Jūrmala 'Electric run' costs criticized

A sports event in the Jūrmala resort town has drawn criticism from opposition councilors as €80,000 in public funds will be spent on what appears to be a small-scale run, reported Latvian Radio on September 26.

The 'Electric run Jūrmala', estimated to cost a total €200,000, is taking place on Saturday, with an estimated 3000 participants expected to participate. Local music star Intars Busulis is to perform after the event.

Councilors only learned about the event on August 17 when it was touted by mayor Gatis Truksnis. Opposition members have criticized the marathon all but unanimously, seeing as a similar event took place in late summer sucking up €100,000 in public funds.

Opposition councilor Dagmāra Beitnere-Le Galla said the money would be better spent on more pressing problems like cleaning apartment complex backyards in Kauguri.

Meanwhile councilor Guntis Grūba said that other municipalities have spent considerably less on similar events. "Practically the costs for such an 'Electric' event could be up to €40,000," he said.

Another member of the opposition said pressing public infrastructure projects like building a crosswalk by the Aspazija public museum are much more important.

Riga Marathon organizer Aigars Nords agreed that the costs are too high. "It's a huge budget for a small event," he said.

Partaking in the event, which features LED lights and music, costs €10 and €15 for the 'color run' version.

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