Municipalities generous with other people’s money, they spend more than they have
Skopje 2014, a project that places the city of Skopje on the top regarding the amount of money spent on one of the largest and most controversial tenders in the past 5 years. But modesty is almost absent even in the smallest municipalities that spend on everything – from small, controversial tenders, luxury vehicles to celebrations of holidays unknown to the general public.
Many may not have heard of the small municipality of Rankovce located in the northeast of the country. A small municipality, but also a small budget. For the four thousand inhabitants of Rankovce, one cannot expect to do much with a budget of just 250,000 Euros as the municipal authorities spent in the past five years, most of which (or over 200,000 Euros) was spent on building local roads. And now the mayor is now driving on them in his new car bought from the municipal treasury for just over 700,000 denars or over 10,000 Euros. He certainly cannot match his municipal “colleague” from Struga, Ramiz Merko, who sparked outrage in the public after the purchase of a 67,000 Euros “Audi”. In addition, Merko purchased three more cars, which together with the “Audi” cost the municipality 114 thousand Euros in conditions when the Struga budget had a debt of about 7.5 million Euros. Expensive cars, municipal celebrations, controversial tenders, amidst debt-ridden municipalities awaiting the government’s pardon to forgive their debts.
Inbox 7 researched what the top 10 tenders were that municipalities spent money on in the past five years. According to the tenders we analyzed, urban municipalities spend most on road maintenance, while rural ones spend most on building water and sewer networks. Most money was spent by the City of Skopje and least by municipality of Rankovce.
City of Skopje with the largest spending, most for Skopje 2014
The City of Skopje, which is the largest municipality by population, shows the largest spending in the past five years. The total amount of the largest 10 tenders in the past 5 years in the City of Skopje is 1,141,177,841 denars or about 18 million and 400 thousand Euros, considering that the number of inhabitants is 506,926, which means that 2,251 denars were spent per capita or about 36 Euros.
This also covers the period of construction of Skopje 2014. So much of the money in the 10 biggest tenders is for renovating baroque facades, building VMRO square, amusement parks, procuring supplies, facilities. Some of the tenders also refer to the construction of the HT Karposh and Serbia roundabout boulevards, as well as the maintenance of streets and hiring of special vehicles for winter maintenance.
Municipalities according to money spent in the last 5 years
Centar: A school in Kapishtec and sewerage construction
Just over 640 million denars or over 10,000,000 Euros spent. With a population of 45,362 inhabitants, it means that 14,100 denars or about 230 Euros per person. Tenders were for construction of municipal elementary school in Kapishtec, construction of a fecal collector, sewage and storm sewer and pavement construction, floor arrangement and reconstruction of pavement and construction of storm sewers, reconstruction of existing road and water supply system and road network and reconstruction of Goce Delchev Elementary School, horticultural landscaping and irrigation systems, removal of temporary structures and illegal buildings.
Bitola: Heating oil and reconstructions
The municipality spent 563 million denars or 9 million Euros for the 10 biggest tenders in the past 5 years. There are 95,385 citizens living in Bitola which is an investment of 5,900 denars or 95 Euros per capita. It was mainly paid for heating oil, construction of pavements, adaptation of the Mladost sports hall, construction of a northern stand on a football stadium, craftsmanship for the construction of the Manaki Cinema.
Kumanovo: Transportation of students
Over 340 million denars or about 5,500,000 Euros spent. The number of inhabitants in this municipality is 105,484, which is an investment of 3,200 denars or 52 Euros per person. It was paid for the transportation of students to primary and secondary schools, purchase of heating oil, street renovations, maintenance of public areas, refurbishment of traffic arteries and sidewalks with tiled floors, as well as the installation of temporary car parks.
Gevgelija: Most was spent on streets
210 million denars or 3,400,000 Euros spent. There are 22,988 inhabitants in total, which is an investment of 9,100 or 150 Euros per capita. Primary and secondary traffic network, streets, part of boulevard, local roads, constructed and reconstructed sidewalks, paths and streets with paver, as well as construction of storm sewer lines and supply of fuel oil.
