Fort Benning Garrison Town Hall questions and answers
February 4, 2014
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Feb. 5, 2014) -- This town hall is a public forum for Fort Benning residents and Families to receive answers from the garrison command and bring attention to community concerns. The question and answers below have been edited for brevity, accuracy and grammar. Specific identifying personal information to include names, addresses and personal contact information has been removed. Fort Benning organizations including Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the Commissary and the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation gave away gift cards and a free round of golf and a pontoon boat rental at Uchee Creek.
Martin Army Community Hospital
Q: When does the new hospital open?
A: Nov. 17, 2014, is the day we will see the first patient.
Q: Will there be information on volunteering positions at MACH?
A: Yes, and you may call us at 706-544-3213.
Army Air Force Exchange Services
Q: Can you look into having another Internet provider on post? It would be nice to have options.
A: We're in the process of negotiating Internet service as a second option in the housing area, date to be determined. Thank you for your input. For more information, contact the AAFES Exchange services business manager.
Q: What is the correct procedure to receive services from the Battle Buddy Resource Center?
A: The BBRC is a chaplain ministry. For more information on receiving services or volunteering, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BattleBuddyResourceCenter. The services we offer is food when there is a shortage in the household. We also have chaplains that can offer counseling and everything is confidential.
Q: How do we donate food for the Battle Buddy Resource Center?
A: You can make donations by dropping items off during food bank hours, or if it is a bigger donation, BBRC can make arrangements to pick it up. The BBRC Facebook page contains a list of items they need: www.facebook.com/BattleBuddyResourceCenter.
Directorate of Human Resources
Message from DHR: Did you know that it was mandatory for all Soldiers on reassignment instructions to have a sponsor appointed from the gaining command to assist you during the reassignment/relocation process? If you are on PCS orders to another installation and do not have a sponsor appointed, contact the installation sponsorship liaison office at 706-545-1131.
Q: My husband did not (have a sponsor) and he reported it. The person he reported it to said that is just the way 3rd Infantry Division does stuff. It was really disappointing.
A: Please have your husband call the sponsorship liaison office at 706-545-1131 and let them know. They will assist.
Q: Hi, I am wondering what steps need to be taken in order to start a food pantry.
A: Thanks for this great question. It takes dedicated volunteers. First contact your local food bank.The Battle Buddy Resource Center is a food pantry that receives from the food bank. Feeding the Valley in Columbus was instrumental in helping the BBRC. Also, ACS has a food voucher program for needy Soldiers and some units have their own food pantry run by their Family readiness group.
Q: Is it correct that there is a new school being built for the Patton neighborhood?
A: We are planning a new school for Patton Village. We are supposed to start construction in 2016.
Q: I met a young mother whose child is going to kindergarten in the fall. When I asked if her child was in preK, she replied that she didn't make into the lottery system and can't afford private off-post preK. Could Fort Benning use the two kindergarten classrooms in the School Age Services building to add morning and afternoon part-day PreK (Tuesday and Thursday and Monday, Wednesday and Friday) sessions? That is what they did at Fort Lewis when I was stationed there. Early education is crucial and we should use all of our resources and spaces to accommodate our children on post.
A (from MWR): We are expanding our Georgia preK and yes, School Age Center is one of the facilities we will use. Please stay tuned to www.benningmwr.com for an announcement.
Follow-up A (DoDEA): Fort Benning Schools do not do a lottery. All children who live on post with an active military parent are allowed to enroll in our preK program. Parents who live off post and whose children attend public schools may experience the lottery or no preK at all.
Follow-up Q: I'm confused. All children can enroll in free preK? This is the previous information I had:
"The Georgia preK Program for 4 year olds is a state lottery funded program with limited spaces available. Enrollment forms are available at Fort Benning child development centers, School Age Services and Parent Central. All forms must be turned in at Fort Benning CDCs, SAS or Parent central by noon April 27 to be eligible. The drawing will be held at 3 p.m. April 27 at Parent Central. You must be able to prove Georgia residency at the time of enrollment. Children must be 4 on or before Sept. 1. Twins must be entered on the same registration form. Multiple entries will disqualify applicants. For more information, call 706-626-0352."
