The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Urve Palo replied to the interpellation concerning allocation of funds for maintenance of local roads with additional traffic load (No 393), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Tarmo Tamm, Marika Tuus-Laul, Lauri Laasi, Kalev Kallo and Viktor Vassiljev on 5 March.
The interpellation concerned the funds allocated to Narva. The interpellators referred to the fact that 15 local governments had submitted applications to receive additional support as targeted financing for maintenance of local roads with additional traffic load. The interpellators wished to know who had allocated the targeted financings to local governments in connection with transit traffic or other additional traffic load applied to local roads, and what the basis for the allocation had been.
According to Palo’s explanations, a total of circa 28 million euro had been available for maintenance support of local public roads. A broad right of discretion has been granted to the Government on the basis of the Roads Act for determining the distribution of funds to local governments. In Palo’s words, a larger share of the funds allocated to support the maintenance of local roads is distributed between local governments according to the principles agreed with local government associations. In 2014, the funds allocated according to the principles agreed with local government associations accounted for 88% of the amount allocated from the state budget.
To receive project-based support, local governments had submitted applications in a total amount of more than 9 million euro for financing 22 road facilities, while the monetary volume of the fund for specific purposes that had been established had been limited to 3 million euro. Thus, it had been possible to grant only one third of the applications that had been submitted, and applications in the amount over 6 million had been denied.
Palo noted that the connection of the additional traffic with the remaining road network had been the most important criterion. On the basis of that, support had been granted primarily to facilities which are connected with the Trans-European Road Network TEN-T or lead to a facility of significant national importance, such as an important border crossing point. Then the facilities had been evaluated in conjunction of the following criteria, that is, the connection of the additional traffic with the remaining road network, the traffic volume of the additional traffic, and the existence of an opportunity for a detour. “A decision was made to support facilities that are of greater significance according to these criteria. The distribution of the support was also based on the principle that support would be granted for one facility in a local government,” Palo said. She explained that, in the cases where several facilities had been presented by a local government, a selection had been made among the facilities, for example, Narva had submitted several applications. “The application of Narva was granted, at least in part. In any case, Narva was among the one third of the applicants who received additional funds,” Palo noted.
During the open microphone, Inara Luigas took the floor.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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