Mykola Dikhtenko, head of the Andriyivska AH is 67. He is one of the oldest among the heads of all 11 amalgamated hromadas of the Donetsk Oblast.
However, he can outmatch even the young leaders – not only does he have to settle daily chores but also think ahead about how to develop his hromada, join study trips and learn from others’ experience.
“When we amalgamated, we became masters of our life, we began to decide where to direct our finances,” says Mr Dikhtenko.
Financial decentralisation is what you can see in figures. The budget has tripled, they received their own development fund. Every effort is made to ensure that business operating in the AH pays taxes at the place of residence, not according to its legal registration.
The hromada carried out some explanatory work and explained the importance of paying taxes to the budget of the Andriyivska AH.
Explanatory work in the rural hromada has had its results, with five new private entrepreneurs emerging this year. In total, there are about 30 of them, but the AH is focused on activising entrepreneurship.
In 2019, budget performance was 106%, little by little, but the budget is growing steadily.
A decent life for the peasants
Money began to be directed to development. Even if there were changes prior to the reform in Andriyivka, yet they decided to reach Serhiyivka out to the central settlement. Now it has bus stops repaired, and a wedding alcove being built at the Serhiyivka Youth Leisure Centre at the expense of the AH budget. Due to project pitching from the British Council, they have made the Creative Bench Alley here. Budget money was spent on street lighting, roads repair.
Land tax is the main tax coming to the local budget in the Andriyivska AH. A quarry, KZTS-machining and Kramatorsk Rabbit – these enterprises lease land, farmers and entrepreneurs are also engaged in cultivation. The village council is actively working on employment legalisation.
This year, the Andriyivska AH approved its development strategy for the period until 2025. The document was compiled with the support of the Donetsk Local Government Development Centre of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme.
Development ideas include launch of a distance training of tractor and car drivers in schools of the Andriyivska hromada. Vocational training will be a branch of the Oleksandrivka Agricultural College. They are ready to pay for it from the AH budget, and education will be free for teenagers.
How to increase the number of residents in the hromada
According to the latest estimates, the number of residents in the Andriyivska hromada is less than 2.4 thousand people. An important task facing the AH is to increase the rural population.
There are jobs in the hromada, though no one to do it: here they welcome mechanics, tutors, and teachers.
There are many jobs in the quarry, there are vacancies and people employed are not local, they are brought from the city. Public utilities need plumbers, electricians. A kindergarten teacher was hired from Slavyansk, a woman is ready to move to the Andriyivska AH.
At the expense of the local budget, they purchased and renovated the housing, and will provide it in order to motivate people to move and live in the village.
In 2019, six more children appeared in the AH. Working parents moved with their kids to the hromada. Residents of Kramatorsk and Mykolayivka also chose the Andriyivska hromada as a place for their new life.
The Andriyivska rural AH was the first among the hromada of the Donetsk Oblast to conclude an agreement on inter-municipal cooperation with Kramatorsk. The Donetsk LGDC provided expert assistance. They started with healthcare: villagers receive second-level medical services in Kramatorsk.
Another area for inter-municipal cooperation with Kramatorsk is education. Schools are being repaired here this year. UAH 300 thousand were allocated from the state budget and UAH 2 million were added from the hromada budget. Infrastructure subvention will be spent on the repair of kindergartens, however, hromada’s co-financing appeared to exceed the state’s one.
Safety and public order
The local fire brigade in Andriyivka has been operating for 10 years. In order to strengthen its work and improve the safety situation in the hromada, the AH started building a Safety Centre – the money was provided from the oblast budget. There will be a brand new fire truck as well. Two specialised cars are better than one.
The Safety Centre will also host a municipal police station, a control centre, install video surveillance cameras and fire alarms provided in basic infrastructure facilities of the AH.
Volunteer firefighters were trained under the Polish method, they will strengthen the work of fire rescuers. The construction and opening of the Safety Centre in the Andriyivska hromada is planned to be completed by the end of the year.
The AH will also have its police officer.
“Fifty years ago, I started my studies to be teacher at the Slovyansk Pedagogical Institute. All the guys in the group just came from the army, only I entered right after school. I was called a Youngster” then. Now I try to keep up with the time, develop hromada for the youth, in this, apparently, the teaching vocation remains. And if you do not look in the mirror as the years pass, you still feel young,” Mykola Dikhtenko says.
The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE
Громади:Андріївська сільська об’єднана територіальна громада Андріївська територіальна громада
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