Paris board moves to give part of nature preserve to cemetery


PARIS — Selectmen agreed to ask the town’s attorney whether the town can give 1.13 acres of the Cornwall Nature Preserve to the adjacent Hillside Cemetery for expansion of the cemetery.

The request comes from William Burmeister, president of the Hillside Cemetery Association. According to a letter Burmeister wrote to selectmen, the land is on the preserve’s southern boundary and no trails run through the parcel. He said that because the proposed parcel is near Paris Hill Road and a small parcel owned by the Paris Utility District, it’s not prime real estate.

The extra acreage would let the cemetery sell more lots, giving it more capital for maintenance costs.

Alice Cornwall deeded the 147-acre preserve to the town in 1982 for the public’s use. The preserve contains several miles of hiking trails, and hunters use the preserve during hunting season.

Burmeister, who spoke at the board meeting Monday, pointed out that Alice Cornwall’s five heirs have each signed a letter allowing the transfer of land.

Cornwall is buried in the cemetery.

A letter that Cornwall’s four daughters and one son signed says they believe “our mother would wholeheartedly support this move.”

Chairman Robert Kirchherr said Paris would pass the letters to the town’s attorney. “My feeling is that there’s a consensus on the board that we want to pursue this,” he said.

He said the issue would likely have to go to a town meeting vote.

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