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Helmet. End of the dispute over the incorporation of village councils. Local governments have made an agreement

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The president of Chełm and the head of the Chełm commune issued a joint communiqué, which ends the dispute over the intention to join several local villages to the city. Ultimately – if the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration agrees – only uninhabited investment areas located in five localities of the commune will be within the city limits.

For those unfamiliar with local realities, let’s explain the place of the drama. There are two Chełm communes in the Lubelskie Voivodeship. One is the city of Chełm, whose president is Jakub Banaszek. The second is a rural commune, the seat of its authorities is Pokrówka, and the head of the commune – Wiesław Kociuba. It was between them that a dispute took place over the plans to incorporate several local villages, belonging to the Chełm commune, into the city of Chełm. An agreement was concluded on this matter, which was informed by the heads of authorities of both administrative units.

– We are glad that this agreement has been concluded. However, this is only half the battle so far. I will be able to say that we won only when the agreement was approved by the ministry (internal affairs and administration) – says Katarzyna Lewandowska, an inhabitant of the village of Pokrówka.

She was one of the participants of the protests of the inhabitants of the Chełm commune, which lasted from the end of September, who were outraged by the fact that the president of Chełm, Jakub Banaszek, wanted to join several local villages to the city.

The inhabitants of the commune protested in Chełm. Among others, in front of the office of the Law and Justice MP Anna Dąbrowska-Banaszek and in front of the city hallTVN24

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According to the residents, it was about obtaining tax revenues

The Chełm authorities argued that the desire to join the town of the nearby villages was dictated by the desire to acquire investment areas. While within the city, such areas cover only a few hectares, there are many more in the commune – they argued.

– By purchasing them – because they are in the hands of private owners – and then changing their development plan and equipping them, the city is able to create a Technology and Industry Park. A real economic activity zone that will ultimately provide several thousand new, much-needed jobs – told us in September Damian Zieliński from the Chełm president’s office.

The commune administrator notified the prosecutor’s office about the possibility of committing a crime

It did not convince neither the inhabitants of the Chełm commune, nor the head of the commune Wiesław Kociuba.

– Although the official reason is the desire to obtain investment areas, in our opinion the president is talking about tax money. The city of Chełm is in debt, and the villages that are to be attached are rich. Over 50 percent of the annual income of our commune comes from PIT and CIT taxes as well as local taxes from these villages – Katarzyna Lewandowska, a resident of Pokrówka, said in an interview with tvn24.pl in September.

Banners were hung on the fencesTVN24

The commune administrator even submitted a notification to the prosecutor’s office. He demanded that the president had not broken the law when – disregarding the city council – he applied to the voivode for the incorporation of villages. The authorities of Chełm (municipal commune) made a reservation that the law was not violated, because the president only gave an “impulse” in the form of a letter to the Lublin voivode, and it was the voivode who asked the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, which initiated the procedure.

470 hectares of land for investment are to be connected to the city

Ultimately, both local governments came to an understanding with each other and issued a joint statement on Friday (22 October). It shows that only “uninhabited investment areas” located in Depułtycze Królewskie, Pokrówka, Koza-Gotówka, Srebrzyszcze and Rudka would be connected to the city.

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“We believe that the compromise will be a breakthrough in our relations and a significant step towards strengthening cooperation for the development of the region,” reads the release.

Inhabitants: the most important thing is that the village councils were defended

However, both sides emphasize that the final decision is in the hands of the Ministry of Interior and Administration.

– From our perspective, the most important thing is that the village councils have been defended and will not be attached to the city. As for the 470 hectares referred to in the agreement, we hope that they will actually be used for investment. We also care about the development of the region – comments Katarzyna Lewandowska.

Investment areas are to be connected to Chełm

Main photo source: TVN24



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