Political party calls foul on port sale to Ober-Haus

  • 2000-06-08
TALLINN (BNS) - The City of Tallinn cannot sell a property in the port area next to the Admiralty Basin to the Ober-Haus real estate company on the city government's decision, because according to the coalition agreement, sale of municipal land must be by means of public auctions.

As a result, it is likely the city won't be able to adopt a 200 million kroon ($11.89 million) additional budget.

Mayor Juri Mois told reporters May 31 that on the basis of the coalition agreement, a public auction must be announced for development of the property.

According to Mois, the Reform Party drew attention to a respective point in the coalition agreement. Deputy Mayor Priit Vilba of the Reform Party said he had never been in favor of sale of land or property on the city government's decision.

Mois said that sale of the port area property on the city government's decision would not have collected a majority of votes in the City Council, and therefore the city government took back the bill and will draw up a new one.

As a quick sale of the Admiralty Basin neighborhood had to be abandoned, the City of Tallinn will have to wipe its hands also of the 120 million kroons expected from the sale. The money had been intended to cover most of a nearly 200 million kroon supplementary budget for street repair and IT development.

As a result of the Reform Party's unexpected discovery, the city will also have to redecide the issue of intended sale of land in the central Viru Square on the city government's decision, so as to abide by the coalition agreement.

Deputy Mayor Heiki Kivimaa added that no decision concerning sale of the Viru Square land to real estate firm SRV Kinnisvara had been made yet, but it is highly probable that land will have to be sold by auction.

Vilba said that the Reform Party criticized sale of land in Viru Sqaure on the city government's decision before the municipal elections last fall.

The city government, of which Vilba is a member, made a decision in principle at the end of last year to sell large real estate sites to trustworthy investors on the city goverment's decision in order to speed up their sale.

The decision to sell the land next to the Admiralty Basin with no public auction for 120 million kroons to the Ober-Haus Group was made by the city government early in May, and on May 26, the City Council's coalition council supported the city government's plans.