The Pidvolochyska AH in the Ternopil Oblast held elections in October 2015. 23 settlements decided to amalgamated in one hromada, today almost 20 thousand people live on the AH territory.
Vitalii Datsko, head of the Pidvolochyska settlement amalgamated hromada, told whether there were regrets about amalgamation and what investor hromada needs.
Vitalii Datsko has been the village head of Pidvolochysk since 2010. When decentralisation began, it was he and his team who initiated amalgamation. However, in February 2015, he was called to military service, so he went to defend the eastern border of Ukraine.
In the summer of 2016, the hromada began to prepare its development strategy, however, according to Vitalii Datsko, by that time they had little experience of work within the new conditions. Therefore, this process has been postponed. Subsequently, the Pidvolochyska AH became a partner of the USAID DOBRE Programme and began to work on the document already with the expert help. The strategy prioritised approaching of service to people, hromada economic development, improvement of road infrastructure and environment.
The hromada has opened its own Administrative Service Centre, as well as works on establishment of a mobile ASC that can travel to villages. However, every starosta district has an administrator who can advise a person directly in the settlement, and this person will not have to go far every time.
The Pidvolodhyska hromada was formed on the place of the former rayon centre. Accordingly, it inherited a lot of social facilities, most of which needed renovation. During the first few years of work the hromada managed to renovate school premises, purchase the necessary equipment.
The hromada head says that due to decentralisation, they have received budgetary autonomy and the right to work directly with investors and entrepreneurs.
According to Vitalii Datsko, they work with investors and already have some successes.
“The main thing now is the economic place of hromadas. Because if there are funds, taxes – you can make both light, roads, and water pipes. It is very important to attract investments. Our hromada is currently building livestock complexes, greenhouses, cooperatives, new stores, cafes and hotels. Yes, they are not enough yet. But the economic power comes gradually to the hromada. This is done by our people – and they and their children remain to live here.”
Vitalii Datsko also believes that medium-sized business is the most valuable for their AH.
“Everyone wants to have foreign investors, but we probably need Ukrainian ones. They may be less powerful, but they are ours and can work more efficiently, they understand our legislation. In my opinion, the economic power of the hromada is built on small and medium-sized enterprises. This is the basis in Europe, and so is in our country. Small enterprises (up to 50 employees) who will constantly make products and will be more mobile, more adapted to economic needs, will be able to change. Of course, we do not refuse from foreign ones. We welcome everyone if only jobs are created.”
Reform is on time, - says the head of the Pidvolochyska hromada. After all, the transfer of responsibilities and powers to the ground helps to build a strong state.
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