The coalition government in Berlin has announced plans to renovate dilapidated police stations and estates, but there are no funds allocated for this in the draft budget for 2024 and 2025. This is a major concern for the CDU and SPD, who reached an agreement to significantly increase funding for the repair, modernization, and expansion of police and fire stations.
The current budget includes only 10 million euros for necessary renovations in the fire department, where 384 million euros are needed. Additionally, there is nothing allocated for sick police officers. The government alliance plans to pay the costs from the planned climate fund. However, there are concerns about the legality of these plans as the fund is financed through loans that are legally uncertain.
Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) has stated that police buildings in Berlin should be renovated with a focus on energy efficiency, with almost two-thirds of the buildings in questionable condition. The Ministry of the Interior is expected to present a report with a list of renovation priorities for the next two years by the end of the first quarter.
Renovation costs for the police are estimated at 2.1 billion euros under green policies. However, under black-red policies, this amount may be reduced significantly. The climate fund would cover only a portion of these costs, and the rest would have to come from other sources such as loans or cuts in other areas of government spending.
Stephan Weh, state head of the police union, has expressed significant risks associated with special funds and called for an immediate halt to budget discussions. He suggests that a new draft budget be created that includes renovation costs before any decisions are made on financing options.
The Senate Finance Administration continues to examine how legal challenges related to climate funds will impact Berlin’s Climate Fund.
In summary, while there is a clear need to renovate dilapidated police stations and estates in Berlin, there are concerns about how these renovations will be funded given limited resources and potential legal challenges surrounding climate funds financing options.