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Vandalism continues to plague Massena recreation facilities

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MASSENA — Vandalism continues to plague Massena’s recreation facilities.

Recreation Superintendent Richard A. Boprey told members of the Massena Joint Recreation Commission Tuesday that vandals have left their mark at Springs Park, the Alcoa Field tennis courts and Massena Town Beach.

He said that at Springs Park “the whole bandshell stunk of urine,” and vandals had taken about an inch-and-a-half of loose stones and spread those all over the bandshell floor. Picnic tables also were removed from their normal location and stacked up, he said.

To make matters worse, Mr. Boprey said, he received a call on Monday that all the railings in the park had been kicked off and were laying on the ground, and boards were ripped out of benches.

“It’s almost every weekend,” he told board members.

Springs Park isn’t the only area where vandals have struck, the recreation superintendent said.

He said that he has gone by the Alcoa Field tennis courts and seen teenagers sitting on the nets, and his staff also is spending part of its Mondays picking up glass from bottles that have been thrown over the fence and onto the courts during the weekends.

There have been instances of vandalism with picnic tables at the Massena Town Beach, and other problems continue to occur at the Creative Playground in Danforth Place, Mr. Boprey said.

The vandalism makes more work for his staff, which already is busy with normal warm weather routines at the recreation facilities, he said.

It also creates problems for people who want to legitimately use the facilities, board member George Hammill said.

Various options were discussed to alleviate the problems, including informing village officials about the situation, getting Massena Neighborhood Watch members involved or installing cameras at the facilities.

Trustee Albert “Herb” Deshaies, the village’s liaison to the recreation commission, suggested contacting neighborhood watch members.

“It’s a good item to bring up to them,” he said.

However, Mr. Hammill said, he didn’t believe it was a good idea for regular community members, including senior citizens, to deal with the types of individuals who are causing the damage.

“I think the powers that be need to be informed,” board member John J. Horan said.

“I know the mayor is sympathetic with our plight,” Chairman David M. MacLennan said.

Mr. Horan said the use of cameras, while they might not solve all the problems, would help protect the properties and facility users.

“We need to have cameras at some of those locations,” he said. “I think this bears some considerable discussion.”

The vandalism discussion originated after board members talked about possibly making repairs to the fence at the Alcoa Field tennis courts and the need to ensure it wasn’t damaged after it was fixed.

“Somewhere along the line we have to put that fence on our list” of projects, Mr. Hammill said. “If we put some money in, we might want to put a security camera in at some point.”

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