Follow-up A: DoDEA schools offer free half-day preK programs for all eligible students. If you live on post, you may call the school assigned to your housing area if you would like more information regarding enrolling your child. The Georgia PreK Lottery program is not offered in the Fort Benning Schools. Fort Benning schools offer a preK program -- a federal program, not a state program. Yes, as a Fort Benning resident, you can enroll in the Fort Benning Schools preK program.
Q: Can booths be installed at the bus stops, since the kids have to stand in the pouring rain waiting for the bus sometimes.
A: We do not normally provide covers for bus stops. However, if a particular location presents a hazard from not being covered, we will address the problem. If you have a location with a safety concern, then please send us a private message with location and we will check it as soon as possible.
Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
Q: There should be screening of teenagers living on post. They are responsible for a large percentage of crimes and usually get a slap on the wrist since they are juveniles. If a teenager gets caught committing crimes their parents (the Soldier) should face penalty or having their rights to live on post removed if they fail to get their child in line.
A: We have a system in place -- the Juvenile Misconduct Action Authority -- where the garrison Command Sergeant Major, currently Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Sullivan, disposes of the cases based on the misconduct. There's a range of punishments -- restriction from post, community service, rehabilitation classes and other options. The outcomes are not normally publicized due to privacy concerns for minors. Serious crimes may be handled by the Federal Magistrate Court downtown.
Q: Is there a welcome program for civilians on Fort Benning that helps people who are new to the area to locate businesses and find commercial activities? Would it be possible to provide a live, informational tour of the Columbus area to newcomers? I was under the impression that the Newcomers class offered by MWR is for a tour of the Benning Community and not for the local area outside of the base.
A: MWR offers a monthly Newcomer's Tour for spouses and civilians to the area. Visit benningmwr.com for the next date and phone number to register. We also offer a Weekly Newcomer's Orientation, which is open to civilians. Visit the ACS page for information and times.
While we only tour Fort Benning, we do provide many "tidbits" about the off-post community as well. Also, we have an App called "Not Lost" which contains tours and information about the Columbus area. The Columbus Visitor's Bureau has a robust program for visitors and newcomers that may offer what you are looking for: http://visitcolumbusga.com/
Q: What types of outreach programs does Benning offer to support the local community (outside of the base)?
A: Our Community Relations program at Fort Benning supports the local community with speakers and support to community events such as parades and air shows. Fort Benning also has a very robust Partners In Education program partnering military units with local schools in the surrounding counties. Further, many Soldiers support the community through volunteerism with organizations such as House of Heroes and Habitat For Humanity. Each of our brigades is partnered with a local county in an effort to share ideas and build community goodwill. Soldiers also support the community through volunteerism with Warrior Outreach.
Villages of Benning
Q: I have a question about housing. We are E-5 and want to know why we are not allowed to live in the larger houses of Custer village? Our kids are older and have nothing but smaller kids in our area.
A: Housing is designated by rank bands. There are fully renovated homes available to each rank band and additional renovations are planned.
Follow-up Q: OK, I understand that. But NCOs living with Soldiers is considered fraternization, correct?
Follow-up A: Fraternization policies do not impact rank band designation for privatized housing.
Q: How likely would it be to get a dog park closer to McGraw/Patton housing?
A: There is a dog park on Arrowhead in McGraw.
Q: Is it possible to get better play equipment in Patton Village? The parks in Custer Village are so nice and ours barely have anything for the kids to play, no swings, no sand. Also, our playgrounds in Davis Hill are horrible. Pretty much everything there is broken and always full of glass.
A: We are currently conducting assessments of all playgrounds on post. However, if you have a specific immediate concern with a playground, please contact the community director at your village's management office.
Questions and comments regarding maintenance
Q: Older housing is substandard with black mold (which is painted over), rotting door jambs and windows. There are no real fixes offered by housing. Our doors have gaps and we have reported it twice. There are serious health concerns from the mold and lord knows what else in the homes. Being on a list for renovation is not really helpful.
The problem is there is nothing that can BE done with these old homes. The window frames are rotting, the door frames are rotting, the doors do not fit properly, the only thing that would help is completely tearing the houses down. When we moved in we hosed down the outside and water leaked everywhere. They took care of the windows but our doors still leak and let in the cold/hot air and moisture. They were advised about that already back in June.
