorf has cleared the next political hurdle: the GA has learned from a reliable source that the supervisory board of Stadtwerke Bonn GmbH (SWB) unanimously approved the Euro 60 million Wasserland project last week with one abstention.

The outcome of the confidential meeting allows conclusions to be drawn about the final decision of the city council, which is to vote in December. Angelika Esch and Herbert Spoelgen, two representatives of the SPD, which had previously been critical of the disputed project, sit on the supervisory board of the SWB.

With the supervisory board’s decision, the city administration now has a formal offer from its SWB subsidiary to undertake the construction and operation of the new swimming pool. The authorities must now assess it and prepare a draft resolution for the council. What will probably surprise most local politicians is that the construction loan of around Euro 60 million will be taken out by the city and the money then passed on to SWB. The reason is the favourable interest rate of one per cent given to local authorities.

So no problems arise with regard to government subsidies, the Stadtwerke will have to pay a so-called guarantee commission of around Euro 160,000 to the city. All in all, the construction should more advantageous from the city’s point of view. As the city is only making the money available as a subordinate loan, the corporation should still have enough room for future loans to finance investments in electric buses, for example.

The SWB is counting on an additional subsidy of around Euro 3 million per year to operate the Wasserland pool. This amount will be deducted from distributions made to the city, which according to the council’s decision, should rise to Euro 5 million annually in the coming years. It appears the majority of the council will go along with this deal.

The Wasserland pool will be built on Christian-Miesen-Straße in accordance with a design by 4 a architects and should open in 2020. If the council agrees, the city will in return finally give up the Kurfürstenbad and the Frankenbad. According to calculations by SWB, which has been engaged by a council majority on the Wasserland concept, a new build is more economical than a refurbishment of the old swimming pools.

Original text: Andreas Baumann. Translated by Kate Carey