Alexander Kravarov: Bansko is the winter capital of Bulgaria
Mr. Alexander Kravarov, the mayor of Bansko, gave us an interview.
What would you wish the students for the beginning of the new school year?
I wish the students to be healthy, to play, to make sports, but on the first place to think about learning. I wish the teachers health, to give good education to the students, but not to forget that they were also children.
For a second term you have led the most rapidly developed municipality in the region of Blagoevgrad. What do you think about the previous and current terms?
There is not a very big difference in the previous and current municipality of Bansko, there is a difference in the tasks and aims for implementation. In the previous term the main tasks of the municipality were providing the financial climate and investor interest in Bansko. Now the main tasks of the city council is the control of this investor interest and the implementation of the infrastructure program of the municipality of Bansko. Bansko has the fully opportunity to end this term as a national and an international tourist center. By solving the infrastructure problems Bansko can become one of the European cities of Bulgaria.
The city developed very rapidly. Is it a plus or a minus for the town and the citizens?
This is an exceptionally big plus for the citizens of Bansko. The city is developed as no any other winter and summer resort in Bulgaria. From personal observations, I saw the way of building on the Black Sea coast. The municipalities there sell lands for the construction of hotels and our Black Sea is not what is described by the media. We have not sold any municipal land, sales were entirely directed to citizens. People sold their own land and won from this. Another issue is that private business anticipates the state and municipality.
Does the construction work reduce, or a new boom is expected in the next years?
I hope there will not be a new construction boom, but now the world investment crise reflects on us. The city should gradually restrict the construction process and reduce development indicators. I think the built accommodation base is sufficient for a town like Bansko. The efforts and the investor’s interests should be directed to Dobrinishte.
Which are the new projects of the municipality?
The projects are exceptionally related to the infrastructure of the municipality. The completion of the underground communications from the entrance of Bansko to the base station of the gondola lift should be completed by February. The road should be asphalted, parking places and street lightings will be put.
The renovations of schools are the most advanced, excellent conditions are created for the smallest children and students. The building of sport halls with football stadium are in perspective. Sport equipments like football terrain, field – and- track grounds, tennis courts, volleyball grounds will be built. Bansko will be developed not only as a tourist but also as a sport center.
There is a lot to discuss for the future like the building of a summer theater, a medical center with labor department and a new hospital.
What is staked on in the infrastructure plan of the town?
Doing of what is promised in our pre-election program. Completely replacement of the water supply network and gasification of the town. The water supply network has almost been replaced in the whole town and now we are working over the gasification. The landscaping of Bansko is a priority now. The overall landscaping of the city is very important.
What is the opinion of the people about the Jazz fest and the summer Biatlon competition that took place from 13 to 17 August in Bansko?
The opinion for both is very positive. The official congratulations from specialists of World Biathlon Federation and participants in the International Jazz Festival will be published. We were highly evaluated by the representatives of Japan and the representatives from the European countries involved in the Jazz fest. Actually it shows that the events organized in Bansko were on a very high European level.
Why the centers of VIK and Electricity CHES were closed in Bansko? Why did they move to Razlog?
I don't think that it is a big problem. These firms have made the payments to be done entirely by online banking for the convenience of the clients. There is no more need to travel to Razlog. We can’t influence those companies because they are private, it’s there own politics. The municipality also has a lot of problems with VIK and Electricity CHES. Both companies are interested only in the income but not in the investment in Bansko. These problems will be discussed periodically in the future, there will be meetings with the management of those companies.
When can we call Bansko the mountain capital of Bulgaria?
Why do not we say that we are already the mountain capital of Bulgaria? Bansko is full of tourists in the last few months. Because of the mountain we have a lot of tourists not only in the winter and but also in the summer. We can call Bansko - the mountain capital of Bulgaria. There isn't any other town in Bulgaria like Bansko. We organize competitions in Alpine disciplines, in running disciplines and Biathlon. There is no such a city in Europe, we are unique.
Unfortunately, the World Biathlon Federation didn’t approve Bansko for the World Cup in Biatlon on the 13th of September. The Federation had to choose between us and a town in Germany and the World Cup was given to them.
Fortunately, the World Cup descent for woman remains, and several other European starts as well. Bansko is 100 percent the winter capital of Bulgaria.
We asphalted the roads Bansko Vihren hut - Shiligarnika valued at 4 000 leva and the road Dobrinishte - Gotse Delchev hut valued at 1 540 000 leva. Those funds are sponsored by European programs. I am very happy that my employees were able to defend these projects. This will have a big contribution to the development of tourism in Bansko and it is of a big importance for the town of Dobrinishte and its infrastructure.
What is the plan for the development of the municipal website?
Because of the big interest in Bansko we are trying to make the Internet information accessible to all. Indeed there is a problem and needs to find ways to meet the interest of the visitors from Bulgaria and the foreign tourists but we are working on that.
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