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Our formula for success is new projects and including the citizens of Slavonski Brod in the creation of the city budget

Read our interview with Mirko Duspara, Mayor of Slavonski brod in Croatia
  • 2019. május 21., kedd, 09:30
  • Author Monika Dimitrova
Medium mirkoduspara
Forrás: Slavonski brod Municipality

Mirko Duspara was born on 21 October 1961. By profession he is a Doctor of Medicine. In 1987, Duspara starts working at Medical center of Slavonski Brod, in 1996 becomes a reanimation and intensive care specialist. Since 2005, Mirko Duspara is mayor of Slavonski Brod. He is married, father of five children.

Mr Duspara, you have been mayor of Slavonski Brod since 2005, how has the city changed since then?  

Even though there is still a lot of work, and new projects to work on, we can proudly say that today Slavonski Brod offers excellent living conditions for young families.  Over the years we have become a city that is opened to new investments, as well as one of the most transparent cities in Croatia. Today, Slavonski Brod is the city with new and renewed schools, and kindergartens, the town which can be an example of how to protect our environment regardless of the enormous pollution problems we have been dealing for eleven years now. Slavonski Brod is also the city which supports sport and culture, and continuously invests funds in creating the best possible living conditions to its habitats.

All the projects, which we have realized over the years, prove that. Modern public pools, new school gyms, a new building for our kayak-dugout clubs, more than 3000 square feet of newly built kindergartens, almost 90 kilometers of new energy sufficient public lighting or renewed and constructed roads and footpaths are only some of the new investments. Our main goal is to provide better living conditions to all of our fellow citizens, no matter their age, and we can say we are on the right way of achieving that. And honestly, there is no greater prize than a smile on a child`s face when it sees a new or rebuilt room in a kindergarten, a satisfaction of a young family which we have helped to build their family home, or gratefulness on the face of the elder citizen to whom we have provided help in the everyday life.

The city has significantly transformed over the last years, and we will continue inducing the development through the new projects in the years to come, as well. In that regard, we have to emphasize that Slavonski Brod is one of the seven Croatian cities included in the European ITU mechanism which ensured us more than 30 billion euros to invest in new development projects. The build-out of the unique Museum of the tambura, reconstruction of the ancestral house of the famous Croatia writer Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, restoration of the heat-pipe system in part of the city or an innovation incubator for entrepreneurs are on that list.  

Each year we carefully plan new projects and include the citizens of Slavonski Brod in the creation of the city budget. That is our formula for the success.

Although you have faced challenges over the years in the field of waste collection and environmental protection, today the municipality is one of the best examples in this area in Croatia. How did you achieve this?

The leading cause of the polluted air in Slavonski Brod is petroleum refinery situated in our neighboring state, just across the river Sava. Even though we have no jurisdiction to affect the solution of this interstate ecological problems, we decided to do all we can to decrease the pollution from the sources in the city itself.

That is why we have been working for years now on new ecological and waste disposal project following the European standards.

As a result, today, Slavonski Brod has a remediated landfill, two new public recycling yards and a third in the process of realization, new municipal waste equipment and more than 115 “green islands” meant for recycling. Also, we have provided a primary waste selection in every household in the city.

Talking about the new projects on this field, along with the construction of the third recycling yard we are also planning a new sorting facility and a composting plant.  Also, during this year the households in Slavonski Brod will be additionally equipped with new 27.897 containers for household waste collection. We plan on financing these new projects partially through the city budget and partly through the national or EU funds.

Slavonski Brod supports young families and helps them solve housing problems. How do you finance these very important social projects?

We are financing all of these projects through the city budget, and we can proudly say we are one of the first cities in Croatia which has offered this kind of help to young families. Today, young families in Slavonski Brod have the opportunity of building a family home on the municipal parcels, and at this point we have 26 contracts of that kind signed in total. That way, we can help young people starting a family by relieving them from the land purchase cost.

Besides that, young families in Slavonski Brod have the opportunity of renting a municipal apartment with the right of repurchase afterward. First twelve apartments of this kind already have their tenants, and there are 12 new apartments in the construction, as well. We are pleased to say that Slavonski Brod is the first city in Croatia which has offered this kind of help to young people, and it has helped us to attract even young families from other parts of Croatia.

Also, we are one of the first cities in Croatia which has initiated a new pro-natal measure of giving valuable equipment for the firstborn baby in the family. Till today, almost 250 families from Slavonski Brod have received this kind of help. The main goal of this measure is to provide similar conditions to every newborn in our town, no matter the financial abilities of its family.

Croatia has been a member of the EU for only a few years, but your municipality has already managed to implement several very successful EU funded projects. How have they improved the quality of life of residents?

The EU funds have helped us to improve the quality of life in Slavonski Brod in almost every way. As said earlier, Slavonski Brod is one of the seven Croatian cities included in the European ITU mechanism which ensured us more than 30 billion euros to invest in new development projects. The build-out of the unique Museum of the tambura, reconstruction of the ancestral house of the famous Croatia writer Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, restoration of the heat-pipe system in part of the city or an innovation incubator for entrepreneurs are on that list.  

Besides that, we successfully managed to use national and EU funds to carry out sufficient energy renovation of the city`s street light network. Till today, there are more than 90 kilometers of new energy sufficient light fixtures in the streets of Slavonski Brod.

We managed to provide a better educational condition for our third graders through the energy sufficient restoration projects in elementary schools. All the kindergartens in Slavonski Brod are renovated in that way, as well.  We have also used these funds to provide regular free meals for more almost 1.500 children in elementary schools and to employ assistants for all the pupils with special needs.

TheMayor.eu is a unified platform for the European municipalities, where the citizens can get the latest information about what is taking place in the European Union. How can the portal be useful to you and to the citizens of Slavonski Brod?

We believe that only opened communication with the citizens, organization or any other public or national society can bring development and prosperity. In that way, this portal can help us in getting informed about all the examples of good practices throughout the EU and learning on how to implement them in the city of Slavonski Brod.

Which are the main goals and good examples you plan to act upon in the near future?

Our main goal is to maintain developing the city of Slavonski Brod trough the new projects, with a particular emphasis on young people and families. Thanks to the new projects developed and started trough EU funds, today we have the opportunity of making Slavonski Brod a truly unique city, thanks to its cultural, social and economic offer. One of the examples is the city fortress whose revitalization will create a unique historical and cultural facility in this part of Europe, and bring development to Slavonski Brod, as well.

Find out more about Slavonski Brod here