Tallinn puzzled by Rīga's centralized snow-clearing costs

Municipal officials in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, are scratching their heads over the reported cost of snow clearing in the Latvian capital, Rīga, reports ERR News.

Tallinn City Governent is planning to ask colleagues at Riga City Council about its new snow-clearing policy. Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Vladimir Svet (Center party) is skeptical it can be done with only €4 million.

Earlier this month LTV and LSM reported the Latvian capital's council will take over snow clearing from residents. The policy is expected to cost €3.7 million this winter.

Tallinn City Governent pushes the obligation to clear snow onto its residents and, as a result, many streets are not cleaned making mobility difficult in winter, ERR writes.

Despite calls for the council to centralize snow clearing, as Riga has now done, Tallinn claims implementing a similar policy in the Estonian capital would cost almost €30 million.

Svet said prices in the two countries vary but the difference should not be tenfold. He believes not all services are included in the figure reported by the media.

"To answer in more detail, it would be necessary to look at the contracts that the City of Riga has signed. I actually think that at some point this winter we will either go to Riga ourselves or we will host our Riga colleagues here in Tallinn to exchange experiences," he told ERR.

The official said it is worth comparing whether streets or roads are maintained by the municipality and to what extent.

"Last year, the street maintenance contract was adjusted so that the most heavily used pavements and crossings now have a maintenance cycle of four hours. This is more frequent than most of the roads we have," the deputy mayor said.

"When we say that at least €27 million is needed for the maintenance of pavements maintained by private owners [in Tallinn], we also mean the need to remove snow from these pavements, because we know that there is nowhere to store the snow on the smaller pavements, which are often maintained by private owners. And this snow removal aspect is actually one of the most labor-intensive aspects of all this winter maintenance," he said.

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