Headwind from the village

headwind from the village


Oberlindelbach – will there be a significant harvest at all, and will the pandemic continue to spread, so that corona-compliant accommodations for seasonal workers are needed?? When both questions were answered yes, thomas hartel had to act quickly. To ensure that his 70 harvest workers from romania are safely housed, he bought 40 containers, including 24 living containers, several cake containers and sanitary containers that were formerly used as refugee shelters.

Each sleeping container is for two people. "There are also parties that want to be for themselves," says hartel. In addition, not all the helpers know each other and a little privatsphare must be. Since it had to go fast, he began to gravel the flat of the container parking lot without permission. This has been criticized. The district office stopped construction.

"I got a penalty notice for 500 euros," says hartel, who then submitted a handwritten building application for year-round use to the administration so that it would be on the agenda of the building committee meeting shortly before the harvest began.

The development is secured, the municipality's building department assures us. "The district office was then asked to decide whether it should go through the house drainage system or be connected separately," recalls marc mosel (igensdorfer umland) of the building committee meeting. With two votes against, the motion was approved.

Nevertheless hartel could not put up the containers. The district office wants a proper building application . Almost at the same time, local councillor hartmut kreisl collected signatures in the village to prevent the container settlement from being built on hartel's property – he is the only remaining farmer in the small village.

Alarm and traffic feared

Hartel farms 45 hectares of fruit, mainly for growing cherries. The flats are widely distributed. Its 70 or so seasonal workers travel to harvest cherries mainly in the summer months. But 24 containers at the end of the village and 70 harvest workers in the village of 120 souls are too much for kreisl and many a burgher. "When we have the containers in front of the house, you don't know what's coming," says the -councillor and neighbor of the farmer concerned. According to kreisl, there is concern about the noise caused by seasonal workers due to the lack of recreational facilities in the village, that traffic will increase and that the water supply and sewage disposal are at risk. "The waste water will double. The municipality has just carried out a survey and has recorded each sink. We fear that a substantial auand will come on the taxpayers", says meinrad holderied, supporter of the signature list.

The inventory, however, had nothing whatsoever to do with hartel's containers and was carried out in the entire market community, the administration informs. "This was done as part of the new global calculation for the water and wastewater supply," emphasizes michael pfundt, managing official of the market. Rumors in the village that hartel wants to discharge the wastewater into the ditch, even holderied wipes off the table. "This is nonsense. Of course, it is not discharged into the ditch," says holderied. He explains the false rumors with the handwritten sketch in the building application, in which simply a line went from the container plants to the street. Village life has also changed, he says. People want their peace and quiet.

"There used to be a lot of farmers in oberlindelbach," says kreisl. Of the many farmers, the hartel family's farm is the only one remaining. A business that has been run for generations and that thomas hartel, a high school teacher of geography, economics and sports, has not only taken over but also enlarged. "People want to buy fruit in the store. This must come from somewhere. We grow crops here, then the harvest work has to be done, too," says hartel. He sorts and packs his own fruit, has rented space in dietzhof and uses the sorting facility of the former fruit farm rumpler, now meixner. Trucks do not enter the village. Everything that has been larm is far away. He has bought a house close to work for the harvest workers involved in sorting and packing. Hartel has already spoken to burgers. They did not feel burdened. "The harvesters go to the field early and are tired in the evening," says hartel. But the container apartments don't fit into the landscape, critics say.

"The municipality sees the need and did not want to stand in the way of the burger," rebecca seidel from the building department explains the decision of the majority resolution in the building committee. Only when a complete and orderly plan has been submitted can the district administration make further comments.

Containers are now in the ahr valley

At the moment, hartel has no plans. Due to the construction stop, he could not take delivery of the containers and had to pay a contractual penalty of 2,000 euros. "The containers are now in the ahr valley and serve as accommodation for homeless former homeowners," says hartel.

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