Enthusiast about economic growth in the air, local authorities from a small town in Oltenia region decided to welcome Christmas properly this year, so they spent a fortune on the Christmas tree to be located downtown.
The representatives of Targu Jiu spent about EUR 100,000 for the Christmas tree, with the last installment for the ornamental steel-and-aluminum tree being paid this month. The first installment was paid in December last year.
The spokesperson of the Targu Jiu City Hall says the previous ornamental fir tree purchased in 2008 was out-of-date and “presented certain major risks that could jeopardize the safety of the inhabitants”.
The City Hall explains that the purchase price included the ornamental tree, the mechanisms and computerization associated with it, as well as the arches assembled at the four big crossroads of the city.
The local authorities claim that the 22 metres high fir tree-shape metallic structure will be used during winter holidays for the upcoming 12 years.
The city hall spokesperson, Loredana Covei explained the fir tree is made of aluminum and steel, has automatic, computerized equipment, adornments and light devices, 81,000 LEDs, an audio system, sensors, soft and also has a self-elevation system that is significantly reducing the assembling and dismantling costs.
However, some local councilors slammed the city hall’s move. Councilman Eduard Berca said the local council didn’t know about the acquisition price as the city hall didn’t ask for their opinions. “Considering the city hall’s own budget is extremely poor, here we are, buying the most expensive fir tree in Romania! (…) The sum seems astronomic, alien, considering that the most expensive Christmas tree at Rockefeller in New York, whose fortune was twice our country’s annual budget, was EUR 85,000,” Berca argued.
On the opposite side, the authorities in Sibiu, where one of the largest Christmas Fair is held, decided to use a natural fir tree this year, with the same height as the one in Targu Jiu, which cost only EUR 6,000 and was brought from 200 km away. The Christmas tree’s lights will be turned on at the fair’s opening on Friday, November 18.