On 31 October the Tallinn City Government presented the City Council with a draft municipal budget for 2020 that totals nearly 823 million euros. The next year's municipal budget is nearly 25% bigger than that for 2017.
According to the Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, the next year’s budget
focuses on improving the well-being of citizens so that they
could all perceive the budget’s impact in everyday life. “It
means that the totals of relatively inconspicuous budget lines
have grown - for example, reconstruction of sidewalks, walkways
and neighbourhood roads, snow removal and street cleaning, or
street lighting, playgrounds adapted to children with special
needs, public garbage bins that allow sorting of waste, and
many other little things that make urban space more comfortable
for the locals,” said the Mayor.
“Next year the City Government will start developing a concept
for involving citizens in the development of the 2021 municipal
budget. Essentially, this way the residents of each district
could identify a priority that the city could invest in,” noted
Kõlvart. “The city launched the inclusion project or the
positive city project already in 2014 to invite citizens to
submit their ideas about improving their living environment.
Implementing an inclusive budget would constitute the next
phase of our positive city project.”
As for social welfare, the municipal budget will ensure the
social coping of various target groups and allow them to be
actively involved in the community. The budgeted operating
costs and investments of the social and healthcare sector total
nearly 67 million and 11 million euros, respectively. This
includes services and benefits for families with children, the
elderly, persons with special needs, and others in need of
assistance. “The 20 percent salary raise of care workers should
be highlighted,” said Kõlvart. “As the provision of nursing
services at major care homes has not bee solved on the national
level we use the municipal budget to fund home nursing services
for chronically ill patients living at home and for elderly
residents at Iru Care Home.”
“Next year we will the increase the amount of support person
services for severely or profoundly disabled adults by 50
percent and raise the hourly service fee to ten euros from the
current rate of six euros. The aim is to ensure sufficient
availability of necessary services for the disabled and
competitive remuneration for support persons. We have planned
nearly two million euros in the budget to ensure support person
services for children with a severe or profound disability and
some of this money will come from the savings achieved by
closing the Tallinn Television,” explained the Mayor.
Compared to the initial 2019 municipal budget, operating costs
in the health sector will grow by 13.7% next year and 11% in
the social welfare sector whereas investments in these sectors
will increase by 142% and 170%, respectively.
Next year the urban authorities will gradually recondition and
reconstruct playgrounds across the city to create development
and playing opportunities for children with special needs and
their families - 1.5 million euros are envisaged in the budget
to this end.
Education sector operating costs make up 40 percent of the
municipal budget or nearly 263 million euros, including funding
from the central government. The planned education sector
investments total nearly 49 million euros. Next year the
overhaul of Tondi Secondary School - one of Estonia’s largest
schools for children with special needs - and the renovation of
Lasnamäe Secondary School will be completed, preparations will
be made for the reconstruction of Tallinna Arte Upper Secondary
School and the overhaul of Mustjõe Upper Secondary School, plus
the construction of a sports hall next to Nõmme Upper Secondary
School will start. The renovation of a total of 13 schools and
nurseries is set to begin next year.
“Starting next autumn the meal cost of children who live in
Tallinn and attend a private nursery will be reimbursed to
support parents who are forced to find alternative learning
environments children due to the needs or specific
characteristics of their children,” emphasized Kõlvart.
“Further, we would like to provide more support for prevention
and intervention programs that address school bullying. School
bullying should be subject to zero tolerance and we will
allocate more than 50,000 euros to implement various prevention
and intervention programs in all our schools.”
Operating costs in the education sector have grown 3.2% and
investments 10% compared to the initial budget for this year.
As for transport infrastructure, the priorities include the
repair of neighbourhood roads and walkways for which eight
million euros are planned or three million more than last year.
The city will invest a total of 70 million euros in this
sphere. Among other efforts, the construction of tracks for
pedestrians, cyclists and recreational sports will continue,
including the second phase of pedestrian and cycling tracks at
Viljandi mnt, the pedestrian and cycling tracks of Hooldekodu
tee, and the respective tracks that connect Filtri tee with
Kadriorg and Ülemiste junction terminal. Altogether 6.2 million
euros will be spent on said tracks. Plus, there are plans to
construct railway underpasses for pedestrians, for example at
Endla tn, Paldiski mnt, Pääsküla Railway Station, and between
Kotka tn and Tehnika tn.
As for urban maintenance, three million euros are envisaged for
further reconditioning of parks and green zones. Also, the
efforts to develop community farming across districts will
continue. The operating costs for urban maintenance will grow
15.3% compared to this year’s initial municipal budget whereas
investments go up nearly 25%.
Other major investments include the development of Tallinn City
Theatre - 5.7 million euros. As the complete reconstruction of
the theatre’s facilities calls for a temporary location for
performing plays the Salme Culture Centre will also undergo
extensive renovation next year for a total cost of almost
1.5 million euros are allocated for constructing the Tiger
Valley at Tallinn Zoo, and 5.5 million euros are planned for
investments at the Tallinn Botanical Garden (reconstruction of
Palm House and extensive renovation of auxiliary facilities).
Furthermore, the budget features smaller investments across all
other domains under municipal jurisdiction.