The Ostrozhetska rural amalgamated hromada in the Rivne Oblast was established in 2016. It is home to about 6.5 thousand residents. Within the framework of the UCMC-DOBRE project “Speakers of Hromadas”, Taras Hordiychuk, head of the hromada, was asked about hromada's life, opportunities opened for people after amalgamation, and plans to solve problems.
Schools, roads, medical establishments: what has changed after amalgamation
"We have put a resident of our hromada in the first place: to do everything so that people could live comfortably... We want to deliver services to people, for which they are now applying to the rayon - so they could get these services on the ground," says Taras Hordiychuk.
There are 6 rural health posts and one outpatient clinic on the territory of the hromada. It employs 5 family doctors, with whom residents of the Ostrozhetska and neighbouring AHs have signed their declarations. It was decided to create one primary healthcare department for 5 hromadas on the basis of the Mlynivska hromada, the largest of them. Hromadas have made an agreement, and now all healthcare facilities are subordinate to this primary healthcare department.
The rayon hospital, which is on the balance of the hromada, was transformed into a commercial non-profit company. The heating system is updated, new heat pipelines are laid down, boilers are replaced, necessary lighting is established, and cosmetic repairs are done.
This year, the hromada has won the oblast competition to purchase medical equipment: it will help to prepare institutions for the start of the healthcare reform of the secondary level from January 2020.
The Ostrozhetska hromada also set up a hub school and bought a school bus.
"We undertake primarily on projects, for which we have managed to attract funds"
“As soon as we manage to raise funds for a project, we are immediately moving in that direction. If we do not win the project, we postpone it," corresponds Taras Hordiychuk on the question of how to define the priorities in the work.
One of the painful issues is updating the water supply system. In the Ostrozhetska hromada there are about 58 kilometers of roads without hard cover. There is also an idea of a social center that could work with disadvantaged families and help single elderly people.
This is the second time when a project to create a cultural and leisure centre have been submitted. There are also plans to improve the sports infrastructure.
How and where to raise UAH 13 million
"Our budget is small, the main income comes from funds obtained through competitions and grants. These sums allow us to improve all sectors. For you to understand, the Mlyniv Rayon has got UAH 8 million under the projects of the SFRD, and all these sums went to the Ostrozhetska hromada. Besides, we have been winners of oblast competitions for the third year," said the head of the hromada.
Only last year the Ostrozhetska hromada won projects at a total cost of about UAH 13 million.
The first project is the installation of solar collectors on the “Sun” kindergarten. The second project is the purchase of garbage cans and equipment for playgrounds in Ostrozhok and Syra Zalava. The third one is already mentioned medical equipment for establishments of the secondary level.
At the expense of the State Fund for Regional Development, the premises of the elementary school were reconstructed as a kindergarten, and the Borbyn educational complex, which will have a kindergarten and a school, is being built.
The energy efficient project of installing boilers and laying down heat pipelines to the rayon hospital and the project of ASC relocation also won.
How to use subvention for infrastructure development
The hromada created an enterprise, purchased tractors, trailers and equipment using its first subsidy for infrastructure development – UAH 3 million 400 thousand. This company does several different works.
The second project was to replace all windows and doors in the school. Due to this, the hromada annually saves about UAH 40.000.
As part of the third project, a garbage truck was purchased.
In addition to grant funds, the main sources of income should be ground plots, attracting investments and receiving income taxes from legal entities registered in the hromada.
What is needed from the state?
“We would like to have more predictability and simplification of bureaucratic procedures from the state power,” says Taras Hordiychuk.
In general, in his opinion, the Ostrozhetska hromada meets all criteria of a capable hromada and can provide for itself.
How to keep people
One of the challenges for the hromada is to keep youth looking for opportunities to better earnings. The main instruments are arrangement of joint activities to unite the residents of the hromada and attraction of people to public activities.
Why is it worth learning from Canadian colleagues
Taras Hordiychuk recalls the experience of traveling to Canada this summer. The Ukrainian heads of AHs visited Prince Edward County, a Canadian hromada analogue.
"I was surprised that all of them were engaged in the hromada's life. Every deputy knows the problems of his/her county and all counties in the hromada, - says Taras Hordiychuk. – They also have difficulties with budgets, there are problematic roads, social objects. Deputies come with a solution, but find a compromise: explore issues, involve residents of the deputy’s county, residents of other counties, and explain what priority is for resolving issues".
After communication with residents it turned out that many of them directly take part in solving the issues connected with the life of their hromada.
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