ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The Community Voice Committee, or CVC, discussed APG quality of life issues during its first meeting of the fiscal year, Nov. 13.
The committee, which meets quarterly, is led by Garrison Commander Col. Gregory R. McClinton and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey O. Adams. Staff Action Officer Karen Dern, Office of the Garrison Commander, facilitated the meeting.
Each meeting, the committee agrees on closed issues from the previous meeting, receives updates for ongoing issues, and examines current issues provided prior to the meeting. Members are also given the opportunity to submit new issues for future review.
The topics discussed included aggressive driving, traffic light timing, bugle calls, hourly child care service, Corvias housing improvements and APG inclement weather procedures.
An issue raised during the meeting was building a dog park on post. The Directorate of Public Works (DPW) has identified potential locations for a dog park; however, funding isn't available.
Allison Fenwick, a program manager from Corvias, said installing a solar energy park and renovating existing housing into combo units in the Bayside community are the two top priorities for Corvias funding. Fenwick said the possibility of a dog park and community garden plots will be considered again in the spring of 2015. An APG South (Edgewood) resident asked if a dog park is planned for his area and Fenwick said her team will look into the feasibility of that project.
Fenwick said recycling containers at the Plumb Point Loop basketball courts will be part of the Corvias contracts for 2015. McClinton tasked DPW to take the recycling issue to the Environmental Division, so the issue can be resolved sooner.
Mike Lupacchino, the director of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, said that the project to build a fitness trail near Plumb Point Loop has been diverted to Fanshaw Field. Construction of a five-lane running track will start in spring 2015. Pavilions and other amenities will also be added to enhance the area.
An attendee expressed several concerns about the Child Development home located in Patriot Village.
Lupacchino said the CD home follows all Army regulations. Issues and concerns within the Child, Youth and School Services program can be addressed at the quarterly Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) meetings. For more information call the CYSS Outreach Services Director Myria Figueroa at 410-278-2572.
"It is not successful if we do not have participation," McClinton said "For those of you that have children in the program, or are considering putting children into the program, we ask for your support in bringing issues to the team so they can identify them and address them."
Another topic was the closing of the post thrift shop. Lupacchino said the thrift shop closed because it wasn't generating enough money and there were safety issues in the building. Several attendees suggested having the thrift shop run by volunteers or having a quarterly swap meet. Dern said she would bring the issue to the APG Military and Civilian Community Club.
Garrison Public Affairs Officer Kelly Luster said the new APG web portal, www.teamapg.com, is up and running. Several links on the homepage, including Facebook and Twitter and Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) comments can be submitted online through the home page link.
Along with Facebook and Twitter, calling the APG Snowline at 410-278-SNOW (7669) or listening to local television and radio stations remain the best ways to learn about post delays and closures due to inclement weather.
McClinton explained that the APG Team starts monitoring the weather 24 hours out from a forecasted storm. During this process, the Emergency Operations Center is stood up, and the senior commander coordinates with other commanders before he makes a decision to close the post. The senior commander cannot authorize liberal leave for the whole post. Employees should check with their chains of command to see if liberal leave has been granted.
Several community members expressed concern about excessive speeding in the housing areas.
The Director of Emergency Services Chris Ferris said he has been talking with DPW personnel about purchasing solar signs that flash speeds to combat dangerous driving habits. Ferris said during the daytime, there are numerous patrols on APG. In fact, there are more patrols on APG on a daily basis than in Harford and Cecil Counties combined, Ferris said.
"There is an abundance of police presence on this installation," he said, adding that police officers usually conduct traffic stops off of the main roads, so they do not impede traffic.
"While you might not see traffic stops, they are happening," he said.
Richard Bandy, from DPW, said the contract to adjust the timing of the traffic lights is due to be awarded in early 2015. The construction of a sidewalk from the end of Ocean Court to the Express store is also scheduled to start next spring.
Adams said bugle calls have returned to APG and that the decision has been controversial. Leadership has decided that bugle calls will not be played on the weekends and holidays. More testing will be conducted to determine the appropriate volume.
An attendee asked why gas prices are different at the APG North (Aberdeen) and APG South (Edgewood) Express stores. Debbie Armendariz, from Army and Air Force Exchange Service, said AAFES considers APG North and APG South two geographically separated areas even though APG is one installation. McClinton said he will address this issue when he meets with AAFES leadership.
Post community members can submit issues or concerns through the Interactive Customer Evaluation system, which allows individuals to rate post services online. ICE is accessible via its website, ice.disa.mil.
The next CVC meeting will be held 10:30 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Garrison Main Conference room. For more information, contact Dern at email@example.com or 410 278-0001.