Pavol Bečarik , Source: Spišská Nová Ves Municipality

Spišská Nová Ves offers new ways of volunteering and tries to improve help for seniors

Spišská Nová Ves offers new ways of volunteering and tries to improve help for seniors

Interview with Ing. Pavol Bečarik, Mayor of Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia

Pavol Bečarik was born in 1959 in Spišská Nová Ves. In 1990 he graduated from the Technical University of Košice in the field of mechanical engineering.

After 1989 he founded a company and became a successful entrepreneur. From 2006 to 2014, he was a member of the municipal council in Spišská Nová Ves, and since 2009, a councillor of the Košice self-governing region.

In the years 2016 - 2018 he worked as the head of the District Office in Spišská Nová Ves. In 2018 he was elected mayor of Spišská Nová Ves.

Spišská Nová Ves is an attractive tourist destination. Photo by Spišská Nová Ves Municipality/Slavomir Krestian

Mayor Bečarik, please describe the picturesque town of Spišská Nová Ves in a few sentences.

The town of Spišská Nová Ves has 36 thousand inhabitants and is located in the centre of the Spiš region, which is characterized by a rich history and unique nature. The town is known for its centuries-old tradition of markets, a large lenticular square, the highest church tower in Slovakia and the proximity of the Slovak Paradise National Park.

Spišská Nová Ves is intersected by the Hornád River, on the banks of which lie the town districts. The town owns large city forests, we can also find here the smallest zoo in Slovakia, an exceptional mosaic in the Church of Transfiguration of the Lord, Spiš Museum, two theatre scenes.

The town organizes significant cultural events throughout the year. It is also the seat of a major compressors manufacturer Embraco and several smaller manufacturers.

Spišská Nová Ves has many twin towns. With which European cities do you work on collaborating and implementing different initiatives?

We do not forget any of our European partners. We are developing our relations with L´Aigle in France, Clausthal-Zellerfeld and Alsfeld in Germany, in Hungary we found partners in Kisújszallás, in Greece the seaside Preveza, in Ukraine Tjachiv.

However, we found most friends in Havlíčkův Brod and Polish sister cities of Grojec and Myslenice, and we are also developing cooperation with Rzesow district. We work together on projects in the field of culture, education and tourism development and especially in the field of education.

Spišská Nová Ves is an attractive tourist destination. How do you promote this strength of the municipality?

Every year we attend important tourism fairs in neighbouring countries. We promote the town with our own website, in social media, in on-board magazines of air, bus and train lines. We also organized several exhibitions of the town and Spiš destination abroad, articles about us were published in various magazines.

The municipality also boasts a rich cultural calendar. What are you planning for its cultural programme this year?

As every year, important traditional events will not be missing in 2020 - the popular Spiš fair, the Town Days with folk crafts market, the classical music festival taking place in several Spiš towns Musica Nobilis or the unique Live Statues Festival in Slovakia. In addition, dozens of other smaller events take place every month, complementing the program offer of cultural and social life in our town. In the town there are several professional and amateur theatres, we have several museums, a gallery, modern cinemas, educational centre, library and so on.

How would you evaluate the necessity of a portal that brings together the best practices of European municipalities and aims to keep the citizens informed about the latest developments in local policies, such as How can our platform be useful to your administration?

In today's world, the value of quality information is incalculable. Their exchange is an essential prerequisite for the qualitative growth of individuals and organizations.

The possibility to analyze current trends and enrich the work of the municipality, individual organizations in the town and a wide circle of citizens is a challenge that is not overlooked. Of course, we will be active contributors to any information platform that will improve the way municipalities operate in Slovakia and throughout Europe.

What are your main goals and what are you planning to develop in the near future to make Spišská Nová Ves a better place to live in?

At present we have projects in many areas of life, we are preparing for a major reconstruction of sports grounds, completion of the cycling infrastructure and reconstruction of the historical building of Reduta. We plan a new parking system and an improvement in waste management and energy efficiency development.

We have opened new ways of volunteering and we are preparing to improve help for seniors, especially by expanding the capacity of the local retirement home, food distribution, a new social service - SOS bracelets, etc.

To find out more about Spišská Nová Ves, visit the profile of the municipality.



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