Residents raise issues during town hall meeting
February 10, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - A Fort Drum information and town hall meeting took place Jan. 13 at the Commons, designed to keep Soldiers, Family Members and other community members informed on a variety of topics.
For the benefit of those who could not attend, questions raised during the meeting and answers given are as follows:
Issue: Additional evening vaccine clinic
In the past, MEDDAC has offered evening vaccine clinics for H1N1 and flu vaccinations. However, there are no additional evening clinics scheduled now that there is an ample supply of these vaccines. Providing additional evening vaccination clinics would be beneficial to Family Members and Soldiers who work during the day.
An evening H1N1 Flu Clinic will be held at Guthrie Clinic on Feb. 9 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Patients will be seen on a walk-in basis. There is also a daily walk-in clinic from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Guthrie.
In addition, Jefferson County Public Health offers evening H1N1 flu clinics throughout the community that anyone can access at no cost. Details can be found at http://www.co.jefferson.ny.us/jefflive.nsf/Flu_Finder#home_0_0_0.
Issue: Reduced recycling in housing
The monthly housing newsletter contained new guidance on recycling in the housing area. It appears that there are significantly less items that can be recycled (i.e. glass, plastics, cereal boxes). Not being able to recycle a large number of materials increases our imprint on the environment.
Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes follows the published guidance on recyclable materials. If any changes are made, we will be sure to communicate that with residents. Residents with concerns and questions are encouraged to contact their community center.
Issue: Safety and DWI awareness and marketing
Safety and DWI awareness is an important issue for the community. However, incidents are no longer published in The Mountaineer, and it appears that there needs to be a stronger marketing push to deter these DWI incidents. Specific areas that could be explored include producing a large sign over the gate for motorists as they are leaving the installation; including DWI deterrent messages on marquee signs, Commissary and AAFES grocery bags; etc.
Safety continues to pursue resolution to this issue that involves multiple agencies and directorates. We will continue to reinforce the dangers and implications of driving while intoxicated to our Fort Drum community so that we all can live safely.
Issue: Pine Plains child care on-site cost
Recently the Pine Plains CYS on-site care began charging. While it was expected that a charge would soon be enacted, no one expected such a steep charge. This facility is not equipped to change diapers, feed children, or even walk children to the restroom. However, parents are being charged $3.50 an hour, like another fully equipped facility would charge.
This program was started to increase morale and increase opportunities for spouses to get healthy and stay healthy. Many Families cannot afford this expense. Many Families will not, seeing as they are interrupted two or three times to tend to their children.
If there must be a fee, isn't there any way to reduce the fee, considering standard services are not rendered here'
The program CYS Services provides at Pine Plains Physical Fitness Center is called Kids On Site care. Fort Drum CYS Services follows all current guidelines concerning this program per Army Regulation 608-10. Due to limited resources at Pine Plains PFC, CYS Services cannot provide diaper changing or toileting. However, the Army has funded Fort Drum for an additional child care facility to be co-located at Pine Plains PFC to begin construction in FY11.
The CYS Services KOS is an hourly program. CYS Services program fees for hourly care directed by DoD and DA are $3.50. Hourly care programs must recoup 100 percent of the operating cost from fees.
Families who qualify for Army Family Covenant benefits can use this service as well. Categories under AFC include: Warrior Transition Unit, deployed, rear detachment and fallen Soldiers. All of these categories receive a certain amount of free hours per month and $2 per hour thereafter. These free hours could be used for the Pine Plains child care.
For more information, contact CYS Services Parent Central Services at 772-8675 or www.drummwr.com and follow the CYS Services link.
Issue: Street lights on Lewis Avenue
Street lights on Lewis Avenue have been out for some time now. Having these inoperable may cause a safety concern for those walking up and down the road, as well as motorists.
Repairs are currently under way and will be completed within two weeks. We thank you for your patience as we continue to perform these repairs.
Issue: Community bulletin board at PX
Before the Main Post Exchange was renovated, there was a community bulletin board available to patrons located next to the main entrance. This bulletin board was available for individuals to post items for sale, information and fliers. Reinstalling this community bulletin board or relocating to a high traffic location would be beneficial for patrons looking to showcase items for sale and information.
As use of bulletin boards dropped, it became apparent people are using the many other options they have online. There is also The Mountaineer on post, where ads can be placed. The use of bulletin boards these days is so minimal that even grocery stores have started removing them.
Bulletin boards have a high cost associated with them as well. The limited benefit does not support the cost, which includes the initial purchase; the cost for someone to maintain them and perform the administrative duties, as well as handle customer issues that arise due to ads being taken down, put up without permission, removed by other customers, etc. In addition, these become eyesores and detract from the appearance of any location in which they are placed.
Issue: Treasurer training classes
Mobilization and Deployment offers informal fund training and family readiness group leader training; however, it does not go into detail (or give) step-by-step instructions on how to perform treasurer duties for volunteer treasurers. Many of our volunteers do not have accounting backgrounds, and there is no step-by-step instruction on how to be a treasurer at Fort Drum.
The ACS Mobilization and Deployment coordinates the informal funds class with a subject-matter expert instructing participants. During this class, a sample monthly treasurer report and an audit form is reviewed with students.
There are online self-help accounting / bookkeeping sites, such as www.energizeinc.com/art/aselh.html "The Treasurer's Report from Self Help Accounting; A Guide for the Volunteer Treasurer." We will include these web site resources in future informal funds classes.
Issues and concerns addressed during Fort Drum information town hall meetings are entered into Community FIRST, a program of Customer Management Services. For more customer service issues and concerns, contact Elizabeth DeJesus Cintron, Fort Drum customer service officer, at 772-9970 or email@example.com.