Q: I would like to talk about the care of our homes. When I moved in I found razor blades, black looking stuff in the tub that can not be scrubbed off, rotting wood along the doorways among other things. I was told these are known issues by housing and the workers. If this is a known issue why isn't something being done before people move into the homes? Why are overhangs not built so water will stop coming into my home and causing rotting wood?
Q: Custer Village management has been a hassle to deal with they seem unconcerned with issues that we have with our homes. For example, when I was seven months pregnant, my air conditioning went out and we sat in a 98 degree home for two days before anything was done I had to go to the office to ask if we (my 3 year old, myself and my brother-in-law) could be put somewhere until the issue was fixed and the reply I got was well that seems like a hassle well see what happens. We always have to contact someone else to get anything done or we have to wait for months for things to get fixed like our fence that we have contacted them several times about and it's been a problem for a few months now.
Q: I live in the older housing in Bouton Heights and the maintenance available to us is substandard. I have had numerous situations where maintenance people have come in to fix a problem and have done a seriously substandard job. I have reported it to the maintenance department but nothing is done. For instance, my toilet was busted and leaking water into my downstairs bathroom (it took them four visits to finally take a look at the problem) and they replaced the caps on the toilet then left me to clean up the mess. They did not recaulk to toilet bowl or fix the ceiling downstairs where water had gotten through. They just sanded and painted over the areas. The excuse I continue to hear is that our homes will be renovated but since there is no set renovation date we deserve to receive exceptional maintenance work.
We have contacted, over and over, to the point of pulling hair out and having the housing manager out to my home within an hour of being in the home. My question is if these are known issues then why are they not being fixed before new residents move into the homes?
Q: I'd like to talk about the safety of the home here in Davis Hill. The wood around the windows and doors are literally dryrotted and crumbling away. The mold in these homes is constantly making us physically sick. My kids and myself get strep throat about every month. Not to mention the whole issue of not even having a smoke detector in the living room or kitchen area. One Family already had their home burn down and they were lucky to make it out alive. All housing says is that we are up next for renovation so they won't make any repairs other than cosmetic. Honestly, I don't feel these homes are safe let alone be worth the $1380 monthly rent we pay here.
Q: Housing has been notified by many people many times. I do not see the fairness in paying all of my BAH for what I consider substandard living quarters. We also had a very bad problem with spiders. I am not talking normal garden spiders but black and brown widows. We had an infestation. The best response we got was to kill them. I understand that we should expect a certain amount of insects being in Georgia and being that our house backs up against the woodline. But when our children couldn't even go in the yard to play and we have to constantly monitor everything our dogs do when we have them outside, it becomes a problem. Not to mention when they started to migrate into he home.
Q: My neighbors and I have had our electric bills switched since we moved in. We have tried contacting housing as well as the electric companies directly and have gotten no assistance in making a simple fix of switching them since July. Who can we speak to who will actually remedy this?
A: For concerns with the condition of your home, your community management office is the place to start. However, if you feel that your concerns have not been properly addressed, you can contact the Community Director at 706-685-3939 or RCI LNO at 706-545-3009.
Q: When we were in Fort Riley the housing there gave us on-post residents an electronic key to the gym (in the village community center) to be used after hours. Would it be possible to do the same here?
A: At this time, we do not have a system, such as this, in place. It is something, however, that we can take into consideration for the future.
Q: My issue is I live in a five bedroom home with six people, I am being held at the same usage as a three bedroom home with three people. So obviously I go over my allotment, doesn't seem fair to me.
A: Similar houses are grouped together. Please call your management office so that we can verify that your home is being properly grouped.
Q: There are numerous open fields in the new Custer housing. Can we do something to have the lawn service mow those regularly during the summer?
A: This is something that we will look into and take into consideration. Please contact your community management office tomorrow to notify them of the specific areas.
Q: What is the policy for retirees in military housing?
A: At this time, we do not have retirees living in on-post housing. Currently, we only offer housing to active-duty service members and dependents.
Follow-up Q: On other installations we have been assigned (Fort Hood and Fort Knox) we have had retired neighbors. Is there a plan to update this policy?
