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Kristine Aghalaryan

The Border Village of Araks Needs a Kindergarten

According to Ruben Karapetyan, Mayor of the village of Araks in the Armavir Marz, the biggest challenge facing the community is the issue of the kindergarten. He says that if it were operating some 50 children from the area would be attending the pre-school. Araks, next to the border with Turkey, has a population of 2,000 and annual revenues of 15 million AMD. Mayor Karapetyan says it will take 5-6 million AMD to keep the kindergarten open for 5-6 months. He said that this year’s expected annual revenues have been pegged at 23 million but that due the spring frost of the apricot crop, it would be difficult for the village to meet these new numbers. "Nature played some nasty tricks on us. In my opinion, there is nothing left of the apricot crop," he said. Mayor Karapetyan is also worried about the high costs of heating the school complex with electricity and says that a gas heating system is urgently needed. He says that the internal irrigation system is in need of refurbishing Despite the problems, he says that local residents are an industrious, hard-working lot, who refrain from complaining. The community does enjoy certain advantages due to its geographical situation. It sits at the crossroad of several villages and the main road to Turkey passes through the area.