COUNCILLORS of Petrovany, a village in the Prešov district, have refused to sell a five-hectare plot of land in a local industrial zone to Funderia Condals, a Spanish company. The firm planned to build a foundry there worth €20 million and create 300 new jobs.

The councillors rejected the plan despite having already approved the sale of the land. They reportedly accepted the claims of some inhabitants who criticised the investment, and did not wait for the results of the environmental impact assessment, the SITA newswire reported on August 19.

Petrovany Mayor Ján Lenko said he was surprised by the vote, but added that “everybody voted based on their own knowledge and belief”. The council session was attended by about 40 people who opposed the investment project, which could have affected the result of the vote, SITA wrote. The mayor said that he will sign the decision of the council since he has no reason to doubt it.

The refusal to sell the land was supported by five councillors, with one abstaining from the vote. The vote’s outcome will cause the village to miss out on revenue from taxes as well as the creation of new jobs, Lenko said. He added, however, that the land can still be sold to another investor.

The decision of Petrovany’s council came as a surprise since most of the village’s inhabitants supported the construction of the foundry in a survey carried out in July. Councillors and volunteers addressed 942 adult inhabitants of the village, 600 of whom supported the plan, while 288 opposed it and 54 inhabitants did not respond to the question.

The survey was conducted based on an agreement with the investor after the public presentation of the project in the village. The recent council meeting was preceded by a petition against the foundry supported by 520 people. Not all of them were from Petrovany.

Lenko said that they have already told representatives of Funderia Condals that the council voted against the project. He has not received a response from the company yet, as reported by SITA.

Before the Spanish firm selected Petrovany for its investment, it had planned to build a foundry in the IPZ Záborské industrial park near Prešov. Though it agreed with the town’s representatives to buy the land and signed a memorandum of cooperation, the investment never materialised due to opposition from inhabitants of Prešov and the nearby villages of Záborské and Dulova Ves. A petition against the investment was signed by 2,300 people, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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