Follow-up A: The policy already allows for retirees to live on-post if certain vacancy levels exist. Currently, we only offer housing to active-duty service members and dependents.
Q: I have lived in Perkins Village for just under three years. My concern is that there are no nuisance animal regulations on post. I feel like I live in a kennel. I cannot open my windows or doors without listening to a dozen or so dogs barking. All day and all night. My kids have a problem going out to play in the back yard because they just start a barking frenzy. Most owners aren't home and leave their animals outside all day. There needs to be a limit on barking dogs. I can't have friends over to barbecue because you can't hear. When you bring this up, you get, "Sorry, there's nothing we can do."
A: Excessive dog barking is a concern of ours. If it is during normal business hours, please contact your community management office at 706-685-3925. If it is after hours, please follow up with your manager the following day.
Q: I'd also like to bring up a concern about animal cruelty, dogs being left out all day in the below-freezing temperatures. Who do we contact? Housing? MPs?
A: Please contact the MPs for animal cruelty.
Garrison Command Team
Q: Kids under 18 are not allowed outside after dusk unless supervised by an adult. I can understand later hours in the summer but when it's dark by 7 p.m., they have no business being outside unsupervised. They are inly looking for and causing trouble.
A: We will consider it during the next revision of the Garrison Regulation. We will survey the residents like we did in the past.
Q: How often are Garrison Regulations revised?
A: The Garrison Regulations are currently under revision and they are revised every two years.
Q: If I want to have a volunteer opportunity how much time is involved?
A: As much time as you would like to commit. Initially, you will need to apply through the American Red Cross online and attend a brief orientation at the hospital. If you volunteer, the American Red Cross will provide vouchers for childcare on post.
From MWR: Call the ACS Volunteer Coordinator to learn about all the great volunteer opportunities on Fort Benning. Visit www.benningmwr.com for a list of phone numbers.
Follow-up Q: And does the same apply for The Battle Buddy Resource Center?
Follow-up A (from The Battle Buddy Resource Center): Please message our Facebook page or visit us anytime during our operating hours. We are located at 7200 Andersen Ave.
Q: I am a 15-year-old high school sophomore of Coram Deo Classical School, which is a homeschool group that prepares kids for college. For about a year and a half, I have been reading on leadership and have been trying to shape myself into a leader such as Ronald Reagan or George Washington. My goal is to make it into West Point Military Academy, because I feel I am a leader, not a follower. I was just wondering if you had a few pointers for me on how I can achieve such large goals, and how I can form myself into a leader before I attempt to join West Point. Thank you so much for your time, Commander. God bless.
A (from COL Huerter): Schedule an office appointment with me and I can get you linked up with a West Point admission representative. My office number is 706-545-1500.
Martin Army Community Hospital
Q: I have a question about the Tricare travel reimbursement program. Do you know if the hospital have the funds for the program or are they still waiting for budgets to be approved? I am only asking because some Family members have to travel far for medical care that cannot be provided in nearby cities and the reimbursement took a big burden off of Families.
A: Martin Army Community Hospital will consult with you, please PM your contact information and someone will call you on Friday.
Directorate of Logistics
DID YOU KNOW? Active-duty members retiring from the military are authorized one year to decide on a location to ship their household goods. However, the member can submit a written request to extend the shipping entitlement beyond the one-year period for bona fide reasons such as seeking education, training, medical or other unusual circumstances. The request must be submitted before expiration of the one-year period.
Q: Does this apply for medically retired? My husband is from Ohio and would like our things moved to California.
A: In most cases, this would also apply to medically retired personnel. Please contact the transportation office to make arrangements. Please contact the Installation Transportation Officer directly concerning your question.
Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation
Q: My Cub Scout pack (pack 177) has been authorized to set up a booth at the Newcomer's briefs on Wednesday. That is a huge opportunity. We are severely limited though on our ability to actively recruit in the schools we have been assigned (McBride, Lloyd and Stowers). What are we allowed to do? There seems to be a lot of confusion as to who is responsible for deciding this.
A: We are unsure who approved your participation at the Newcomer's Orientation. Please send us a private message on our Benning MWR page and we will help you resolve your issue.
