Restitution paid for stage damage, trustee says

— The case of damage to the Samuel de Champlain Center Stage is now closed.

During a regular meeting of the village board of trustees Oct. 17, Trustee Dennis J. Roberts reported three persons responsible for damage to the Lake Street stage were apprehended by Village of Rouses Point Police Department. Their names, however, are not a matter of public record as they range in age from 12 to 13 years old, he said.

“Interviews were conducted with the three juveniles as well as their parents ... it was determined the best course of action was to seek restitution for the damages from the parents of those responsible,” said Roberts.

The damage to two rear doors of the stage and electrical outlet covers, among other cosmetic damage such as cigarette burns in the siding and bicycle tire track marks on the stage's handicap ramp, amounted to nearly $800, said Roberts. The restitution for the damage was received Oct. 13, he added.

Steve Merchant — a member of Friends of the Stage, the committee behind the fundraising effort last year to build the stage — said he was thankful for the efforts of the police department, particularly Chief Mike Bingel and Sgt. Tom Laundry.

‘We can’t thank the Rouses Point police department enough,”said Merchant.

Friends of the Stage has since raised enough money to install a roll-up door to close the stage when not in use. The overall cost of the door, which Merchant said is on order from Overhead Door, is approximately $4,000.

“We’ll be able to close [the stage] right up. Whether or not that will stop the damage, I don’t know. We hope it will at least protect the inside of the stage,” said Merchant, adding deadbolt locks have since been installed to other exterior doors on the stage.

“The community has stepped forward and helped out to get his door. We’re very thankful for everything they’ve done,” added Merchant.

Roberts, in turn, commended Friends of the Stage members for establishing the stage as another attraction for the Northern Tier.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have dedicate residents to do these types of things for our community,” said Roberts.

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