Makedonska Kamenica: A chapel built
167 million denars or 2,700,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 8,110 inhabitants, which is an investment of 20,000 denars or 330 Euros per capita. Streets, roads, as well as fecal and storm sewers built and reconstructed, a kindergarten, as well as a chapel and new town cemeteries.
Shtip: Parking platform
152 million denars or about 2,500,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 47,796 inhabitants, which is an investment of 3,200 denars or 51 Euros per person. Reconstructed and built streets and local roads, procured extra light oil for primary and secondary schools, a parking platform built, paver elements purchased, a bicycle path built, as well as construction of crossroads and connecting streets.
Ohrid: Road network tenders
In the past 5 years the Municipality of Ohrid spent 140 million denars or about 2 million and 200 thousand Euros. The municipality has 55,749 inhabitants which means about 2,500 denars or 40 Euros per capita. The tenders mainly refer to the construction of streets, roads, pavements, their asphalting, maintenance and reconstruction of the road network.
Kocani: Modernized street lighting
135 million denars or 2,180,000 Euros spent. With a population of 28,330 inhabitants, the municipality invested 4,800 denars or 77 Euros per person. Reconstruction and modernization of the street lighting system, construction of local roads, paid for electricity supply, construction of a local road near Ponikva, as well as construction of sewage and storm sewers.
Kavadarci: Most was spent on heating oil
Just over 123 million denars or about 2,000,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 38,741 inhabitants which means that 3,200 Euros or 51 Euros was invested per capita. Most was spent on the procurement of heating oil, as well as on the reconstruction and asphalting of roads, construction of boulevards, and regulation of the riverbed of the river Luda Mara.
Dolneni: Roads, transport and firewood
About 120 million denars or about 1,900,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 13,568 inhabitants which is 8.800 denars or 143 Euros per capita. Reconstruction of the existing local road, construction and reconstruction of roads, transport of students, procurement of firewood for primary schools, as well as construction of sewerage and water supply systems was carried out.
Veles: A town market and temporary employments
119 million denars spent, or about 1,900,000 Euros. The municipality has 55,108 inhabitants which means 2,200 denars or 35 Euros per person invested. Heating oil was procured, then construction, reconstruction and remediation of buildings, streets, roads, sidewalks, wall structures, water supply infrastructure, water supply line, a town market, and it was paid for temporary employments.
Studenichani: Streets, streets and only streets
115 million denars or just over 1.8 million Euros spent. With a total of 17,246 inhabitants it represents an investment of 6,670 denars or 107 Euros per person. Part of the local road was built for the village of Cvetovo, invested in construction, remediation and ongoing maintenance of the water supply and sewerage network, construction of streets. Reconstruction of road, water supply and sewerage network and reconstruction of streets.
Probistip: Park reconstruction
The municipality spent 102 million denars or just over one million and 650 thousand Euros. Probistip has 16,193 citizens, which means that per capita investments amount to 6,300 denars or just over 100 Euros. Streets constructed, asphalted, street lighting reconstructed with electrical installations, reconstruction and extension of the park, construction of a chapel, construction of service streets and a new water and sewer line.
Valandovo: Arrangement of Josifovo industrial zone
93 million denars or 1,500,000 Euros spent. With a total of 11,890 inhabitants 7,800 denars or 120 Euros per person was invested. Reconstruction of the summer scene of the House of Culture May 25, local road construction, part of the boulevard rebuilt, reconstruction of the city market, sewage built, asphalting the streets and arranging the infrastructure of the industrial zone Josifovo.
Chashka: Purchase of mobile phones
About 92 million denars or about 1,500,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 7,673 inhabitants, which represents 12,000 denars or 193 Euros per capita. It was paid for mobile phones, food in public kitchen and student dormitories, water supply, temporary employments, backhoe supply, municipal waste collection vehicles, transportation of students and elementary school staff, and reconstruction of local roads.