Q: I am very disappointed that mothers of small children are being turned away at Smith Gym. I would like to recommend that Smith Gym consider making a Family room or provide stroller hours for mothers that are unable to participate in the Child Care Co-Op. Other MWR fitness centers have done this successfully. For example, the gym on post in Hohenfels, Germany, had a very nice Family room that provided a safe place for small children to play while mothers used treadmills or ellipticals. Other gyms provide stroller hours; a specific time of the day when its OK to bring in a stroller to have little ones sitting near by while mom works out.
A: That is really a great question. We have some concerns about the safety, but we will look into this by calling some of the installations you mentioned. Did you know that the Villages of Benning have a playroom adjacent to the work out rooms in their community centers?
Follow-up: Thanks. Yes, I'm aware but those centers do not have evening or weekend hours.
Follow-up Q: At Smith Gym, could we consider members just paying for child care if they choose to vs. co-op? Most people I know would use the gym, however, they do not want to deal with co-op. Including myself.
A: Yes, you can use hourly child care at First Division Road CDC or a Family Child Care home. Please call Parent Central for more information, visit www.benningmwr.com
Follow-up Q: I'm aware of the hourly child care. However, that can get a bit pricey since it's not a monthly rate, especially when you have more then one child.
Q: Is it possible to have the part day preschool program back in McGraw CDC?
A: Child, Youth & School Services is looking at various ways to increase programs in all areas. We may not move the part-day preschool program back to McGraw Child Development Center but we are certainly open to looking at adding additional spaces in other locations, if the need exists. We will gladly give currently enrolled Families their first choice of program locations.
Q: Are there any plans to open up Smith gym later than 5 p.m. on the weekends?
A: Fort Benning gyms are open 126 hours a week. This is 30 hours over the mandated hours required by the Department of the Army. Previously MWR surveyed our patrons to obtain data on utilization, to include 24-hour use. The current hours and funding levels accommodate the majority of the patrons.
Q: I've had problem ever since I signed my children up for sports through Child, Youth & School Services. First they change the dates, then the time, then call and tell me that I did not pay, then they tell me my son is in the wrong team (they had the wrong lists out by the parent meeting). So far, I did not have many good experiences with them.
A: We apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced with the youth sports process. Please contact CYSS Youth Sports so we can better understand your concerns and improve our processes and programs.
Q: My wife is a Family Child Care provider on post. There is an issue of providers not being paid timely for food reimbursement. As a matter of fact my wife still has not been reimbursed for December yet. The system is broke. Fort Riley's program paid within the first week after paperwork is submitted for reimbursement. This is money that we pay out of pocket to feed Soldiers' children. This is money that we expect to be reimbursed for so we plan our bills around the return. The people who submit the paperwork to NAF get paid on time why shouldn't my wife?
A: We received your concern and we are looking into why she hasn't been reimbursed for December. We aim to have an answer tomorrow.
Follow-up Q: I am tracking this however, why does it take until the end of the month every month. The system needs to be looked into and standardized. It is hard to plan bills around funds that are not paid back until whenever someone wants to submit the paperwork.
Follow-up A: The USDA requires that claims be submitted on a monthly basis.
Q: I would like to know if the MWR pool located behind the Benning Club will be opened this summer? I was told by management at the club that it was going to open back up is this true?
A: Great question. Yes It will be completely renovated, works starts next week.
Follow-up Q: Great. Will this be a free pool also like all other MWR pools on post?
Follow-up A: We would really like to make it free, but we haven't made that decision yet.
Q: In order to use the hourly child care do you have to make a reservation? I was under the impression that you had to, so if the child care is booked people that want to use it to go the gym are out of luck. Who do we talk to re: possibly opening a childcare center to be used for people trying to use the gym?
A: You are able to make reservations two weeks in advance at 1st Division CDC and on a walk-in basis when available. Our Family Child Care homes also offer hourly care. We are looking at ways to expand hourly care spaces in the very near future. Please contact Parent Central for additional hourly care options.
Q: If you volunteer to coach a CYSS youth sports team and have are kids playing but different age groups are both kids free or just one.
A: The first child is free and the second child is half price. Active duty may be eligible for promotion points if registered through ACS Volunteer Coordinator.
