RUMFORD — The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Tuesday evening to schedule a special town meeting Nov. 7 to decide whether the town should give up its right of way on a corner of Swain Road.

Resident Tammy Witas of Swain Road put her house up for sale and learned that its wraparound porch is 7 feet inside the town’s right of way on a corner of the road. She asked that the town surrender its right of way there, which would “provide the purchaser insurance that they would not lose their porch.”

Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Wednesday afternoon that there are plans to improve and remove that corner.

“Right of way does not mean that the town owns that section of the road,” he said. “It means that we have a right to improve on it and make it safer, if necessary. It’s the realtor’s opinion that this makes the property unsellable.”

The board discovered that for the town to surrender those rights, it would have to go before a town meeting.

According to Puiia, if the town were to approve the measure, plans to improve the corner would have to be re-evaluated.


The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., an hour before the selectmen’s selectmen.

In other business, resident Eric Giroux asked selectmen for permission to set up a toll road for the Fireman’s Relief Fund in the near future.

“I understand that the police chief isn’t too supportive of them,” Giroux said, “but we had one of these a couple of years ago, and it went pretty well for us. I was thinking that we could maybe meet somewhere in the middle. I mean, we could even do a toll parking lot if you wanted.”

Chairman Greg Buccina asked Giroux the reason for the toll road.

“It’s for the Fireman’s Relief Fund,” Giroux said. “We’re a couple hundred dollars away from our goal right now” of raising money to repair a firetruck.

“The last toll road we had helped pay for pretty much all of what we were raising money for,” he said


Buccina said the board would discuss the request.

In his report, Selectman Jeff Sterling addressed the upcoming vote on eight municipal budget articles.

He said he “heard, on and off over the past couple of weeks, that people will be opposing the budget because the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee continually decide to fund the (Greater Rumford Community Center) and Black Mountain with money from the unclassified accounts.

“All I can do is say that this is not true,” Sterling continued. “It wasn’t true for this recommendation and it wasn’t true for prior recommendations. If anybody is interested in what that account is used for, please ask, or come and ask for a sheet of paper explaining it. If that’s the one thing that’s holding people up, I want to be able to explain it.

“Then again,” Sterling said, “everybody’s perceptions are their own reality. At this point, I don’t believe I’m the one to change people’s minds. I think it’s just one of those things that we need to say again and again and again, and hopefully, it’ll sink in.”

The unclassified accounts include money for workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, health insurance, liability insurance and contributions for Social Security/FICA.


Voters in June turned down all 12 money articles, which totaled $7.5 million. Reduced amounts were presented to voters in July and eight were rejected again. In August, all eight recommended amounts were rejected by voters.

 A fourth vote is set for Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall.

The amounts recommended by selectmen and the Finance Committee are:

* $625,000 for the Fire Department

* $716,000 for the Police Department

* $874,000 for Public Works


* $650,000 for Public Safety

* $60,000 for General Assistance

* $749,000 for General Government

* $358,000 for Capital Accounts

* $1,276,000 for Unclassified Accounts

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