Narva-Jõesuu to merge with Vaivara against residents' wishes
In a close vote, the Narva-Jõesuu town council chose to go against the wishes of the city's residents in deciding to merge with Vaivara Municipality.
According to the merger agreement, the new local government will bear the name of the town of Narva-Jõesuu, the original of which will also be home to the town government; only service points will remain in what is currently still Vaivara Municipality.
While Vaivara representatives were unanimous in their decision to support the merger, in Narva-Jõesuu, a single vote became the deciding one.
The majority of Narva-Jõesuu residents to participate in a referendum on the issue was against merging with Vaivara Municipality, and hundreds of residents signed an appeal to municipal authorities to initiate merger talks with the city of Narva instead.
Even combined, Vaivara and Narva-Jõesuu will not meet the new minimum population requirement of 5,000. Chairman of the council Raivo Murd, however, expressed hope that the new ruling coalition may not stick so strictly to this particular figure.
Põhjaranniku Municipality to be formed
Ida-Viru County's Kohtla, Kohtla-Nõmme and Toila Municipalities confirmed the three municipalities' merger agreement this week and via their county governor will be applying for government approval for the formation of a new local government — Põhjala Municipality.
Each local council also discussed a possible future merger or forced merger with Jõhvi Municipality, which had withdrawn from merger talks halfway through the process, reported regional newspaper Põhjarannik.
"We have reached an agreement in the negotiations steering group that if we are faced with a forced merger with Jõhvi in the next stage of the administrative reform, then our side agrees with it," noted Kohtla-Nõmme municipal council chairman Tarmo Kütt.
The only potential concern the future Põhjaranniku Municipality currently faces is its population size, as it will fall just 136 people short of the legally established minimum population size of 5,000.
A festive signing of the merger agreement is scheduled to take place on Dec. 13.