Directorate of Emergency Services
Q: When I find minors smoking cigarettes and marijuana behind my home do I need to take a picture for MPs so that I have proof and something will be done about it?
A: If you witness this please call the MP Station. If you take a picture, try to do so from a location where you are not observed (for you personal protection). If you know their names that would be important to tell the officers also.
Q: Is it possible to make an MP FB page. Most LEO agencies have pages to let the citizens know what is going on and how to protect themselves from becoming victims.
A: This Garrison Town Hall is intended to cover this service.
Follow-up Q: I'm referring to day-to-day issues. When we had multiple occupied burglaries or door kick-ins it's good to know what is going on and where. People need to be informed what is going on in their neighborhoods. We have neighborhood crime watch pages but unless we know what is going on postwide we cannot really prepare.
Follow-up A: We acknowledge your request. Please contact us directly at 706-626-0943 to discuss further.
Q: I would like to see more MPs on 280/520 in the mornings once you cross over the bridge it becomes a drag strip all the way to 8th Division Road.
A: WILCO -- we'll pass to patrols to focus on the area more.
Q: Regarding speeding in Custer: Kessler Road across from community center is a main road and always has speeders and I have witness more than once cars going around stopped school buses with their red lights on. It is getting really bad in mornings 8-8:30 a.m. and evenings when everyone comes home. This includes high school buses. Please monitor this area.
A: Thanks for the information. We will talk to our MPs.
Q: So is there really a 10 mph grace on post?
A: No. During Operation Slow Down we ticket for one mph over as an example.
Q: The city of Columbus has started a program for stray cats, instead of euthanization, they are doing, "trap, neuter, release" and allow the animals to live out their lives without multiplying. There are several stray cat colonies around Fort Benning, is there a way to change the current law/rules and adapt one similar to Columbus? History has proven cities can't capture and euthanize as fast as they reproduce. However, with sterilization, they live out their natural lives and the numbers dwindle. Their presence help keep rodents and snakes at a minimum and this program has been beneficial and very successful, as Columbus has learned.
A: Our animal control units capture and turn over cats and dog to an organization that adopts the pets out -- no euthanization is used here.
Follow-up Q: That's nice to know that no euthanization is used, however, what would it take to get Fort Benning to recognize a feral cat program here, where the cats are given a three year rabies shots and one ear is clipped (for identification purposes) along with the sterilization? It would save a lot of manpower/hours in trying to capture and keep the numbers down at the organization that currently handles it.
Follow-up A: Thank you for the recommendation we'll revisit the comments and work with our office on your proposal.
Q: I am also very concerned about speeding in New Custer. I live on Craig Drive and it is dangerous for our children to go out in our front yards, as cars are routinely diving 40 miles per hour or more in the neighborhood. The MPs have told us most of them are not radar certified so they are unable to ticket these speeders. We need certified MPs and added safety measures, such as more stop signs, rumble strips, etc., constructed immediately before a child is hurt.
A: When MPs arrive to Fort Benning they undergo a certification process. Radar certification is part of that program. So new arrivals may not have that certification; however, they will receive it. We work closely with the MP DET Commander to get all MPs certified in a timely manner. They must be certified by the state of Georgia.
Q: Let's talk about real safety. The threat of something happening on post is real. What are the chances of firearms restrictions being loosened (as in concealed carry). I am not sure if the same rules apply at all posts and bases or if each place decides its own rules.
A: Our firearms policy is based on Department of the Army guidance. The Army holds a hardline on loosening the restrictions. I don't see it changing any time soon.
Q: Tailgating is also a major problem all over Fort Benning that does not seem to be addressed.
A: Official code of the State of Georgia enables MPs to ticket for following too closely.
Q: Noise question about loud cars with aftermarket exhaust doing 30 plus mph at 4 a.m. And also speeding during the day mainly during unloading hours of school buses in Patton Village phase 1 on the front side of Old Ironside loop.
A: Loud vehicles and the Georgia code will be revisited as it's not currently covered in the MCoE210-5. We thank you for the comments and these comments will be revisited by DES and if required Reg. updates.
