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Homeowner gets to keep town-owned land if voters approve at town meeting in May

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TOWNSEND — A mistake made years ago concerning a strip of land on Greenville Road was finally addressed, and a solution was offered at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen.

Bruce Mariani, who lives at 9 Greenville Road, constructed two sheds and a workshop at the edge of his property years ago, after receiving the necessary permits.

During a more recent survey of the area, however, the town discovered that the strip of land containing the out-buildings was part of the now-closed transfer station, and did not belong to Mariani.

Gregory Barnes, town administrator, told selectmen they could dispose of the property by giving it to Mariani with a town meeting vote.

”The last four or five years, there was a question of the land being an easement,” Barnes said, “but now that question is cleared up. The land can be disposed of to Mariani, but I don’t think he should incur any of the costs.”

Selectman Robert Plamondon said a compromise and a “win-win situation” was in the best interest of both the town and Mariani.

”I am in favor to giving the land to Mr. Mariani, but he should pay the costs,” Plamondon said, “both parties are somewhat to blame here, so I vote to deed the land over to him and he pays the associated costs.”

Barnes said surveys of the land should be carried out, as well as the paperwork fees for a deed transfer, which would cost about $2,000 total.

Plamondon said having Mariani pay the associated costs would be less than the cost of removing the buildings, or buying the land in the open market.

Barnes said the Board of Health would need to turn the strip of land over to the selectmen, and they in turn could deed it over to Mariani after a favorable vote at the town meeting in May.

Planning Board Chairman Jeffrey Peduzzi, who was in the audience, offered a suggestion to complete the transfer at minimal cost.

”The easiest way is for all parties to do an ‘Approval Not Required’ plan,” Peduzzi said. “There would be a $50 base fee, a $50 conveyance from the seller fee, and a $50 conveyance fee to the recipient. We as the planners could waive the ANR base fee, so it would come to $100.”

The selectmen voted to transfer the land over to Mariani, with him absorbing any fees, dependent on a favorable vote on town meeting floor.

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