Prague increases budget spending

The City Council has found more money for infrastructure and repair projects

The Prague City Council agreed to invest Kč 19.4 billion in capital investment, the highest amount that Prague has earmarked for investments in modern times.

“Prague benefits from a favorable economic situation and high income. The level of investments shows that we will not spend these revenues on current expenses but invest them in the future for all Prague citizens,” Prague Mayor Pavel Vyhnánek (Praha Sobě), responsible for finance and budget, said on the City Hall website.

The budget was discussed by the City Council. at the end of November, when it announced that it would decide on investments in February. According to the budget approved in December by the city had Kč 18.2 billion to spend on investments, but the city managed to increase by another Kč 1.2 billion. The Council's proposal will still have to be approved by the City Assembly later this month.

“Over the past few years, spending has grown significantly. Going through the expenses and finding places where the money of the Prague people is evaporating is a challenge for several years,” Vyhnánek said.

“But we have already managed to find Kč 1.2 billion across the entire budget, so we have been able to raise the key amount of investment. For example, we plan to reduce the running costs of City Hall by Kč 90 million,” he added.

More than Kč 200 million have been reduced from the profit of the Prague Public Transit Company and another Kč 500 million has been reduced from its reserve.

“This intervention is by no means a reduction in investment in passenger comfort. This is money that was left in the past in accounts or wasted by the political players who controlled the transit company. In agreement with the new CEO, who is not affiliated with any political party, we have agreed to reduce these costs as first aid for avoiding further waste,” Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha Sobě), responsible for transport issues, said.

The largest share of investment expenditures will be spent on transport, some Kč 5 billion to 7 billion. This will go toward the construction of the Metro D line, the purchase of land for the Prague Ring Road (Pražský okruh), the repair of the Štěrboholská radial and the construction of P + R parking facilities. “These investments will finally allow for long-delayed projects. As soon as construction goes into the next phase, we will prepare another ten of billions of crowns for funding from the current budget, responsible debt, and also with partners,” Vyhnánek said, adding that for transport projects used by more than just Prague residents, the city would seek funding from the state.

The city will invest Kč 1.9 billion in its property. “There is a huge deficit in this area. As managers, we have to take care of what Prague has entrusted to us, and not to let other buildings or urban dwellings decay such as jewels like the Prague Marketplace (Pražská tržnice). This is now a shamelessly neglected, yet protected monument, from which we want to gradually re-create a place where the Praguers will be proud and will love to go for shopping and leisure,” Vyhnánek said.

The city plans to invest Kč 100 million this year to restore the Prague Market. Some Kč 199 million will go into revitalizing the waterfront, Kč 155 million will be used to restore public lighting, and Kč 46 million will go to the renovation of residential buildings.

In the area of safety, the city will invest Kč 646 million in fire brigade buildings, an air ambulance base and voluntary fire brigade units. The city will use Kč 499 million for information technology.

More than 2.5 billion the places such as the Prague Zoo, Petřínské sady and Malostranské náměstí. Prague will give more than Kč 500 million to the technical infrastructure and another Kč 500 million go directly to city districts, which will be able to decide on their own projects. New among the City Council priorities are the development of public space and greenery in housing estates.

Over Kč 1.4 billion will go to investments in education, youth and sport. The health and social sphere will support an investment budget of Kč 610 million which will go for example, toward the purchase of ambulance vehicles or the Na Bulovce Hospital. The city is also preparing a long-term plan to save the hospital.

Culture and tourism will receive Kč 558 million. Of this, some Kč 245 million is intended for the exhibition grounds at Výstaviště and Kč 131 million for the reconstruction of Šlechtova restaurace in Stromovka. Tens of millions of crowns will go to the renovation of a library in Nusle and technology in the Municipal Library. The Clam-Gallas Palace in Old Town will also be renovated for Kč 170 million.

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