PARIS — Even though it’s more than two months away, selectmen want people to know that the town wishes them a Merry Christmas.

At their Monday night meeting, selectmen voted 3-2 to spend $2,000 to light up Moore Park on Route 26 during the Christmas season. The money will cover running electricity to each of the park’s trees, but it does not include the cost of electricity for the lights or purchasing decorations.

Voting for the measure were Janet Jamison, Chairman Bob Wessels and Vice Chairman Mike Risica. Casting the dissenting votes were Sam Elliot and Vic Hodgkins.

The motion was brought forward by Jamison, who said there was previous discussion about selectmen giving back their stipends to pay for the project. No one on the board publicly agreed Monday evening to give back their stipend to fund the project. 

“Can we as a group agree we can get our park decorated this year?” Jamison asked.

When one drives through Paris during the holidays, it is not clear that it’s Christmastime, she said. She wants people to know that the town is valued by its residents.

Elliot said he wasn’t against the idea, but wanted Town Manager Amy Bernard to put together a complete budget that will cover the cost of installing the electricity, as well as the cost of the materials and the electricity to run the lights.

“I don’t want to vote on something, especially given the current environment, if I don’t know what it’s going to cost to do it,” he said.

Wessels didn’t want to kick the can farther down the road when the board knew the cost to get electricity in the park, especially since time is of the essence, and Hodgkins noted there’s snow in the forecast this weekend.

Hodgkins agreed with Elliot.

“I’m in favor, but I agree with Sam with numbers,” Hodgkins said after the vote.

Bernard said she would work up the rest of the budget for running the lights and purchasing decorations for the next meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26.

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