Bilshivtsi Territorial Community
The Bilshivtsi Territorial Community was created in the territory of the Ivano-Frankivsk Region in 2016.
The Community consists of 16 communities, including 15 rural communities. It has four starosta-headed districts.
The administrative centre is the urban-type village of Bilshivtsi (with a population of 1,749 people).
The total area of the territorial community amounts to 152.6 square kilometres.
Population of the community as of 09 August 2023:
Total: 7,015 residents
Children under 18: 1,076
Retired people: 2,354
There are 131 internally displaced persons.
Mukachevo – Lviv State Road N-09 connecting three regions and the Lviv Railway Unit of Ukrzaliznytsia pass through the territory of the community.
A bird’s eye view of the community:
Bilshivtsi is a town where different eras come together, and one can see interesting architecture on its streets.
The first mention of this territory in documents goes back to 24 March 1402.
The most famous landmark is the Sanctuary of the Mother of God founded in 1624. For many years, the miraculous image of the Mother of God was kept there. In 2001, the temple resumed its activities and now pilgrims come here regularly. Meetings of Christian youth are held as well.
The current copy of the image of the Mother of God, which was solemnly enthroned on 14 July 2019, was produced as a result of the efforts of Archbishop Mechyslav Mokshytskyi. The Lviv Metropolitan Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church wanted the image to be the most accurate copy of the original one dating to the 16th century. After the copy was made, the “kiss of the images” ceremony took place, that is, the copy of the icon touched the original image. This event was held in the Church of St. Catherine in Gdańsk.
There is a town hall on Viche Square, a testimony to the fact that this small Galician town once had ambitions of a larger city. The town hall was built in the centre of Bilshivtsi in the 19th century.
A wonderful landmark of the past eras is the Kshechunovychi Palace, where the lords of the town once lived.
Another interesting building in Bilshivtsi is the Church of the Nativity of Christ built according to the project of Ukrainian architect Vasyl Nahirnyi in 1905 on the site of an old wooden church. There are two valuable wooden icons there: the images of Jesus Christ and the Mother of God.
Economy and Welfare
Large deposits of minerals, including clay, limestone and artesian waters, are available in the territory of the community.
The community is actively engaged in the cultivation of grain and industrial crops, fish farming. An important role is played by the food industry, i.e. the production of natural teas and the production of sausage products, craft products (goat cheese). Considerable attention is paid to the production of alternative sources of fuel and building materials.
Shops as well as agriculture are the mainstay of the local entrepreneurship. Every week, a fair is held in the village of Bilshivtsi, where local products are offered.
The community has great potential for breeding goats and sheep, trading in goat and sheep breeding products. It is possible to build complexes for keeping poultry, increase the production of building materials, ceramic products.
Alternative energy sources are being actively developed in the community. A solar power plant with a capacity of 1,556 kW presently operates there.
And thanks to free and suitable land plots, the development of alternative energy has great potential there.
The community is rich in water bodies, natural landscape, and recreational areas. The Halych National Nature Reserve and the Ancient Halych Nature Reserve operate in its territory.
In the future, the community aims at the broad development of the tourism industry, in particular the development of green tourism in the Podillia Mountains – the development of hang-gliding, the creation of a recreational and rest area near the Simlyn Lake in the territory of the village of Yabluniv.
The Bilshivtsi Community cares about its residents and their health. For this purpose, the community runs the Bilshivtsi Municipal Hospital with 40 beds and the Primary Health Care Centre of the Bilshivtsi Settlement Council, as well as an emergency medical care department.
Education has been one of the most important areas of the community development. Currently, it runs six educational institutions and two preschool educational institutions.
And culture occupies an equally important place in the life of the community. Its residents can go to the culture centre, four culture houses, seven clubs, nine libraries and the School of Arts of the Bilshivtsi Settlement Council.
Conditions are provided for youth development (construction of playgrounds, sports fields with artificial surfaces).
The Administrative Services Centre was opened on 10 February 2020.
Community and War
The war for the community began on 24 February 2022, although in the previous years starting from 2014, the community had been actively involved in volunteering and providing assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The civil front involves the provision of charitable assistance. The community also actively makes camouflage nets, uniforms for snipers, buys drones, night vision devices, and Starlink equipment. The purchase of cars, military equipment, body armour and the production of alternative heating sources have been organized for the Ukrainian soldiers of the community.
The residents of the community are making food kits; everyone is doing their best to bring the Victory of Ukraine closer.
At the same time, assistance is provided to the residents of the affected regions of Ukraine.
They have also received and accommodated the internally displaced persons who lost their homes and livelihoods. In the first months of the war, the community received almost 500 people. At present, 131 internally displaced persons live in the community on a permanent basis.
A palliative department has been opened at the Bilshivtsi Municipal Hospital, where patients evacuated from the war zone and temporarily occupied territories are staying.
People of the Community
Settlement Council Head: Vasyl Sanotskyi
In 2010, he was elected Head of the Bilshivtsi Settlement Council, where he still works. Since 2016, he has been running the territorial community.
Vasyl Sanotskyi has proven himself as a goal-oriented leader, is trusted by the community residents, clearly knows the community’s problematic issues and makes efforts to solve them.
Under the leadership of the head, the community was one of the first to be decentralized.
The Council has closely cooperated within the DOBRE programme under the auspices of USAID. The Sustainable Development Strategy for 2018-2026 has been developed. A number of projects have been implemented in the territory of Bilshivtsi.
With the assistance of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, a separate collection of solid household waste has been started in the territory of Bilshivtsi.
The community cooperates with its neighbouring communities in the field of inclusive education and the Burshtyn + project.
The Bilshivtsi Community Sustainable Economic Development Strategy for 2018-2026 was adopted by the session of the Bilshivtsi Settlement Council. In 2021, in connection with the accession of new communities, the session of the Settlement Council adopted an addition to the Strategy. The Community investment certificate has been developed. A number of programs have also been developed in the community:
Community strategic development goals:
- Creating a favourable environment for the development of the economy, especially small and medium-sized businesses, in the fields of agricultural production and processing as well as tourist services;
- Ensuring the provision of quality services in the medical, educational, cultural, sports spheres and an opportunity of active and meaningful recreation;
- Developing the infrastructure for the residents and potential investors;
- Building treatment facilities for deep biological treatment in Bilshivka, sewage networks;
- Implementing an efficient community management system and an efficient system of cooperation with its residents, achieving internal integration and forming a positive image of the community.