Focus on housing: A Q&A with FLW's Garrison Commander
By GUIDON staffJanuary 8, 2020
Every week Garrison Commander Col. Eric Towns meets with Fort Leonard Wood's housing partner, Leonard Wood Family Communities LLC, a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty Communities LLC, to discuss hot issues, concerns and work orders that deal with on-post housing.
The GUIDON sat down with Col. Towns to understand the importance of this meeting.
Q1: What is the purpose of the weekly meetings?
A1: The purpose of the meetings is two-fold: 1) As the Army's representative in the Leonard Wood Family Communities LLC, it enables me to understand maintenance trends, complex issues within specific homes, and routine maintenance issues that are taking longer than normal to resolve; and 2) Like in any commander/staff interaction, the understanding that I gain during these meetings helps me make decisions, direct the execution of those decisions, and influence those activities that I don't have direct control over.
Q2: What do you hope to accomplish by having these weekly meetings?
A2: The intent is to gain a common understanding that enables my Directorate of Public Works Housing Team and the managing partner to continue to improve the quality of our houses -- all in the name of improving our residents' satisfaction.
Q3: How are these weekly meetings beneficial for residents?
A3: These meetings update me on the small number of homes that have complex issues. They also allow me to see what is causing work orders to be open for periods longer than expected - whether it be "awaiting parts"; "awaiting service by maintenance personnel"; or "awaiting the occupant to be available."
Q4: Anything else you would like to add about the weekly meetings?
A4: These meetings also allow me to monitor the progress of Fort Leonard Wood's Out-year Development Plan. After all maintenance and operating (mowing, utilities, trash collection) costs are paid, 90 percent of the revenue (BAH) that remains goes into the reinvestment account. This reinvestment account is the only way that Fort Leonard Wood will ever get new homes built as part of our Out-year Development Plan. This new construction happens on a five- to six-year cycle, and we are currently in the process of requesting permission from the Army Staff to use our reinvestment account to build more new homes.
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