The Lokhvytska AH is a young hromada - it's only a little over one year old, but even during such a short period of time there have been significant changes introduced. According to MinRegion’s monitoring data, it holds the 9th place in the all-Ukrainian rating of AHs with the population from 10 to 15 thousand people.
Lokhvytsia rayon centre has a rich history. This is not surprising, since next year it will celebrate its 700th anniversary.
“Having occupied the mayor's post in 2015, I quickly realised that we had to amalgamate, because development is possible only in this case,” says Viktor Radko, 47-year-old head of the Lokhvytska AH. “So we began negotiations with 11 village councils of our rayon. Unfortunately, only one of them – Vasylky – gave its consent.”
“And why did others refuse to amalgamate?” I ask.
“Look at the declarations of village heads – and you will find an answer,” advises Viktor Radko. “Kheilivshchyna village council of the Chornukhy Rayon is very willing to join us, but unfortunately, they have no common border with the territory of our hromada. I think that many people realised that the decentralisation reform should be completed in administrative way. This is a requirement of people.”
According to Viktor Radko, after amalgamation of the Lokhvytsia city and Vasylky village councils, they first of all conducted their budget analysis: both expenses and revenues. On its basis, the decision was made to implement energy-saving measures. The hromada spends UAH 5-6 million per year only on energy supply. Energy-saving measures already at the initial stage allow to save 3-4 million. These funds can be used for hromada development.
Last year, a trial boiler house was built next to the premises of the city council for a total of UAH 450 thousand. Until now, it was heated by the Kyiv private structure – it did not suit the AH leadership, because the service cost a penny. In a new boiler house a compact boiler operates in an automated mode on biofuel – pellets. They were supplied from the Kyiv Oblast, and now the hromada arranges local pellets’ production.
The AH is currently building another 5 boiler houses in three schools and two kindergartens.
In the last three years, eight new roads have been built in Lokhvytsia. Nowadays they plan to finish asphalting the outskirts.
Many funds, according to the AH head, are also invested in the water supply and sewage system, as a result of which everyone felt its quality improvement.
“We simply could not leave the village with 400 residents without a health post. The only vacant premises Krynytsia village had was a four-room apartment in a two-story building. That's why we decided to re-equip it into the paramedic and obstetric station – entirely at the expense of the city council’s budget. The cost of repair has reached UAH 400 thousand,” said Viktor Radko.
The AH cares about the future, and therefore they actively develop the educational sphere. According to Mr Radko, after amalgamation the hromada got an opportunity to promptly solve the problems of educational institutions.
The AH head believes that all institutions need to be given more authority so that their leadership can take responsibility for everything happening there.
Lokhvytsia is the cycling capital of Ukraine. Therefore, it is logical that a covered bicycle parking lot was established in the secondary school No 2.
To save school in Vasylky, that now has only 30 pupils, it was made the branch of the Lokhvytska gymnasium No 1.
In order to use the school premises, designed for 192 pupils, more effectively, its part was allocated to a kindergarten, which is now attended by 20 children. The hromada plans to move starosta office here as well.
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