Tallinn fines maintenance companies €270,000 for poor snow removal

Snowstorm Birgit in Tallinn, December 12, 2022.
Snowstorm Birgit in Tallinn, December 12, 2022. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Tallinn City Government issued €270,000 worth of fines to its road maintenance partners this week, claiming snow removal standards have not been met.

On Thursday, despite dozens of snow plows and teams of maintenance staff, some of the capital's streets still resemble ski trails, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

Even though snowfall has been heavier-than-usual, maintenance contracts still need to be met, said Tarmo Sulg, deputy head of the Tallinn Municipal Board.

"The most difficult places are the crossings. Property owners' pavements are also very difficult today. There is nowhere left to put the snow," Sulg said.

"We show no mercy to our contractors. We have also issued quite a large number of contractual claims in the last three days. So far, this is in the order of €270,000," Sulg added.

Piles of snow in Tallinn's Old Town in December 2022. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Currently, even walking along well-used paths, such as the Old Town's Harju tänav between Vabaduse väljak and Raekoja plats, can be a struggle, AK said.

The capital has approximately 2.9 million square meters of sidewalks and light-traffic roads. But the city government only pays for snow removal from main roads and public transport stops. The rest is left up to property owners who must clean the areas in front of their homes.

AK asked how much it would cost for the city to absorb these responsibilities.

"All the rest of it, we calculate, would need 40 additional tractors and over 700 craftsmen. In financial terms, in financial terms, €30 million would be needed to cover resources," he said.


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Editor: Alexander Kryukov, Helen Wright

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