The coalition government has promised to renovate dilapidated police stations and properties as part of a special investment and renovation program, but there is no funding allocated for this in the draft budget for 2024 and 2025. This goes against the coalition agreement made by the CDU and SPD, which promised significant financial resources for repair, modernization, and expansion of police and fire stations.
The Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) stated that the police buildings in Berlin need to be renovated in terms of energy efficiency, with almost two-thirds of the buildings in questionable condition. The Interior Department is expected to present a report with a list of renovation priorities over the next two years by the end of the first quarter.
The renovation costs for the police are estimated at 2.1 billion euros, taking into account the requirements for climate-neutral buildings. Under the red-green-red coalition, there would have been 130 million euros allocated for renovation but with the black and red coalition, there is concern that less will be available. The climate fund would only cover climate protection-related costs of 500 million euros, leaving another billion euros to come from other sources such as cuts to other programs or tax increases.
There are legal concerns about financing this fund through loans as it is uncertain whether it complies with debt brake rules. Additionally, some members of the police union are calling for an immediate stop to budget discussions due to significant risks associated with this special fund. There has been talk of revising plans for 2024/25 or finding alternative sources of funding for these projects.
The Senate Finance Administration continues to examine the consequences of a Karlsruhe decision on funding options available for Berlin’s Climate Fund. It remains uncertain how these funds will be acquired without violating legal constraints or impacting other important programs within the city’s budget.