(photo credit: NAAMA BARAK)
As part of a sweeping urban beautification project in the capital, the government is investing an additional NIS 405 million in the city’s development budget to improve neighborhoods, parks, culture, infrastructure and schools over the next five years.
According to the municipality, the infusion of funds will employ hundreds of sanitation employees, renovate 600 of the city’s gardens, fix dozens of dilapidated sidewalks and roads, install air conditioners in all municipal schools, and subsidize expanded preschool classrooms.
Millions more will be invested in upgrading shopping centers in neighborhoods and repairing and upgrading all the city’s sports fields, as well as constructing five Olympic- sized swimming pools, numerous community centers, bicycle trails and walking paths throughout the city.
The investment will also extend to the ultra-Orthodox sector, the municipality said: It will include improving haredi schools, expanding religious cultural activities, lowering school dropout rates, and implementing an employment training center.
“Jerusalem residents will soon feel the unprecedented investment in our neighborhoods, which will improve their quality of life,” Mayor Nir Barkat said Tuesday regarding the expansive undertaking. “Streets will be cleaner, roads will be improved, children will be able to play in the gardens, and young families will enjoy the extra activities in neighborhoods.”
Barkat added that new, air-conditioned classrooms and discounted preschools would help attract more young families to the capital and stem the tide of young professionals leaving the city.
“Together we will continue to build our future in Jerusalem,” he said.
The NIS 405m. from the government will increase the city’s budget by 34 percent, to NIS 1.6 billion.
“Mayor Barkat and the city council in the coming week will approve the municipal budget for 2014, which will allocate unprecedented investment in neighborhoods,” the municipality said in a statement.