MASSENA — When Richard A. Boprey looks out over the town's beachfront along the St. Lawrence River, his thoughts turn back to Europe where he once played professional hockey.
The superintendent of the Massena Recreation Department says the view and tranquility at the town beach would be a huge draw in Europe, with vehicles parked along both sides of Route 131 for miles and the beachfront filled with people and baskets.
But the Norwood native wonders if the facility is taken for granted by some residents. He said he has been frustrated in recent weeks by some of the problems that have popped up this summer at the town beach: dogs, broken glass and beachgoers unwilling to leave at closing time.
“It's a beautiful facility and doesn't deserve to be abused,” he said. “It's frustrating people can't go there, enjoy themselves and go home. It's not too much to ask.”
He said the rules at the town beach are clear: no dogs, no glass, and the beachfront closes at 8 p.m. The gates are closed at 8:30.
Mr. Boprey said it has still been a strong start to the summer season, with the pavilions at the beach having been rented since the opening weekend until the end of July. The numbers for the summer recreation program remain strong.
But he said the rules violations and the lack of respect and manners shown to the high school- and college-age lifeguards when they address those issues are unnecessary.
“Our young staff don't need to be abused,” he said.
He reiterated that no dogs are allowed.
“There are still a few people who think taking dogs to the beach is a sensible option. It is not,” he said. “They shouldn't be going there and bothering people.”
Mr. Boprey also said more people seem to be violating the no-glass rule at the beach, another safety concern.
There also have been a few incidents this year in which lifeguards have had difficult times when they are trying to close the facility for the night. He said steps have been taken to alleviate that issue.
“The state police have helped us out by showing a presence out there in the evening hours, and it is appreciated,” he said.
Mr. Boprey said Massena is blessed with several beautiful park facilities ranging from the town beach to Springs Park and the Massena Creative Playground.
He said vandalism continues to be a problem. This week in a Bushnell Field bathroom, a toilet paper dispenser was ripped off a wall and a sink was broken. And at the wooden playground, recreation crews had to replace 20 2-by-2s to fix railings that are repeatedly being broken.
He said some problems at the beach and the parks are an annual occurrence.
“It just seems like the number of situations is on the rise,” he said. “It's frustrating, and there is no reason for it.”