The town of Zella-Mehlis is a centre for winter sports and tourism and is a major economic location in the district of Schmalkalden-Meiningen. Despite this, a demographic change is also noticeable here. Mayor Richard Rossel would like to counteract this by offering young people a reason to stay in his town. That starts with an attractive town. And this is where two Fendt tractors come in.
To be proactive and to remain flexible, especially for winter maintenance operations, is also important to Holger Hahn. He has been the head of the town service yard since 2005. Among other things, he is responsible for clearing snow and ice from the roads in the winter, starting at three in the morning, with the Fendt 720 Vario. “The Fendt tractors work so quietly that we can now even work at night. That is a huge advantage,” he confides smiling. His office is located directly in the service yard in one of the five commercial zones of the town. It is a flat-roofed building with garages connected to it. That is where all machines and implements are kept that are required for maintaining the streets, parks and pavements. Holger Hahn is responsible for 16 employees. They take care of a total area of 2800 ha: 166 streets totalling 72 km and 200,000 m2 of green spaces. Every morning at 6:30 am, he schedules the work. In the winter, snow clearing operations are driven in two shifts or, alternatively, trees are cut. Things look different in the summer: Then the streets need to be cleaned every day, flower beds and lawns must be laid out and maintained, building projects and repairs must be completed and support for events must be provided for. Since August 2012, much of this work is performed with a Fendt 208 V. “Now we already have two Fendt tractors and are planning on a third one. And at the beginning, I was totally convinced that I didn’t have any areas of application for the tractor,” the constructional engineer recalls smiling. Eckehard Burkhardt, employed at the municipal division of the AGCO/Fendt distributor BayWa in Erfurt, brought Fendt tractors to Holger Hahn’s attention at that time. He explains that five municipalities in the vicinity already work with Fendt tractors and are highly satisfied with them.
“But it was at the technology demonstrations that he first recognised that: Hey, that’s something for us after all!” describes Hahn laughing and does not hide that the excellent service provided by the BayWa, with a local service partner in Wülferhausen, plays a major role in his decision. To improve the appearance of the town using the most modern municipal equipment and to offer people a pleasant environment, that is also his goal. There are already other important prerequisites that have been addressed to give young people a reason to stay. They fit well to this challenge: In comparison to the neighbouring towns with more than 10,000 residents, Zella-Mehlis has the lowest per capita debt. The town receives four million euros in commercial taxes and its ideal location at the junction of the Autobahns A71 and A73 is a plus for the economy.
The town hall of Zella-Mehlis is a beautiful, almost monumental, building from the 1920’s, with high, wide windows, pillars in front of the entrance door and a bright red roof with a narrow tower in the middle. In addition to the town administration it also houses the town archive and the library. Although Richard Rossel was born in Bavaria, he is an enthusiastic citizen of Zella-Mehlis. He takes a lot of time to listen to the concerns of the citizens. The consultation hall is bright with modern fittings. “Zella-Mehlis has always had to master a balancing act between small and medium-sized metal processing businesses and sports and tourism,” says Rossel. However, this results in opportunities to create both jobs and an attractive living environment.
The next highlight that the people of Zella-Mehlis have set is for 2019: Then the town, which was founded by merging the towns of Zella St. Blasij and Mehlis, will celebrate its 100th anniversary. “Until then we will focus on the design of the old town centre. He is in constant contact with Holger Hahn for this purpose. They want to develop new, great ideas together. In the meantime, the head of the service yard is already on his way to his employees, who are cutting trees and turning the waste wood into chips. He wants to make sure everything is running well. Because there is still a lot to be done. It is good to be able to depend on the powerful Fendt technology.
Operator Sebastian Deppert: “It is very effective that you can change the implements quickly, for example, from a snow plough to snow cutter blower. The unobstructed view to all sides is also excellent.”
Head of the Service Yard of Zella-Mehlis, Holger Hahn (left), talks with Eckehard Burkhardt, Sales Consultant Municipal and Commercial Machinery at the BayWa in Erfurt.
The mayor of Zella-Mehlis, Richard Rossel, wants to make the city more attractive.