About 86 million denars or about 1.4 million spent. The total population is 5,507, which is an investment of 15,600 denars or 250 Euros per capita. It mainly dealt with the construction of sewage, a sports hall, streets, home remediation in the village of Lesani, asphalting streets, procurement of a municipal waste collection vehicle as well as supply of communal vehicles.
Bogovinje does not say what they spend the money on
About 83 million denars or just over 1,300,000 Euros spent. 28,997 inhabitants in Bogovinje which means 2,900 denars or 46 Euros per person. The municipality has not submitted any data about what they specifically spent the money on.
Novaci: Rural roads
82 million denars or 1,300,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 3,549 inhabitants and thus the investments amount to 23,100 denars or 370 Euros per person. It was spent on construction, reconstruction and maintenance of local roads and streets, refurbishment and maintenance of rural roads, as well as procurement, installation, repair and maintenance of street lighting.
Zhelino: Winter and summer road maintenance
82 million denars or 1,300,000 Euros spent. With a total of 24,390 inhabitants the municipality invested 3,400 denars or 54 Euros per person. Several local roads constructed and reconstructed, winter and summer maintenance of the local road network, procurement and transport of asphalt for local roads repair, urban plan development, public lighting maintenance, supply and installation of concrete tiles, construction of sewage network, procurement of food and hygiene items for assistance.
Debar: Pavements and streets
About 79 million denars or about 1.3 million Euros spent. The municipality has 19,542 inhabitants which is around 3,700 denars or 59 Euros per capita. Supply of stone slabs for the city center, construction of sidewalks, street reconstruction, water supply and sewage network construction, construction and reconstruction of city streets and local roads, as well as construction of a stormwater intake pipeline.
Cheshinovo Obleshevo: Sewage system
76 million denars or over 1,200,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 7,490 inhabitants, which is an investment of around 10,000 denars or 164 Euros per capita. Sewerage system built in Obleshevo, fecal sewage in Chiflik, water supply system in Obleshevo, street construction, car purchase for 1,100,000 denars, well construction in the village of Spanchevo, a hiking trail, and paid for construction machine work.
Delchevo: Reconstructed sections of roads
About 75 million denars or 1,200,000 Euros spent. There are 7,713 people living in Delcevo which means that for each of them 9,700 denars or 150 Euros was invested. It was invested in local road reconstruction, construction of street sections, procurement of fuel oil, construction of streets, access paths and sidewalks, part of a local road, part of a service street and integrated traffic area.
Staro Nagorichane: Mostly spent on road construction
This municipality spent about 73 million denars or about 1,200,000 Euros. The number of inhabitants is 4,840, which is an investment of 15,000 denars or 243 Euros per capita. It was mainly spent on road construction, student transport and procurement of construction machinery, off-road vehicles and tractor equipment
Jegunovce: Infrastructure facilities
About 71 million denars or about 1,150,000 Euros spent. With a total of 10,790 inhabitants this municipality invested 6,600 denars or 106 Euros per person. It was mainly used for the construction of infrastructure facilities, fecal sewage, fecal collector, roads, pumping station and pipeline, as well as paving streets with Behaton tiles.
Vinica: Asphalted streets
About 70 million denars or over 1,100,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 19,938 inhabitants, which is an investment of 3,500 denars or 57 Euros per person. Asphalted streets, paved sidewalks, paid for fecal sewerage, water supply, construction, local roads, water treatment plant, lighting, and procurement of backhoe vehicle.
Kriva Palanka: Most spent on heating oil
About 70 million denars or just over 1,100,000 Euros spent. The number of inhabitants is 20,820 which means 3,400 denars or 54 Euros per capita spent. It was mainly spent on procurement of school heating oil.
Radovish: Heating in schools
Radovish spent about 70 million Euros or just over 1,100,000 Euros in the top 10 tenders in the past 5 years. The municipality has 28,244 inhabitants which means that 2,500 denars or 40 Euros were invested per capita. It was paid for schools heating and the rest for the construction of streets in the village of Kalugjerica, then storm sewers and water supply network in Radovish.
