Voting for ideas to be implemented in Šiauliai is over and the votes have been counted, the city government announced on its web page. This year, 3 012 residents of the fourth largest city in Lithuania, which had marked its 784th birthday last September, cast their votes for the proposed projects.
In the category of high-value projects, the installation of a Pump Track in Dainų Park received the most support (collecting as many as 1154 votes among the 4 proposed projects). The author of the idea Arūnas Šatas says that the bicycle and roller skate track will become a safe place for children to spend their free time at, a space for advanced athletes to train, a high-level competition attraction centre and an object that adorns the park and is in perfect harmony with nature. According to preliminary estimates, the implementation of the idea for Pump Track will cost EUR 150 000.
The Municipal Council will approve the projects that have received the most votes from the city population. Following the allocation of funds, small-scale projects will be launched instantly. As for large-scale projects, the necessary technical documentation will be prepared and funding will be earmarked in the next fiscal year’s budget. The projects are fully funded by the municipal coffers.
Cities follow the example of Alytus
In Lithuania, the participatory budget initiative originated in Alytus a few years ago under the slogan # Alytus-based Initiatives. The drive has travelled to other cities and districts, with Kretinga, Lazdijai, Vilkaviškis, Panevėžys joining it in 2020 and Šiauliai, Klaipėda and Tauragė to follow suit this year. With the help of a participatory budget, each municipality can involve its residents in responsible budgeting, allowing them to decide for themselves what they need most.