Q: I too would like to address the speeding issue in the "new construction" phase of Custer Village. We were part of the first few Families to move into the new houses, and we were not able to know which roads would be main roads in the neighborhood as the roads were all blocked by construction. We later found out we live on the corner of one of the main roads, Craig Drive. I witness more vehicles than I can count speeding down Craig Drive, everyday. I don't want to sound rude, but truthfully the speeders are coming from the renovated part of Custer Village. My daughter was almost hit crossing the road in the crosswalk in front of our house last week by a female driver that was speeding and not paying attention. I can stand outside on my sidewalk in front of my house or walk along the sidewalk and drivers will speed right by you without a care for the safety of your children. I witness cars doing 25 or more mph daily, at all hours of the day and night. There are speed bumps in the older part of Custer Village and I watch cars slow and go over them then immediately speed up likes it's a speed thoroughfare right on down Craig Drive to Custer Road. This is a real safety issue, and my Family, along with my neighbors, battle this everyday. We have a small park across the street from our house and I find it hard to let my kids play there because of the speeding issues. I also have witnessed two separate buses speeding in our neighborhood -- Bus 4 and Bus 31. Bus 31 didn't yield to the parked car on its side of the road and instead pushed me up on the curb and almost side swiped my vehicle. I witness MPs trying to help the speeding by driving through our neighborhood, and unfortunately, the speeders slow down while in sight of the MP, and then speed right back through the neighborhood. I have yelled at drivers, you look them right in the face as they are driving, and they continue to speed right on past. I don't understand how we can all choose to live on this wonderful post, we are all here for the same reasons, but to have a complete lack of concern for the safety of our own neighborhood community. We should not have this problem. I recommend speed humps like on Main Post at least around the park areas. Something has got to give before someone hits a child, and God forbid someone is killed. We have already had one driver go off into the ravine at the beginning of Craig Drive and total her car, and another driver lost control of their car on Craig Drive and took out two trees in someone's front yard and hit a light pole. Our homes do not have much of a yard, so a slight over-correction when speeding means a car is going to be inside someone's home. Could you please advise as to what can be done to address this issue better?
A: Speed tables delay a fire trucks ability to respond within mandatory response times (aggregated response times). This response time is based on how long it takes ambient temps in a burning home to reach flashover 1200 degrees. Please, contact the Fort Benning MP Desk/DES on actions noted. Tell the MPs locations, dates and times to focus on. School buses, obtain the date/time and license plate, bus number and report the speeding to the MPs. We'll send it to DoDEA Schools for them to address.
Q: The speed bumps might delay fire trucks but obviously it isn't a concern in older areas of the post. I am more concerned with the much high risk of our children getting hit by speeding cars in the new portions of Custer. It seems too many people who live in the older homes of Custer Village use Craig Drive as a drag strip to get to and from home or work. There are three school bus stops along this route and the speeding is absurd.
A: The Villages of Benning are responsible for the purchase, location and placement of speed bumps in the housing area. Requests for speed bumps must be submitted to your housing manager for approval.
Q: There are multiple speed tables all across Main Post, and speed bumps in the older part of our neighborhood. How are those measures allowed in those specific areas but not in our neighborhood?
A: The Directorate of Emergency Services does not direct placement of speed bumps. Requests for speed bumps must be submitted to your housing manager for approval.
Q: Can you tell me what is involved with the focused speed enforcement campaign? How many patrols can we expect and at what times? How long does the study take to complete? Who is a good contact person for us to stay in touch with? Unfortunately, prior requests for increased military police presence in the neighborhood have not been adequate. Understandable, due to the shortage of personnel.
A: Focused speed enforcement is planned and executed based on information obtained through the use of a portable speed monitoring system. Based on the size of a problem area, no more than one patrol vehicle is used to ensure enforcement. Times of enforcement vary and are based on data obtained from the monitoring system. If the DES receives a complaint of excessive speed, the Traffic Section places these systems to determine the specific locations and times the speed violations are occurring. In most cases the study can take a week to complete. Placing a patrol in the area during the study period would not provide an accurate assessment of the speed violations. The use of the mobile systems allows us to target specific problem areas without burdening the workforce. The best way to reach us when there is a speed complaint is to submit an ICE Comment. This will ensure that it is properly tracked for action and response. The website for submitting an ICE comment is http://ice.disa.mil/index.cfm
Q: Could the underage curfew be looked into? There is no reason for the teens to be roaming the streets looking for trouble after dark.
