Adrian Tibban: “It’s time to take a look at Couger in all its dimensions. With more economic trends, we will have sustainable growth.”
In the city of Kogir, at the moment, a record number of investment works are being carried out, both in terms of infrastructure, and general lighting, but also in the department of gynecology and obstetrics within the hospital. In an interview with Ziarul Unirea, Mayor Adrian Tiban gave details of both these works and future plans for the city of Kouger.
Mayor Adrian Tebban, we have already known for about 3 months that Couger’s budget for 2022 is 50 percent higher than the previous year and 65 percent is for investments. We would like to talk about these investments and the vision for the future development of the local administration.
– We already have an ambitious budget due to the entry of European funds into the local treasury to finance ongoing projects. Basically, of the general budget of 1,58,782,000 lei, half of it is from European funds. It is a situation that we saw in 2015-2016, when European projects were implemented from the 2007-2013 financial year and is repeated in 2022-2023, when we implemented the projects reached for the period 2014-2020.
The real challenge and priority at the same time is to ensure co-financing of European projects and disqualified expenditures. We have 15 projects underway, which target both street infrastructure and school and medical infrastructure. The most complex project in progress is the one aimed at improving mobility conditions, on the basis of which all streets are modernized with public passenger transport. Currently, work is underway on Victoriei, 1 Decembrie 1918, Rozelor, I. Creangă, N. Bălcescu, R. Mic, IB Deleanu, M. Viteazu, Tineretului, Cugir and Principală streets on Fridays. Business will start at Al. Sahya, Stadioului and Griffici.
Pedestrian sidewalks, cycle paths and modern bus stops will be arranged on each street. At the same time, we signed a contract for 12,197,500 lei with Mercedes-Benz Trucks & Buses Romania, the representative in our country of the famous German company Daimler, which will supply Cugir with 6 hybrid buses, electronic ticket system and parking equipment.
In addition to the streets included in the Mobility Project, we will modernize another 23 streets, mostly in Cindy and 9 others in the Rawal Mick District, through two projects aimed at improving living conditions in the areas around the “Singidava” and “I. Pain” schools. In this period we worked on technical projects, but most likely, in the coming period we will already start work.
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the first public building with a heat pump-based heating system, will be completed by the end of May, which will have a significant impact on reducing energy costs. In terms of energy efficiency too, work is under way or will start in about two months in most of the schools and kindergartens in the city, which will be modernized and equipped with solar panels.
We can’t help but remember another important investment we are preparing to start and is aimed at modernizing the public lighting of 36 streets in Cougere and Veneria. We will have an innovative system of remote control and monitoring of the general lighting system, based on wireless technology.
– I do not think that we are mistaken if we say that this is the first time in the history of Cugir when so many investments are made simultaneously. Will the local administration be able to manage things in a way that avoids potential obstacles – do we mean financial activity, road traffic and school activity?
– Things are complicated, even complicated, and we hope to complete them in the specified dates. Let me give you just one example: the mobility project involves burying electricity grids, a process that depends very much on SC Electrica, as well as moving gas grids, which will rely on SC Eon Gaz. From the experience I’ve had so far, these things last, in large part due to the actions of these institutions. Moreover, the projects we have are in different stages, so good coordination is needed so that we can implement them together in good conditions.
I can tell you with certainty that there will be two complex years, we will have a broken city, with heavy traffic, with school activity that will move from one institution to another. That is why we implore people to be patient, because all the inhabitants of the city will be affected.
Financially, we have done our best to ensure that these projects are co-financed and we hope that we will not have any hurdles.
– In addition to these investments that you have in progress, are there other investments that you would suggest in the coming period?
We are already preparing projects for future funding programmes, first of all for groups of non-family individuals that we want to rehabilitate through PNRR. We are already preparing documents for this. We also plan to modernize the outbuildings of the National David Brodan College, to access funds for energy efficiency of other public buildings, to create a platform for collecting other types of waste. These are just a few of our future goals, but we are monitoring the funding guidelines and when they are finalized, we will analyze more feasibility studies and initiate further feasibility studies.
– How is your initiative to encourage young people to settle in Kougir?
– Here we have two issues that we need to consider: in order for young people to come to Kujir or stay in the area, jobs and housing are needed. We’re working on both issues, and you know, we have those Friday plots that we’ll give away for free or with a concession to young people who want to build a house.
For those who do not qualify for these lands, we have the option of renting an apartment in the ANL block that we will use. For the future, we will come up with other initiatives, such as the construction of service housing for young people with higher education who want to come to Cugir, mainly in the field of health and education, and who, according to the law, can receive service housing.
We are considering that some of the apartment blocks we have received from UMC will be rehabilitated and converted into service homes.
On the issue of jobs, there is a possibility to expand the existing industrial area, because we have this industrial platform left by the UMC, with unused spaces where other companies can be brought in and developed, but we are bound by hands and feet by the Ministry of Economy.
For example, SC Tehnoplast has wanted to develop for years, but has not yet received approval from the ministry to expand its business. To avoid such problems, we are thinking of developing a new industrial platform, a platform from scratch, perhaps between Friday and Saturday, where we can attract investors.
– Mr. Mayor, after two years of the epidemic, if the development is positive, will the residents of Kogirina hold festivals, performances and other cultural activities? Has money been raised in the local budget for such events?
– We can’t hope for big festivals and shows because we have budget constraints. We need to focus on the investments that have been made, especially since these increases in the price of building materials and energy have also appeared, unexpected increases that put pressure on the local budget. So we will not have big events, but with the cultural center and the sports club we will organize all the activities for the children, and we will work in a system of circles and small events.
– We know that you also have projects that we could call avant-garde, such as arranging electric car filling stations. How do you see a couger after 5-10 years?
– First of all, we need to develop the economic life of the city, both in the industrial zone, which is a tradition we have said before, and in the field of tourism. We have the development perspective of the Koriano Mountains region which has great potential for development, I personally felt it whenever I was there, because I saw people coming from all over the country. The whole thing is to find a way to modernize this road, whether it is transferred to the local council, whether it is done by the National Forest Service or it is transferred to the Ministry of Transport, it is important to have a modern access road to the Şurianu region.
This will open up a new perspective on tourism for the Cougars. Basically our strategic goal is to make the city more attractive, to open Kojerol to the mountainous region, as well as to connect it with other cities. We have mobility projects that will help us and we have an idea of moving between the neighboring areas: Solitia, Sibut, Romos, Blandiana, Piano, areas where many people are moving either to the factory or to other institutions in the city, such as because it will be a hospital and a school.
There is also the other part, the agricultural area, where the Cugir has the potential for development due to the natural resources, and I am referring primarily to the grasslands and forests. Through the Association of Animal Breeders, we have tried to support animal breeders and those who wish to develop their business in this field. Things can develop so that this branch becomes important in the local economy.
It’s time to look at the city of Couger in all its dimensions, to abandon this vision of a mono-industrial city, because as you can see, there are ups and downs in this area. With more economic trends, we will have sustainable growth.