Brvenica: Construction of a school
68 million denars or about 1,100,000 Euros spent. With 15,855 inhabitants it was invested 4,300 or 69 Euros per capita. The municipality invested in school construction and road reconstruction, construction of part of the sewage system and construction and reconstruction of streets, roads and sidewalks.
Vinica: Asphalting and paving the streets
Vinica with about 65 million denars or about 1,000,000 Euros. The municipality has 19,938 inhabitants which means around 3,300 denars or 52 Euros were invested per capita. It was spent on the construction of fecal sewage, asphalting and paving the streets, procurement of excavators, road construction as well as water supply and sewerage.
Kriva Palanka: No details on spending
The 10 biggest tenders in Kriva Palanka are around 65 million denars or about 1,000,000 Euros. This municipality has 20,820 inhabitants, which is an investment of 3,120 denars or 50 Euros per capita. But there is not much information on what the money was spent on. Most of the tenders stated that the call was open, while some of them stated that they were for fuel oil supply.
Demir Hisar: Supply of 4 minibuses
61 million denars or just over 980,000 Euros spent. It has a population of 9,497 which means it invested 6,400 denars or 103 Euros per person. This is for construction of retaining walls, sewerage, supply of 4 minibuses for transport of students, supply of fuel oil, reconstruction of streets, construction of new water supply line and network, construction of local roads and reconstruction of streets.
Old Nagorichane: Off-road vehicle and machines
The municipality spent 60 million denars or just over 970 thousand Euros. The number of inhabitants is 4,840 which is an investment of 12,400 denars or 200 Euros per person. Local roads were built, a light off-road vehicle and a construction machine provided with tractor accessories, and it was paid for transporting students to the municipal elementary school.
Bogdanci: Work at a treatment plant
About 54 million denars or just over 877,000 Euros spent. With a total of 8,707 inhabitants it represents an investment of 6,200 denars or 100 Euros per capita. It was paid for the operation of the treatment plant, construction and expansion of street lighting, arrangement of streets, construction of storm sewers and the preparation of basic projects.
Berovo: Green market
Just less than 52 million denars or over 830,000 Euros spent. With a total of 13,941 inhabitants the municipality invested 3,700 denars or 60 Euros per person. Built and reconstructed streets, a roundabout, a bridge across the Smojmir River, as well as a green market
Tearce with no answer to what they spend the money on
52 million denars or about 840,000 Euros spent. With 22,454 inhabitants 2,300 denars or 37 Euros per person were invested. The municipality of Tearce did not say what purpose it specifically spent the money for.
Vasilevo: Cultural center reconstruction
About 50 million denars or 814,000 Euros spent. With 12,122 inhabitants it means that this municipality invested 4,100 denars or 66 Euros per person. Tenders are for the regulation of the Sushevski torrent, construction of streets, a multipurpose playground, reconstruction and revitalization of streets, as well as reconstruction and adaptation of a Cultural Center to a sports hall.
Plasnica is quiet about the spending
Over 49 million or about 800,000 Euros spent. The municipality of Plasnica has 4,545 inhabitants, which is 11,000 denars or 174 Euros per person. This municipality has not specified what exactly this money was spent for.
Petrovec: Sewer network
48 million denars or about 776 thousand Euros spent. The municipality has 8.255 inhabitants which means that 5,800 denars or 94 Euros was invested per person. Sewer network, fecal sewage system, water supply network, local roads, as well as a dressing room for a football club were built.
Gradsko: Streets and lighting
About 43 million denars or 690,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 3,760 inhabitants which means that it was invested 11,400 denars or 184 Euros per person. Local roads were constructed, streets and existing streets were rebuilt, then fecal street sewage, as well as the supply of electrical materials and street lighting installation.
Demir Kapija: Temporary employments
42 million denars spent, or about 680 thousand Euros. The municipality has 4,545 inhabitants which is an investment of 9,200 denars or 150 Euros per person. It was paid for temporary employment services, catering services for the celebration of 7th November, two new passenger vehicles were purchased, paid for infrastructure project, conceptual and basic bridge project, urban development audit plan and project documentation, as well as for the construction of local road infrastructure and the construction of a square.