A: MCOE 210-5 stipulates curfew Chapter3-2 Sunday through Thursday 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and Friday, Saturday, holidays and non-school nights at 10 p.m.
Q: I would like to see more MPs through lower Davis. I have only seen one MP in my four months and I think he was responding to a break in.
A: We will make note of the location and dispatch patrols more often. Is there a specific time that you're having trouble in your neighborhood? Additionally, guards have begun increased screening at the gates of visitors using the handheld scanners.
Q: I am a resident of Custer Village (the new construction) and I would like to talk about speeding violations in our neighborhood. Several residents have inquired about adding safety measures to prevent speeding in the area, but haven't made any headway. What is the best way for us to start the discussion toward more permanent traffic calming measures taken in our neighborhood?
A: Please send us the locations you're concerned with and we will conduct a focused speed enforcement campaign with our police patrols and a traffic study.
Directorate of Public Works
Q: Who was in charge of roads in the housing areas? I would like a road from Patton Village opened by the guard gate. It is chained off. Is there any way to open this for an exit only?
A: Exit only must be under constant surveillance according to Dept. of the Army regulatory guidance. We do not have sufficient manpower to open another gate. If anything, we are looking at how to reduce gates and lanes in the future due to forced manning reductions.
Q: Can we also do something about the U turns done at the Sand Hill gate where it clearly says no U turns but the gate guards tell them to.
A: Yes, DPW has installed some barriers and signs that are intended to prevent U-turns. We will ask our traffic safety engineer to see if additional measures are necessary.
Q: I have a safety question. There is the new crosswalk by the new Patton Shoppette. I was wondering if it's possible to put a light by the crosswalk for when it's dark. It's really hard to see people crossing in the dark.
A: We appreciate your comment. We will ask our traffic safety engineers to evaluate this and hopefully install a light there soon.
Q: I am a resident of renovated Custer and have a safety concern. When driving from new Custer right before you get to the stop sign to turn right onto Arrowhead the road condition is horrible. I'm afraid that driving over the pot holes and people trying to avoid them may eventually mess up a vehicle or cause a wreck. What measures can be taken to see about getting this problem fixed?
A: DPW/Housing response: DPW/Housing will fix those potholes as soon as possible. In the future, you can call us to report potholes and we will respond. When you call, please provide precise location like you just did and it will help us to find them. If the potholes are on roads within the neighborhood, please call 706-685-3929 to report. For roads outside housing areas, you can call 706-545-2135. Thanks for your comment.
A (Village's of Benning): Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please contact the Villages of Benning maintenance department so that they can address this concern.
And follow-up: We would like to add that we plan to resurface those roads in your neighborhood now that construction in those areas is nearing completion. We appreciate your comments.
Q: Would it be possible to get at home recycling pick up? Or at least advertise the existing sustainability center so it can be located. Or add additional containers for glass and paper near the commissary?
A: Yes, we are working with the city of Columbus to start a curbside recycling program in housing areas. The goal is to start this year.
Q: Regarding traffic, the east side of McGinnis-Wickam Hall entrance had the Stop signs changed around during Block Leave. Can something be posted that clearly shows that it is not a 4-Way Stop (Michael Street and Edwards Street)?
A: We will have our traffic safety engineers look at this intersection and take appropriate actions. Thanks for your comment.
Q: Would it be possible for the cart return cages at the Commissary to be bolted to the ground the way the ones at the PX are? I've seen several of them pushed partly into the parking space across from them from the force of the carts being returned. Additionally, could we add one or two further out so that carts are not left in the grass areas or up against the lamp poles, free to roll into vehicles?
A: The return cages are positioned in the middle of the rows so it is convenient for patrons who park on either side of the cart return. Having the return cages bolted into the ground is something we will gladly look into having done.
Q: I wanted to bring into attention about the CDCs. The part day preschool program is only in Santa Fe CDC, which smells weird when you come in to the door. Is it possible to have it back in McGraw CDC?
A: Thank you for the message. We will be in touch with DPW to address the smell in the center, first thing tomorrow and will follow up with you. We are looking at expanding programs and services across CYSS and will take that into consideration.