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Friday, December 8, 2023

Nowa Sarzyna. How officials turned parish parking lots into playing fields

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The parish parking lot, which local government officials from Nowa Sarzyna in Podkarpacie built for the parish priest, has become a “multi-functional sports facility” after five years and is “like the National Stadium.” – A clever method to slow down the police and prosecutor’s investigation into official crimes and document forgery – comments one of the investigators familiar with the case to tvn24.pl. As we wrote in September, investigators are checking whether parking lots at the parish were built instead of playing fields for children.

The September visit of policemen from the Provincial Headquarters in Rzeszów to the offices of local government officials in Nowa Sarzyna, with a population of 5,000, was widely reported. The officers were looking for documents related to the settlement of municipal investments from five years ago in the construction of two parish parking lots: in Wólka Łętowska and Wola Zarzycka. As we reported on tvn24.pl investigators are investigating whether officials falsified documents to show that they built sports fields for children and youth with subsidies, among others. Ministry of Sport and the provincial office.

Conversion of the parking lot into playing fields

Now, as residents informed us, the parking lots have undergone another local government investment.

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– I was and am shocked. The parking lot that had served us for the last five years suddenly became a playing field. There were gates on it, covered with weights to prevent them from falling over, one of the residents told us.

There were parking lots and now there are playing fields

Playing fields in the parking lot in ŁętowniaThere were parking lots and now there are playing fieldsSubmitted

When the tvn24.pl reporter arrived at the scene, the gates were gone. However, on the paved parking lot, lines of fields appeared: e.g. for football and badminton. However, the markings for parking spaces have disappeared.

Specially designed holes for mounting goals were also drilled in the paving stones. This happened even though the parking lot is tilted so much that the ball will roll down on its own. What’s more: it will fall onto the road, which is adjacent only to the “playing field” through a small green belt.

The parking lot that had been in operation for five years turned into playing fields

Parish parking lot and playing field in Wólka ŁętowskaThe parking lot that had been in operation for five years turned into playing fieldstvn24.pl

We asked one of the investigators involved in the case about the latest “investment”. – The residents laugh at it. But this is not what officials do for the residents. This is the result of lawyers’ suggestions, which are intended to paralyze the investigation and show that the sports fields were actually built here – says tvn24.pl, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“God forbid”

The transformation – after five years – of parking lots into sports fields arouses emotions among residents, as evidenced by numerous comments in local discussion groups.

“The parking lot in Łętownia has a significant slope (…) I only have one question: where is the safety? Who will be responsible if something happens to a child, God forbid?” – this is an entry from one of the residents.

– Whoever put up these gates should be held responsible for endangering people using the pitch and drivers driving on the nearby street. The pitch is not fenced. If the ball flies into the street in front of a moving car or a child runs out to get it and falls under the car, who will take responsibility – asks another.

Emotions in the council

The matter went so far that it became the subject of discussion again at the meeting of the City and County Council in Nowa Sarzyna.

The councilors demanded an answer from Mayor Andrzej Rychel, who was behind the decision to build parking lots five years ago.

Then – also at the council meeting – he explained that the commune had leased the area from the parish for many years. This is a legal requirement, otherwise it would not be able to finance the parking lots. During the entire speech, not a single word was said regarding the construction of the sports fields, only the parking lot. Ultimately, as he declared to the councilors, he took PLN 280,000 from the commune budget and the remaining PLN 280,000 from subsidies.

Mayor Andrzej Rychel asked about the construction of parking lots

Our interlocutors recall that the investment finale was accompanied by celebrations in the parish. – At a special mass, the then parish priest thanked the sponsors, mentioning the names of the mayor and our local MP from Law and Justice, Jerzy Paul. There was no question then and for the next five years that these were sports fields or multi-functional facilities – a resident of the commune tells tvn24.pl.

Parking like the National Stadium

Now – at the October meeting of the City and District Council of Nowa Sarzyna – the same mayor already talked about the construction of sports fields.

– The investment has been completed and is operational (…) In addition to sports and cultural events, it has the additional function of a parking lot. It’s like that everywhere else. The National Stadium also has many functions. It can be football, but also motocross – explained Mayor Rychel.

City and District Council of Nowa Sarzyna.  Mayor's statement

Nowa Sarzyna City and District Council

Even though the councilors asked the mayor about the safety of children playing on these “fields” or the details of the investment, they did not hear any answers. However, the mayor assured that from the very beginning the project’s assumptions were that it would not be a parking lot, but a place for various activities of the local community: a place to apply for a bicycle card, a place for meetings of rural housewives’ groups and, finally, a place for games on the fields.

City and District Council of Nowa Sarzyna

Nowa Sarzyna City and District Council

There were no forgeries

The tvn24.pl reporter went to the Nowy Sarzyński town hall to ask the mayor a few questions. Interestingly, his office is adjacent to the parliamentary office PiS MP Jerzy Paul, whom the parish priest mentioned as one of the “sponsors” of the parking lot.

– I don’t remember anything like that – an MP who worked in these told us elections he did not renew his mandate.

As soon as the secretary announced to the mayor that a reporter from TVN24 was waiting for him, he came out of the office dressed. – I have to leave urgently, I can’t talk – he said.

When asked whether the transformation of parking lots into playing fields would not serve to complicate the prosecutor’s investigation, we were told: – In any case, it was all legal, no one ever forged any documents and I am convinced that the prosecutor’s office will find so – said the local government official.

Main photo source: tvn24.pl

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