SANTA, Idaho Water commissioners in this tiny town have voted to change the town's name for a year to SecretSanta.com at the request of a Philadelphia marketer.
In return, the cash-starved water and sewer district Santa's only official entity will get at least $20,000 between now and next December. The town has to erect two signs, one at each end of town, bearing its new name.
The five water and sewer commissioners voted unanimously for the change this week, said the district's clerk, Gidget McQueen. Now an attorney is going over the details. The change is mostly symbolic; the post office will keep the name Santa.
McQueen said she was glad the commissioners voted for the change.
"I'm all for it if it can benefit the district financially," she said.
But not everybody feels that way.
"I would have voted no, because this town has lots of history, and I cannot see it being used simply to promote a salary for someone else," said Laura Teal, who has lived in Santa for 25 years. She referred to promoter Mark Hughes, chief executive of Buzzmarketing, who targeted Santa as a way of raising attention for a gift-exchange Web site.
McQueen said Hughes has agreed to pay Santa $5,000 by Dec. 9, and then another $15,000 next December, and will also pay for the signs.
Santa has about 100 residents and just two businesses in town the post office and a tavern. The money won't solve the water district's problems, but it will help, said McQueen.
McQueen said Santa used to be called Santa Fe, but somewhere along the line, was asked to drop the "Fe."