Shuto Orizari: Procurement of official vehicles
About 42 million or about 673 thousand Euros spent. The municipality has 17,357 inhabitants which means that 2,400 denars or 39 Euros were invested per person. The money was given for reconstruction and rehabilitation of streets, procurement of official vehicles, procurement of fuels for official vehicles of the municipality, preparation of urban plans and surveying services, construction of sewage system, plumbing and sewerage network for a sports hall and its maintenance and fixing potholes in the streets.
Lozovo: Sewerage system
About 41 million denars or about 668 thousand Euros spent. With 2,858 inhabitants the municipality invested 14,300 denars or 230 Euros per capita. Streets and walkways built, street repair, sewage system construction, sports playground, as well as a municipal elementary school facade were built.
Krivogashtani: Pipes and sewer networks
41 million denars or about 668 thousand Euros spent. The municipality has 6,150 inhabitants which means that the investment per person was 6,700 denars or 107 Euros. Fecal sewage system built, main pipeline and treatment plant, street reconstruction, construction of distribution water supply network, construction of part of sewerage network, line pipeline infrastructure, supervision of construction of infrastructure facilities, supply and installation of pipeline system and procurement and installation of street lighting equipment.
Sopishte: A hiking trail
39 million denars or about 630 thousand Euros spent. The municipality has 5,656 inhabitants and the per capita investment amounted to 6,900 denars or 110 Euros. A hiking trail was built, water supply, student transportation, DUP construction, street reconstruction and asphalting, fecal sewage and local water supply, as well as horticultural landscaping were built.
Mavrovo Rostusha: Paving local roads
About 38 million denars or 612 thousand Euros spent. With 8,618 inhabitants it represents an investment of 4,400 denars or 70 Euros per person. The tenders were for asphalting of local roads, reconstruction and rehabilitation of local roads, winter maintenance of streets and roads, construction of regional elementary school, drainage and supply pipes, as well as for temporary employment services.
Resen: Ezerani Park landscaped
35 million denars or about 570 thousand Euros spent. The municipality has 16,825 inhabitants, which means an investment of 2,000 denars or 33 Euros per person. It was invested in asphalting local roads and streets, landscaping the Ezerani Nature Park, for winter maintenance of streets and local roads, as well as for the construction of sidewalks and repairing potholes.
Centar Zhupa: Local road
29 million denars or about 460,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 6,519 inhabitants, which means 4,400 Euros or 72 Euros per person invested. A local road was built and roads and streets reconstructed, a green market built, concrete prefabricated tiles, Behaton tiles procured, then a cultural education home adapted and refurbished, and a passenger vehicle purchased.
Zrnovci: A new square
27 million denars or 440,000 Euros spent. The municipality has 3.264 inhabitants, which is an investment of 8,300 denars or 130 Euros per person. Accessible and local roads were built, asphalted streets, reconstructed streets and a new square constructed, building a park, building a sewage system, and regulating the Vidovishka and Moroshka rivers.
Most of the municipalities are stuck in debt, some of which are objective, but some are the result of irresponsible behavior and the mayors’ illegal spending. The City of Skopje still has the most suspicious and expensive tenders, but despite the fact that the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office should have already opened a case for illegal spending of citizens’ money with the Skopje 2014 project, there is no charge. Inbox7 already wrote about the illegal purchase of mobile phones in the municipality of Chashka where the previous mayor, Gorancho Panovski, purchased a large number of phones, some of which he kept for himself. The State Audit Office has revealed a number of illegalities regarding the suspicious tenders of the previous mayor of this municipality. The Organized Crime Prosecutor’s Office has opened a procedure for everything found, after which they forwarded it to the Veles Prosecutor’s Office, but there the case remains stalled and without further outcome. There are also tenders in the municipality of Demir Kapija where cars were bought with the municipal budget money, and one of the tenders is for catering services to celebrate 7th November (although it is not known which holiday it is) and 150 thousand denars were spent. The illegal work of the former mayor Trajce Dimitriev was also kept under scrutiny by the Financial Police, following a 30-day detention last year requested by the Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime and Corruption.