The village of Ostrovany

Archaeological findings in Ostrovany in the district Sabinov, 12 km north of Prešov close to the šariš castle hill are significant places of interest in the šariš region. Surrounding areas were inhabited by early farmers already 5,000 years ago. They were attracted to this region because of fertile land, favourable climatic conditions, abundance of potable water and beautiful environment dominated by the šariš castle and Strážov hills. The valley was called the „šarišské podolie“.

A large-scale archaeological research was carried out in the municipality of Ostrovany in the 20th century, and it has revealed remnants of the eastern linear ceramics culture. In our territory the linear ceramics culture represents the first comprehensive culture using ceramics.

Archaeological research shows that a settlement was established in Ostrovany that later became a business and handicrafts centre of the Torysa path area in the Carpathian Mountains for a long period of time. Findings come from various periods – from Early Bronze Age through the period at the end of the pre-Christian era, from Early Roman Era (2nd and 3rd century), and they also include the period of migration of nations from the 4th and the 5th century, but also from the period of settling the territory by old Slavs, as well as from the 12th and 13th century when founding the Hungarian empire in this part of šariš.

The municipality of Ostrovany has 1,594 inhabitants, 1,020 of which is the Roma population living in the settlement on the village outskirts. The total area of the municipality is 650 ha. With the exception of a local cooperative farm there are no other production plants or organizations providing job opportunities in the municipality.

Therefore the working population commutes to their work outside the municipality. As Ostrovany is a village with the majority of Roma population, the overall unemployment is around 75%. Changes coming after 1989 significantly affected the village social and economic life. A municipal office has been re-established in Ostrovany, and the management of the municipality was handed over to the municipal council and the mayor. At present the municipal council consists of 9 members, 3 of whom are Romas.

Since the first election period the municipality has been focusing on improving the environment and increasing living standards of inhabitants. Since 1992 the municipality has been building its sewage system and at the end of 2004 the municipality started to build a sewage collector with house connections using their own financial resources in the total amount of almost 7 million Sk.

The municipality has also constructed its own water treatment plant which cost 6.5 million Sk, and these financial resources were contributed by the State Environmental Fund of the Slovak Republic and from Ministry for Construction and Regional Development SR. In 1996 the gas distribution system was installed in the village. At present almost every household is connected to this system. Recently the municipality is planning to install the gas distribution system in the first households of the Roma settlement.

As to the environment, the municipality has implemented several other projects, however, establishing illegal dumping sites is still a large and permanent problem for the municipality, and their liquidation consumes a significant amount of financial resources from the municipal budget each year.

Ostrovany became member of the Association of  the YOUR SPIš Fund on 15th of April 2004. The municipality has developed a Plan of Economic and Social Development until 2010, on the basis of which it has an opportunity to participate in projects focused on the improvement of life of its inhabitants.

The municipality has submitted an application for contribution from the Fund of Social Development for the construction of a Community Centre and participates in the program „Supporting Social Community Work in Municipalities“, which has been implemented since June 2004.