• January 2, 2014
  • 185

Mer Maria Reksc: “We’re going in the right direction”

© Irena Mikulewicz

– Another year behind us. We will remember it as an important one, a year of big achievements, inaugurations, with many public buildings commissioned. And all these achievements have led to the Vilnius region being ranked highly in the list of autonomous governments in Lithuania.

Our basic task is to follow the steps of the election programme of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania. Its leading idea is care for every human being and improved living conditions for everyone in the region. Thus, it is also about bringing investment, which helps the economic development of the region, and aids in preserving and supporting education, improving the standards of social and health services, and providing people with access to culture.

–   2013 was the final year in terms of the realization of various projects within various programmes.

– Over the course of the last year, as well as in previous years, we tried to do as much as we could. And we managed – despite the fact that, for all autonomous governments of Lithuania, including ours, these years were not financially abundant. The autonomous government of the Vilnius Region was acting in a situation of scarce resources. And the situation shows no signs of improving. Everything that has been achieved over the last few years is as a result of the tireless hard work of all employees, who struggled to get financial aid for many projects from various sources: the EU, the government of Lithuania and, of course, autonomous governments. The total amount of investment between the years 2007 – 2013 was 120 million.

–    The year has put an end to many difficult issues, such as the opening of a kindergarden in Avižieniai. Young families had long been anticipating this event.

The recently-opened kindergarden in Avižieniai received a government-sponsored investment of 3 million Litas. These resources come from our own budget. There are four groups in the kindergarden: two of them Polish and two of them Lithuanian. The old building is currently being renovated, and will then be able to hold another two groups. Unfortunately, both of these buildings will be unable to provide places for all of the children of this age group in the region. The building of the kindergarden had been unnecessarily politicized for years. The autonomous government of the Vilnius Region had been trying to convince the county authorities to give the empty building to the kindergarden. However, our every attempt failed until the Council of Vilnius Region decided to build a new kindergarden.

As the old saying goes: if you can count, count on yourself. This year also saw the solving of the problem of renovation of two educational facilities: in Pagirai and Avižieniai. Both of them got a lot of financial help: Gymnasium in Pagirai got 2,2 million Litas for the renovation of its building, and the school in Avižieniai got 2,8 million, where the old sporting hall was destroyed and a new one built. Along the renovation, there is a rebuilding of the interiors planned. For the renovation of the gymnasium in Pagirai there is already half a million Litas allocated from the national VIP programme. There is also hope that for the next few years another help will be obtained for a renovation of these places. To refresh all the gymnasiums’ classrooms 1 and a half million Litas is still needed.

– But not only these facilities are being renovated?

Our children and the youth is our future. Naturally, it is education that should be our priority. Pupils from schools in the Vilnius Region are successful learners, they realise their educational programmes, and give us all a lot to be proud of. We already have 10 gymnasiums in the region, and soon high-school in Marimpol will also joint the list. From our side, we try to create good conditions for education of our children, investing in educational facilities and kindergartens. We’ve just ended the first stage of the building of a  St. Jan Bosko high-school in Jalowka, the overall cost of the project is 7 million Litas.

We’re also continuing the renovation of the Ferdinand Ruszcz Gymnasium buildling in Rudomino. In 2012 we spent 600 thousand Litas, in 2013 the same amount. We’re planning to continue the job of putting new windows, heating systems, renovating classrooms, corridors, new wiring systems. For the school to be completely renovated, and there are such plans, the overall cost is 1,5 million Litas for rebuilding and 1,8 for renovation. We’ve begun a big project of renovating Urszula Ledóchowska High School in Juodšilių, amounting to 4,5 million Litas.

– A specific expression of care about the needy are the investments in development of social and health care infrastructure. Life shows that the need for such facilities is growing.

At the beginning of the previous year we commissioned an extension of the Centre for Daily Stay of People with Disabilities in Nemenčinė. The extension led to better rehabilitation conditions for the disabled. The self-governments allocates a lot of funds for supporting preventive treatment programmes and improving health services in the region.

In 2013 we begun a construction of care centre for children in Geisiškės. The cost of this project, 11,9 milltion Litas, will be fully covered by local authorities. We numerously tried to get the money for this project from the social care and employment department, but we never managed. The first stage of construction works in Geisiškės will last for the whole of 2014 and will cost 6,6 million. The second stage, using the rest of the money, will be finished in 2016. These will be semidetached houses. Unfortunately, it is a common situation that a child has to leave a family home and it is our duty to provide a decent care and conditions of living. Currently, children from the Vilnius region end up in orphanages located far away from their place of birth and thus they loose a connection with it.

– In the recent years, local communities have been very active. Local groups run many projects, some of them in cooperation with the local authority.

