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Tue., Oct. 6
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Salvation Army Boutique may reopen in two to four weeks


MASSENA - Massena Salvation Army officials say it could be two to four weeks before they’re able to reopen their Salvation Army Boutique, 170 Highland Road, after the roof collapsed on Jan. 3.

In a news release Wednesday, pastor and administrator Capt. Cynthia Crowsen and her husband, Capt. Russell Crowsen, said the boutique will not be able to reopen until repairs are complete.

“Although we have not been able to enter the building since the collapse, we are waiting for the repairs to be completed before we can assess what needs to be done to reopen,” they said.

The Crowsens noted that the building is currently without heat or electricity.

“Fortunately, we had nothing stored in that area of the building,” they said.

The Massena Volunteer Fire Department had responded to the mid-afternoon roof collapse on Jan. 3, in which no injuries were reported and no merchandise was damaged. Chief Thomas C. Miller said at the time that the garage area was heavily damaged, and he suggested ice had fallen to the flat roof over the garage, creating more weight and causing it to collapse.

The Massena Rescue Squad, Department of Public Works, St. Lawrence Gas and Massena Electric Department were also on the scene.

The building is owned by James Grow of Massena, who leases a portion of the building to The Salvation Army. Ms. Crowsen said Mr. Grow has informed her that repairs will take from two to four weeks.

“That time frame is, of course, dependent on good weather conditions,” she said.

She said the gas line in the building broke because of the roof collapse, and store manager Darlene Pelkey evacuated the employees, volunteers and shoppers from the store.

“She got everyone out of the building immediately and the EMTs checked them out at the site and determined there were no injuries. Later that day, my husband was able to enter the building and move the register to a safe and locked location,” Ms. Crowsen said.

The one full-time and eight part-time employees will be eligible to apply for temporary state unemployment benefits while the store is closed, according to the captain.

However, she said, their budget will take a hit because of the closure. Mrs. Crowsen said a “substantial portion” of the Massena Salvation Army’s budget is tied to revenue from the boutique, and they are looking at a loss of income for the next six weeks.

Because there is currently no location to receive and store items, anyone who plans to donate used clothing and housing goods is asked to wait until the boutique reopens.

For more information, call The Salvation Army at (315) 769-5154.

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