There are already 876 amalgamated hromadas in Ukraine, of which 24 are located in cities of oblast significance. Last year, large cities got an opportunity to amalgamate on the principle of territories’ accession – without holding additional elections. The city of Voznesensk in the Mykolayiv Oblast was one of the first in Ukraine to adjoin two villages – Novohryhorivka and Rakove, as far a they started to prepare for amalgamation two years ago, and were only waiting for the right to make a final step.
Within the frames of the UCMC – DOBRE “Speakers of Hromadas” project, Vitaliy Lukov, head of the Voznesenska AH, and Lyudmyla Tsonya, starosta of the Novohryhorivka village council, told about mutual benefit of cities and villages, economic dividends received by the settlements and prospects open to the residents of such hromadas.
According to Vitaliy Lukov, head of the hromada, two years ago they passed the entire amalgamation process. And in late March 2017 the Voznesenska hromada held a public discussion, where the participants unanimously supported the Draft Resolution of the Voznesensk City Council “On the Voluntary Amalgamation of Hromadas”.
Thus, the Voznesenska AH was only waiting for the right to take the last step. And in April 2018 they got this opportunity.
What have the villagers received?
Lyudmyla Tsonya, starosta of the Novohryhorivka Village Council, said that the villages received two amalgamation proposals. However, the residents decided to become part of the Voznesenska urban amalgamated hromada, as many of them already work and study in the city.
Now the residents of the adjoined villages enjoy all the privileges and advantages of the city.
“Now we have many joint things – a joint hospital, a common market, train station, sports and music schools, and a swimming pool. By the way, after amalgamation, children of the Novogryhorivka school can get free swimming lessons in accordance with the curriculum,” says Vitaliy Lukov. “This is, again, an example of a prompt result. Perhaps this is not something pivotal or weighty, yet these are minor issues, that make up a pretty great prospect of future life together.”
Potential of the city as support to the village
Last year the Voznesensk budget was UAH 423 million, and that of the adjoined villages amounted to UAH 3.5 million. In 2019 the AH reached a joint budget of UAH 440 million. Of them, own revenues make up UAH 120 million, while the rest of the sum comes with subventions. So far, this is a small change in the amount, but the potential and financial reserves of the city give an opportunity to “cover” the budget lack of the village.
What does the city achieve?
“During the amalgamation process, we told people that the funds received by the hromada as a result of amalgamation would go to the rural areas. On the one hand, the city will not get anything from amalgamation. But if there is development in the countryside, then the city will benefit from this,” said Vitaliy Lukov.
The AH head adds that agricultural land is an invaluable resource for the hromada, as there is a possibility of creating additional jobs through the development of entrepreneurship and economy. Previously, the city had a limited territory, which did not allow to activate these development areas.
Therefore, in the nearest future, the AH plans to create workplaces in the field of livestock breeding and crop production.
Besides, recently, the Voznesenska AH has become a USAID DOBRE Programme partner. During the competitive selection, hromada members offered their projects and voted for the best ones to be implemented. The project of waste disposal on the rural territory received the highest support. Lyudmyla Tsonya says that before the garbage was not removed from the villages in a centralised manner. So now the residents get expert consultations.
The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE
Громади:Вознесенська міська об’єднана територіальна громада
Український кризовий медіа-центр
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