The end of the year in Hardinxveld-Giessendam passed relatively quietly. The municipality describes the damage from the fireworks – although less than last year – as significant: more than 17,000 euros.
According to Mayor Dirk Hiccup, there were no disturbances. “In addition, there was a big party in the De Wielewaal sports hall, where many residents enjoyed the music.” The damage caused by fireworks is also less than last year. Then the amount of damage was more than 23,000 euros.
Despite the fact that the amount is now less – 17,260 euros – it is still money that the municipality prefers to spend on other things. “It’s a shame that we have to pay for fireworks damage every year,” said Alderman Arjan Meerkerk of Finance and Public Space.
Traffic lights in particular (29 in total) suffered. MERCKERK: During a stroll along the Riverdijk I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were a lot of dishes on the lawn. Not understood!
The Tielensweer Stadium has taken a beating. “Children can now play less fun because of the broken artificial grass, the damage to the fence and the burnt swing. It will have to be repaired again.”
I hope those who broke something realize the unnecessary costs they caused
The mayor doesn’t understand the fun in that. “I hope those who break something will realize the unnecessary costs they have caused. Because they have destroyed something, we cannot use the money needed to replace or repair these things for other things. For example, blowing up a well costs us 2,000 euros. We would have preferred to have used that money, For example, to implement the green policy plan, where we give the municipality more color and color.
Damage is still piling up. There may be additional costs for blasted street canyons. “A gully is known to have been destroyed, but the field service can’t always see that right away. Damage only becomes apparent when problems arise. So it is possible that the damage could be greater during the year.”
The municipality has filed a report. Where possible, damage will be repaired. The chance of finding the perpetrators is slim, but by filing a report, the municipality essentially wants to send a signal. “You take away other people’s things. If you break them, you have to pay for them.”
The alderman concludes with a call: “Let the perpetrators report it to the police. I would also like to appeal to parents in this regard. We all stand up to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Damage from fireworks is also lower than last year in other municipalities in the region. In Dordrecht, for example, damage amounted to just under €20,000. Last year it was more than a ton. In Gorinchem, the cost was around €18,000 – €3,000 less than the previous year.
The ANP news agency reported last week that much less damage was caused to rubbish bins, lampposts, benches and other municipal property at the start of the year compared to the year before. And that’s while people in most places were allowed to set off fireworks themselves again, for the first time in years.
This is the first image to emerge from the Afghan National Police’s tour along some 160 of the country’s 342 municipalities. About ninety municipalities did damage assessments at that time. Combined, nearly €1m of damage occurred there over the end of last year. The bill in the same municipalities was about 1.5 million euros last year.
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