Last Thursday, 16 January, the Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, Deputy Minister, Mickey Levy, and Knesset Members, Dr. Aliz Lavie and Yoel Razvozov, The Director General of the Ministry of Finance, Yael Andorn, Ministry Budget Director, Amir Levy and senior staff of the Department of Finance, held their first official visit in the city of Netanya.
Mayor Miriam Feirberg-Ikar kicked off the visit by providing the Minister and his staff with a comprehensive review of the many challenges facing the city of Netanya. Among the main issues the Mayor presented before the Minister and his staff – the issue of expanding the city limits – a topic that has been led personally by the mayor for years, in addition to her activities to rectify the situation on a national level and to distribute justice. Moreover, a discussion was held regarding the need to amend and update the criteria for receiving balancing grants in particular and government grants in general – in addition to the municipality's request to add criterions that are unique to Netanya as an immigrant absorption city, despite not being defined as an " Immigrant City,” alongside required maintenance costs for the beaches, the unbalanced property tax ratio between employment and residential facilities and the need to mobilize rights in order to favor “Evacuation-Construction” projects.
During the visit with the ministers, the Mayor also touched on subjects that are paramount for the financial strengthening of the city, including: the potential of the apartments approved for construction, development of a new market area and renovation of the old polishing facilities in the city in order to provide additional employment options, ways to remove construction obstacles, which will reduce housing prices and more.
During the meeting, the municipality presented requests from the Department of Finance, including:
assistance in financing the construction of school buildings, the facilitation of the National Project for the Protection of Cliffs, changing the method of joint projects with the Ministry of Transport, assistance in establishing a sports hall, grants from the Ministry of Finance for development and for the general budget and to amend the Finance Committee’s decision regarding the Religious Council (funding 60% instead of 75%).
At the end of the professional discourse, the Minister toured the city in order to witness first-hand how Netanya has developed.
The visit took place with the participation of Knesset members Dr. Aliza Lavie and Joel Razvozov, the Deputy Mayor and Acting Mayor, Director General of the Ministry of Finance, Budget Director at the Ministry of Finance and senior professional staff of the municipality.