Not so long ago there was an opening of a newly built facility for the use of the local community in Kalvelių seniūnija. Since then all of the meetings and events take place in here. The Centre of Country Community was a part of threesome project realised in Kalvelių. Within the same project (2 million Litas) a play-ground was built and the surrounding of the school was cleaned. The activation of communities fills with optimism. Active communities in Juodšilių, Mickūnai and other towns and villages of the region are getting money for the organisation of various celebration events, trips, educational projects. Such initiatives are incredibly important for integration and building of normal human relations, going back to old tradition of spending time together. It brings us joy that beautiful playgrounds are being opened. There will be 44 of them in the region. There are some already opened in Grigaičiai, Paberžės and Buivydžiai.

– What other “construction” plans does the local government have?

We’re happy that we will soon begin to build a kindergarten in Sudervė. We will invest there about 4 million. There’s a project of the administrative building of the Sport School of The Vilnius region in Nemenčinė, with biathlon facilities. We’re also planning to improve conditions in the town’s music school, because we see that there’s such need.

For those wanting to get closer to culture, as well as the youth wanting to develop their talents, there are good conditions being created in the Vilnius Region.

In fact, the working of he region’s multifunctional centers and their branches in Buivydžiai, Mickūnai, Zujūnų, Wesolowka as well as other towns of the region, brings content. In 2014 we’re planning to open cultural centers in Lavoriškių, an investment of 1,192 million, in Rudowsie (more than 984 thousand) and Šumskas (1,280 million). These project are already being implemented. The financial help will be very comprehensive, as it will help in promoting culture, non-formal learning as well as fulfilling various social needs.

– We are very practical, however. We want to live nicely, have a comfortable transportation system, feel safe in our own village. What steps have been made in order to improve roads, street lights, develop infrastructure of the region?

Local authorities of the region invested 8, 400 million in roads from its own budget. A road leading to the Centre of Europe have been covered with asphalt, in Sudervė the Zdziechowskiego Street and a part of the road between Szlany and Zujuny and between Daubiant-Rudomino. Medininkai eldership received 384 thousand for roads. Building and renovating roads is still a very current issue and thus we’ve been working hard to support the projects within the EU projects for the years 2007-2013 and use all the reserves to do as much as possible. It’s worth to mention the 11km long part of the arterial road between Vilnius and Minsk, going through the Vilnius Region, and the reconstruction of the 8km long road from Buivydžiai  to Mostiškės. The ministry of communication invested in national roads in our region as well.

There are two lighting infrastructure projects under realisation: one in eldership Paberžės and one in Dūkštas. New thermal farms are rebuilt. In Rdomin we recently built a new boiler-house, costing us 2,66 million Litas. We built a new sewage plant in Kalvelių (2,66 million Litas) Together with the construction of the water-pipe and sewerage the project in Kalvelių consted 5 million 400 thousand Litas. We’re continuing the project of the water-sewage system in Nemenčinė, Rudomin, Skaidiškės, Pagiriai, Nemėžis, Juodšiliai, Kalvelių, and Valčiūnai. This project costs 34 million Litas. Another, similar, project in Zujūnų,Riešė and Didžioji Riešė will be finalised in 2014 and will cost 18 million and 775 thousand Litas. For both of them the local government contributed more than 300 thousand Litas from its own budget Other project were also successfully implemented. In Rakonys and Orzelowka artesian wells were built, which is very important, because these villages lack a water-pipe. We’re planning to continue renovation in local facilities, invest in improving the infrastructure, continue to build thermal, water and sewage systems.

– What are your feelings at the turn of the year?

Recently, the self-government of the Vilnius Region, in order to identify it’s possibilities concerning investment, published a study titled: “Promoting possibilities and means of investment in the Vilnius Region.” This study shows that in our region the number of inhabitants is growing and salaries are too. Studies showed that we have very convenient environment for the development of entrepreneurship – we have the lowest patents, the lowest taxes of land and real estate. It can be seen that people eagerly use this chances, because for 1000 of inhabitants, there are 19 enterprises. Generally, in the region there are 1797 various enterprises and companies. Young people in the region are the majority. Studies show that there are many people willing to settle in the Vilnius Region. The region’s debt is the lowest among the debts of other regions of the country. The lowest is also price of water, but the highest number of good schools and libraries. Excellent logistical conditions, which will further improve the Vilnius Logistic Centre in Valčiūnai. All of these prove that we’re going in the right direction.

Source: http://l24.lt/pl/spoleczenstwo/item/24516-mer-maria-reksc-idziemy-w-dobrym-kierunku

Tłumaczenie by Awa Ratajczak w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Awa Ratajczak within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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