Wiesbaden/Marburg (dpa/lhe) - The Hesse taxpayers' association has criticized the Wasserband fountain installation in Marburg as a waste of taxpayers' money. On Thursday, Joachim Papendick, chairman of the association in Hesse, described the fact that 20 million liters of drinking water had seeped through the water band as a "slap in the face to taxpayers". In the past few months, it had become public that drinking water had run out of the water belt in Marburger Straße Ketzerbach.
The city of Marburg contradicted the allegations: "The redesign of the Ketzerbach with the water band is not a waste of tax," said a spokeswoman for the city on Thursday. After "unexpectedly high water losses" in 2019, the city introduced closer controls of water consumption in addition to repairs. At the moment, final work is still to be done on the sensor system for the location of the well. The taxpayers' association had criticized that the leak had only been discovered after such a large water loss.
According to the city of Marburg, the repairs to the water belt have so far cost around 22,000 euros. Overall, the redesign of the Ketzerbach street cost 2.68 million euros, of which 1.79 million euros came from urban development funds. According to the city spokeswoman, this is an "important investment in urban infrastructure based on broad citizen participation". She also described it as "part of the city's blue infrastructure", which improves the microclimate around the water band in summer.
The Marburg water band could be included in the so-called black book of the taxpayers' association in autumn. In it, the association uses examples to criticize how, in its view, tax money was wasted.