Alexander Beglov thanked the President for instructing to transfer 10.6 billion rubles from the Reserve Fund for social needs. The difficulty in the city arose because housing construction was ahead of infrastructure development, so this money will be invested in building, by September 1, four schools, 24 preschools, 16 general doctor’s offices, including an out-patient clinic and a maternity welfare centre.
In addition, there is a need to purchase 470 units of multi-purpose snow clearing equipment by next winter. New tram cars are also needed. The city is taking out loans for this, and there is an agreement with the Finance Ministry on interest rate subsidies.
Certain environmental issues were also discussed.
According to Mr Beglov, 3.9 million foreign tourists visited St Petersburg last year. This year the city expects over 4 million. St Petersburg boasts 1,379 historical heritage sites, including 255 residential buildings with very detailed facades. The plan is to renovate them within 10 years. About 17 billion rubles are required for this.
The funds can be raised, in part, by introducing a 100 ruble tourist fee. City officials held talks with the Economic Development Ministry and the Finance Ministry on amending the Tax Code to this effect. These funds will be allocated for the restoration of these buildings.
Mr Beglov also briefed the President on his talks with Russian Railways concerning the development of the St Petersburg railway hub. A respective agreement will be signed in a few days.
The President noted that similar projects have been implemented in Moscow, so they can be replicated. This will be instrumental in developing the city’s transport infrastructure, relieving the downtown of excess traffic and improving the environment. Mr Putin stressed that this was a good project.