Municipalities in Ida-Viru County are hoping to learn from the experience of last winter, when heavy snowfall caused significant challenges for keeping the region's roads clear.
Last winter in Jõhvi, Ida-Viru County, a major mix-up occurred when it came to clearing the streets from seasonal snowfall. Following the termination of road maintenance company N&V's contract in February, the rush was on to find new contractors to keep the city's roads clear of snow.
"(In the end), there were a dozen different companies, that contributed tractors and other equipment," explained Aivo Tamm, Jõhvi's economics officer.
"But we are ready for this winter, I have checked. The equipment is ready to go, the sand, the salt, the fine gravel for the pavements - it's all ready and, as things stand, there's nothing to worry about . There's still a firm contract and I can honestly say, that I trust these companies more than the one we hired last winter," said Tamm.
In Alutaguse, the largest rural municipality in Ida-Viru County, snow will need to be cleared from almost 400 kilometers of road. To ensure the area's roads remain snow-free, 13 subcontractors have been hired by Alutaguse Haldus, the company in charge of the operation.
The coordination of road clearance in Alutaguse Rural Municipality will be helped this winter by a new map application, which was introduced last year.
"It's a great help, because people can see which roads the municipality has told us to clear, and they can also make their own suggestions, so the municipality can decide which (other) roads it makes sense to clear," said Margus Paalo, head of Alutaguse Haldus.
"It's also good, because the information is left behind afterwards, so there is no need to start the process all over again from scratch every year," added Paalo.
Of course, price increases also have an impact on road maintenance. The cost of clearing the snow in Jõhvi is expected to be ten percent higher this winter than last year, with Alutaguse predicted to face even larger increases.
Editor: Michael Cole