FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – Leaders from U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood hosted a Quarterly Housing Town Hall Tuesday evening at the Stonegate Community Center, offering quarterly quarters residents on duty the opportunity to obtain the latest housing information, voice any concerns or ideas and get any issues sorted out.
Colonel Anthony Pollio, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood, introduced himself — Pollio took command of the garrison earlier this summer — and thanked residents, community mayors, command teams and community representatives from Balfour Beatty, Fort Leonard Wood’s housing partner, who attended the event.
“The intention of this forum is to disseminate information for the community, so you can follow what we are doing, but also to get feedback on areas where we need to focus our efforts,” he said. . “We appreciate your input into this because as I tell everyone, we can’t fix issues if we don’t know what they are. We’re counting on you to let us know what issues need fixing, so that we can try our best to solve them.
Pollio kicked off the town hall with a brief explanation of how income from service members’ housing allowances funds the costs of running the various communities at the facility – including utilities and upkeep of nearly 2,000 homes – and the reinvestment account designed to fund upgrades. and other improvements.
“I just want people to understand how the system works and what we’re doing to address concerns,” he said. “After all of the overhead costs associated with running the home are deducted, any money that’s left over is put into what’s called a reinvestment account. Now this account is what over time is designed to accumulate, so that we can then do major renovations and replace old homes. The problem we have is that our rates (basic housing allowance) in Fort Leonard Wood are low and our costs are high because we have very old houses that are very expensive to maintain. What happens is that we have a very small amount of money flowing into our reinvestment account.
Currently, Pollio said the Garrison team is studying how best to spend available funds to benefit as many residents as possible. One option being analyzed is to retrofit the heating, ventilation and cooling systems, mechanical closets and ductwork of existing homes – Pollio pointed out that 1,146 homes here were built before 1962.
“Right now we estimate about 250 homes could be upgraded,” he said. “We call it asset preservation, where we would extend the life of some of our homes, but that still doesn’t solve our long-term problem. Our goal and our desire is to obtain the necessary funds to replace the inherited houses.
As Missouri’s warmer months begin to wind down, Pollio introduced BBC facilities manager Ron Hesteness, who said 80% of plumbing costs here are due to frozen pipes. He asked residents to get into the habit of detaching garden hoses from outside water taps when not in use and opening cabinets along exterior walls with water lines inside. indoors when freezing temperatures arrive. He also asked residents to continue to change air filters monthly – filters are available free of charge through the BBC.
Housing safety issues regarding recreational vehicles, trailers and parking were also addressed.
With children playing outside in neighborhoods it is important to eliminate risks, and vehicles parked along the street create blind spots, where drivers may not have time to stop if a child runs into the street, said Jason Williams, BBC community manager here. Williams said recreational vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and trailers are only allowed in the accommodations when loaded and unloaded. The rest of the time they have to be stored elsewhere, and Williams pointed out that the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation has a storage area available. Call 573.596.0243 for details.
Another concern was parking violations in residential areas, Williams said. Vehicles can be parked on the street in the direction of traffic on the even side of residential addresses. Having vehicles parked on both sides of the streets creates problems when school buses, fire engines or other large emergency vehicles need to access them.
Pollio addressed concerns he has heard about the flow of information between residents, garrison leaders and housing officials.
“It has come to my attention that there have been instances where people felt they had no appropriate venue to address their concerns, or they felt their concerns were not being listened to” , did he declare.
One of the ways anyone at Fort Leonard Wood can express a concern — or give kudos for a job well done — is through the interactive customer review system, Pollio said. Commonly known as ICE, the Department of Defense-wide online portal provides an outlet for feedback.
“We read every comment from ICE,” Pollio said. “If you want someone to close with you or follow you, you can put your name on it. If you don’t want to put your name on it, you can submit one anonymously. I’m just asking when someone makes a comment ICE , try to be specific. Please explain what the problem is, and if you have any recommendations, let us know.
The ICE system is available online here.
Community mayors are another conduit for housing issues, Pollio said.
“They are the first point of contact for communities,” he said. “The mayors each manage a Facebook page, and I meet with them every month.”
When maintenance is needed in on-site family housing, residents have options to help, Hesteness said.
Routine maintenance requests can be made online through the resident portal on the BBC website. Work order requests received through the website are monitored during normal working hours, Hesteness said. Non-routine maintenance needs can be handled by calling the BBC’s 24/7 work order line on 573.329.4000. If this is unavailable for any reason, residents are encouraged to contact their community mayor.
Pollio opened the town hall to answer questions and attendees took the opportunity to share their concerns, including issues related to stray and wild animals and excessive speed in residential areas.
Although Fort Leonard Wood does not have an Animal Control office, residents who see stray animals or have problems with wildlife in their accommodations should call the Emergency Services Branch at 573.596.6141. Law enforcement officials here said they are doing everything possible to help transfer these animals to the Fort Leonard Wood veterinary treatment facility.
Child safety is a top priority for DES, and officials said they are trying to maintain a presence in residential areas. With the start of the school year, it is also important to make safety a priority in school zones and at bus stops, where children tend to congregate.
Authorities have reminded drivers that vehicles in both lanes must stop when a school bus has its red lights flashing and the stop sign is extended. It is also important to monitor school zones with reduced speed limits. Law enforcement officers carry out targeted patrols near schools to ensure security.
In addition to quarterly housing town halls, Pollio said he also plans to hold a monthly walking town hall in different housing communities. Follow the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on upcoming events at the facility.