RUMFORD — Residents voted at a special town meeting Thursday evening to grant an easement to a resident for land at Swain Road.

The easement was conveyed to Tammy Witas of 343 Swain Road, who recently put her house up for sale and learned the 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 the porch.

“The porch has been there when Tammy’s mother bought the property in 1956,” said Louise Horne, the realtor attempting to sell the property. “We actually lost an offer on the house because of this situation.”

Town Manager Carlo Puiia previously said a right of way “does not mean that the town owns that section of the road. It means 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.”

Puiia said previously that the town has plans to improve that section of the road, and if voters decided to approve the measure, the plans would have to be re-evaluated.

Chairman Greg Buccina said if the easement was granted, he would hope “common ground” could be reached, in terms of finding a way for the town to improve a section of Swain Road.

“I was thinking we could put an addendum into the easement that says if the town were to go forward with the project, whether it’s five or 10 years from now, that they would be able to give up that part of the land,” Buccina said.

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