The turn of the year in Hardinxveld-Giessendam was relatively quiet. The municipality calls the damage from fireworks – although less than last year – too significant: more than 17,000 euros.
According to mayor Dirk Heijkoop, there were no disturbances. “In addition, there was a big party in the sports hall De Wielewaal, where many residents enjoyed music.” There is also less damage from fireworks than last year. Then the amount of damage was more than 23,000 euros.
Despite the fact that the amount is now lower – 17,260 euros – it is still money that the municipality prefers to spend on other things. “It’s such a shame that we have to pay for fireworks damage every year,” said Councilor Arjan Meerkerk of Finance and Public Space.
Especially traffic signs (29 in total) suffered. Meerkerk: ,,During a walk along the Rivierdijk, I couldn’t believe my eyes; so many plates lay in the grass. Incomprehensible!”
The playground at Tielensweer has been damaged. “Children can now play less comfortably because of broken artificial grass, damage to the fence and a sweaty swing. It all needs to be repaired again.”
I hope those who have broken something realize the unnecessary costs they have caused
The mayor doesn’t see the fun in that. “I hope that those who have destroyed something realize the unnecessary costs they have caused. Because they have destroyed something, we cannot use the necessary money to replace or repair these things for other things. For example, it costs us 2,000 euros to blow up a well. We would much rather have used that money for, for example, the implementation of the Green Policy Plan, where we give the municipality more color and color.”
The damage can still increase. There may be additional costs for street wells that have been blown up. “The one street gap is known to be destroyed, but the field service cannot always see it immediately. Only when problems arise does the damage come to light. It is therefore possible that the damage during the year will turn out to be even greater.”
The municipality has filed a report. Where possible, the damage will be recovered. The chance that the perpetrators will be found is small, but by filing a report, the municipality primarily wants to send a signal. “You stay away from other people’s things. If you break it, you have to pay for it.”
The councilor concludes with an appeal: “Let the perpetrators report to the police. I would also like to appeal to the parents in this regard. We all stand to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Firework damage is also less than last year in other municipalities in the region. In Dordrecht, for example, damage was caused for an amount of just under 20,000 euros. Last year it was more than half a ton. In Gorinchem, the costs were around 18,000 euros – three thousand euros less than the previous year.
The news agency ANP reported last week that at the turn of the year significantly less damage was caused to waste bins, lampposts, benches and other property in municipalities than the year before. And that while people in most places were allowed to set off fireworks themselves again, for the first time in years.
This is the first picture that emerges from a tour of the ANP along around 160 of the 342 municipalities. At the time, around ninety municipalities had assessed the damage. Altogether, almost 1 million euros in damage was caused there during the last turn of the year. In the same municipalities, the bill last year was just under 1.5 million euros.
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