Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Branko Ružić today signed agreements with 63 mayors and presidents of municipalities for the award of 490 million dinars in total for the implementation of 77 projects, covering infrastructure construction, e-government implementation or organising local-level culture, tourism and sports events, as well as prevention of natural disasters.

Mr. Ružić said funds available through the Fund for Local Self-Governments this year were 50 percent higher than in 2018 and noted that the approved projects would contribute to the development of municipalities and cities and improve citizens’ wellbeing.

“Applications were filed for the funding of more than 200 projects from the Fund for Local Self-Governments this year, worth more than two billion dinars, which demonstrates the importance of this Fund for local self-governments”, Mr. Ružić said, adding he regretted the fact it was not possible to support all projects.

He said projects aimed at reducing climate change risks and preventing natural disasters would receive funding for the first time this year, so part of the funds would be earmarked for preventive action, to protect the property of both local self-governments and citizens.

“The number of projects for which applications were filed and their diversity are proof that our local self-governments are capable of preparing technical documents for their projects and identifying what needs to be done to improve the lives of citizens in their communities”, Minister Ružić underscored.

Mr. Ružić said he was pleased that funding available under the Fund for Local Self-Governments was increasing year after year and recalled that 320 million dinars had been allocated last year, which was 32 times more than in 2017.

He said he expected the funding available under the Fund for Local Self-Governments to be even higher next year.

More than 356 million dinars will be allocated from the Fund for Local Self-Governments for infrastructure works on pre-school facilities, schools, cultural, sports and public administration buildings, municipal infrastructure and public spaces in 33 local self-governments.

More than 48 million dinars will be allocated for the procurement and application of modern information technologies which will enable the implementation of e-Government and faster provision of services to citizens and businesses in 14 municipalities and cities.

Cultural, sports and tourism events in 22 local self-governments will be supported with more than 48 million dinars.

Eight municipalities will receive more than 34 million dinars in total for projects contributing to preventive protection of buildings and property of local self-governments and citizens from natural disasters.

Boško Ničić, Mayor of Zaječar, said his local self-government had received money for adaptation of an office building which would in the future house all local self-government services, which were currently scattered across several sites. He said this meant citizens would no longer need to walk from one place to another and would be able to complete their business on a single site.

Ivica Momčilović, Deputy Mayor of Kragujevac, said his city had received money to reconstruct the city bridge across the river Lepenica, which is about a century old and, in his words, in a poor condition.

Željko Trbović, President of the Municipality of Pećinci, which received 10 million dinars for the refurbishment of its town square, said the money would be used towards completion of works in the wider reconstruction of the town.

Marko Lazić, President of the Municipality of Mali Iđoš, said that municipality had received money for a project to establish the Central Municipal Archives and Data Storage System, adding the system would enable citizens to electronically check at any time the current status of any pending case.