Implementation of every element of Modern Cities Programme to start by the end of April
The implementation of every one of those elements of the Modern Cities Programme will start by the end of April on which the government and the municipalities concerned have reached an agreement, the minister without portfolio for the development of county-ranked cities said on Monday in Kaposvár.
Lajos Kósa pointed out at the press conference held after consultations related to the programme that municipalities informed the government in connection with 47 programme elements that they would like to reconsider their contemplated developments as they would like to finance other important projects from this allocation or would agree to implement other projects from their own budgets.
The minister added he is open to renegotiating the contracts between the government and cities. These questions will have to be reviewed, and in this work he also wishes to rely on the help of Members of Parliament.
Mr Kósa recalled that the Modern Cities Programme extending to 2022 which contained 250 elements at the time of its launch and has an allocation of HUF 3,500 billion is the largest rural development programme in the history of Hungary.
The programme does not exhaust the country’s development possibilities, and as 60 to 65 per cent of the available funds originates from local resources, it stands as proof that opposition claims alleging that Hungary would not be able to make any progress without EU developments are not true, he stressed.
The minister told the press that, of the total allocation of HUF 3,500 billion, some HUF 750 billion had already been provided for cities. He said that HUF 70 billion had been made available for the purposes of the development programme of the City of Kaposvár which they named after a former mayor, István Németh. The Somogy County seat also forms part of the Modern Cities Programme.
Mr Kósa observed that the budget of the Németh István Programme had in the interim been raised from HUF 171 billion to HUF 185 billion. This adjustment is not due to price rises, but “has been caused by a great many things that were not foreseeable at the time of planning”.
Among the most significant projects concerning the City of Kaposvár, the minister mentioned
the extension of express road 67 which connects the city to the M7 motorway, the development of a transport hub, the refurbishment of the Csiky Gergely Theatre, the rehabilitation of the southern block of the hospital and the addition of new functions, the renovation of the former archive building and the modernisation of the camp site situated next to Lake Deseda.
In his words, the status of the Kaposvár projects demonstrates that the city was among the first to enter into an agreement with the government, and Károly Szita is an experienced mayor who has held this post for 23 years.
Károly Szita said that the Németh István Programme to be completed by 2022 is the largest development programme in the history of the city, and covers every aspect of life. Its goal is to enable those living in and around the City of Kaposvár to lead a better life.
Attila Gelencsér, Member of Parliament for the constituency of Kaposvár and environs said that the Németh István Programme which was adjusted to local needs includes projects which governments before 2010 had for years promised but never actually implemented.
He expressed hope that the programme will yield perceivable results for people living in and around the City of Kaposvár, and its positive effects will also manifest themselves in an increased capacity to attract capital to the region, as well as in employment and earnings.
Opposition statements appear to indicate that they would terminate the Modern Cities Programme which would be a great loss for the region, the politician remarked.
The Kaposvár Arena was inaugurated after the press conference to mark the completion of the structure. The multifunctional facility located in Arany János utca which will also be capable of hosting international sports events will cost HUF 6 billion (gross) and will provide a sophisticated environment for the training sessions and matches of basketball, volleyball and handball players. The facility will accommodate 3,040 spectators, but on the occasion of cultural events more than four thousand people will be able to attend.