Utility Enterprises of the Cities and Towns of Left-Bank Ukraine in the 20s of the 20th century
In the paper, on the basis of a wide source base and scientific literature, an attempt was made to explore the way of establishment and development of communal enterprises of the cities and towns of Left-Bank Ukraine in the 20s of the 20th century.
The activity of this segment of the communal services is considered, and successes and difficulties in its development are determined. It is noted that the basis of the communal services were power plants, public water supplies, riznytsi (slaughterhouses), baths, which occupied an important place in the economy of the cities and towns.
Because of the number of employees, working at electric power stations, such communal enterprises were of strategic importance. No less important for the cities and towns were water supplies. However, if power plants were located in almost every city and town, not all of them had the water supply system. In addition, there were other utilities, including slaughterhouses and baths. Nevertheless, in the early 1920s communal enterprises were in a very difficult financial situation, they were dilapidated, some of them did not work at all.
Though, thanks to a new economic policy, communal enterprises began to revive, develop, and provide a benefit. By the end of the reconstruction period, the communal services of the cities and towns of Left-Bank Ukraine had significantly better results, in particular, some of them were restored, new ones were built and opened. Also, they were greatly improved. First of all, it concerned electric power stations and slaughterhouses that could be found in each city and town, and functioned stably, bringing profit. The situation with the water supply systems was more complicated, especially in small towns, where the problem of centralized water supply remained unresolved.
The established basis for the development and expansion of communal enterprises activity in the reconstruction period during the following years continued its effort to develop. The communal services of the cities and towns of the region were gradually evolving. The increase in the number of communal enterprises as well as the growth of their productivity took place, but it concerned mostly regional centers, while the development of communal enterprises in peripheral towns significantly fell behind. Such a trend continued in the future.
Until the end of the 1920s, all 23 cities and towns of Left-Bank Ukraine had functioning power plants. In all the cities and towns, there were slaughterhouses that were stable, cost-effective enterprises. Half of the towns in the region did not have water supply systems yet, but the issue was gradually resolving. The situation with baths remained difficult, in some towns they did not exist at all.
In spite of various difficulties, the 20s of the 20th century for communal enterprises of the regional cities and towns, had become a new starting point in the history of their existence, communal enterprises were gradually developing, increasing their activity as important, inalienable objects of urban life.