Pöide only municipality not to join Saaremaa-wide merger for now ({{commentsTotal}})

Street picnic in central Kuressaare.
Street picnic in central Kuressaare. Source: (ERR)

The city of Kuressaare and the remainder of municipalities to make up the island of Saaremaa are set to merge into one large municipality — except for Pöide Municipality, who has three months to decide to merge voluntarily with the new municipality being formed before facing a forced merger.

The mayors and council chairmen of all 11 municipalities and the mayor of Kuressaare met in Kuressaare Town Hall on Thursday to sign the merger agreement, reported ERR's radio news. The flags of each of the merging municipalities was on display at the town hall for the occasion.

Under the agreement, as of January 1, 2018, the new Saaremaa Municipality, which will encompass the entire island of Saaremaa, will be created, the result of which will be a local government 2,589.39 square kilometers in size, whose expected budget revenue for 2018 is estimated to be approximately 37.8 million euros.

The newly formed municipality should receive a total of 4.5 million euros in merger grants as prescribed by law.

The large new municipality has a population of 31,300, of which 17.4 percent, or 5,459, are 18 years of age or younger, 62.2 percent, or 19,473, are 19-64 years of age and 20.4 percent, or 6,380 are 65 years of age or older.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla