When considering the draft budget for 2014 and the planning period for 2015-2016, Astrakhan municipalities were granted the right to manage the assets of the Road Fund.
The Astrakhan City Duma considered the draft budget for 2014 and the planning period for 2015-2016. The main issue on the agenda was the source of funding road repairs. Under the federal law, from 1 January 2014, regions will have municipal road funds of their own. In Astrakhan, the total amount for next year will make up 707 million rubles, of which about 250 million will be allocated from the budget of the Astrakhan region. The additional 456 million will be provided from the municipal budget.
The main difference from previous years is the fact that municipalities were finally allowed to manage the assets of the Road Fund.
"We have created the municipal fund of the road fund in accordance with the federal law, so municipalities will now have an opportunity to spend significant amounts to repair yards, roads and bridges where it is required most," Acting Astrakhan Mayor Irina Egorova said. "It is only the local authorities that have the latest information on urgent needs," she added.
Chairwoman of the City Duma of "The City of Astrakhan" Municipality, Elena Simeonova, has called it a far-reaching decision. According to her, deputies intend, at first, to pay attention to the wishes of local residents, particularly to take more efforts to repair the areas adjacent to apartment buildings. In addition, the funds will be directed to build new roads.
Nevertheless, the amount of money for repairs is still insufficient. For example, the reconstruction of the Kirikilinsky Bridge, that "blocks" Savushkin, Henri Barbusse and Victory Streets, requires 450 million rubles, experts from St. Petersburg said. City officials do their best to find additional funds. In October, for instance, new standards were introduced for tolling heavy vehicles on municipal roads.
In other regions, the situation is a lot worse. In the Kursk region, municipalities have not secured ownership for a part of local roads that were thus left abandoned and deprived of a hope for reconstruction.
Astrakhan Duma deputies have already given the first reading to basic budget figures, but the work on the main financial document of the city is not complete. In two weeks, they will have to revise articles of the budget before giving it the second and final reading.