Álftanes is a small municipality which lies on the furthestmost point of the same peninsula that Garðabær occupies. While Álftanes is deeply in debt, Garðabær remains a financially stable community. As such, a combining of the two communities into one was proposed, with the matter put to a public referendum held last Saturday.Vísir
reports that the merger was approved, although there were stark differences in results from both communities. In Álftanes, 87.7% said yes to the merger, while 11.5% said no. In Garðabær, 53.11% approved the merger, while 46.89% were against it.
The new community will be called Garðabær, and will officially come into being after the new year. It will take part in the 2014 municipal elections under this name as well.
Garðabær mayor Gunnar Einarsson has spoken in favour of the merger, saying that while the total debt of Álftanes equals some 1.8 billion ISK, the financial status of Garðabær residents would remain unchanged, as would available services. Furthermore, he predicts that in the long run, the merger will mean some 8 billion ISK in additional revenues for Garðabær, as the tax base will be broadened.
In a referendum held this weekend, residents of Álftanes and Garðabær voted to merge their two communities into one, which will go into effect after the new year.