Fort Benning leaders, led by Brig. Gen. Larry Q. Burris, U.S. Army Infantry School Commandant, Maneuver Center of Excellence, conducted a walking town hall of the neighborhood’s historic homes to discuss with residents, Soldiers and their Families quality of life, hosted at the Villages of Benning, East Main Post II Nov. 17.
Fort Benning leaders are committed to improving housing conditions to enhance Soldiers and Families quality of life. “This is a command effort to bring all these stakeholders together to share information for the benefit of Soldiers and Families,” said Burris.
Fort Benning’s walking town halls began in 2020 to improve communication between Fort Benning leaders and residents regarding quality of life issues by meeting community members where they live.
Leaders from Fort Benning Hospital; schools; Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and Directorate of Emergency Services, as well as unit leaders all listened to residents feedback to take action to enhance the quality of life of Soldiers and their Families.
“Since 2019, the private partnerships have completed significant repairs to the on-post housing,” said John Strange, Garrison Chief of Housing. “The scope of this work includes replacements and repairs to many interior and exterior surfaces to protect residents from the possible effects of lead-based paint and asbestos. It also includes the replacement of the windows on 300 houses.”
Fort Benning leaders and housing officials answered Soldiers' and Families' questions and addressed their concerns regarding landscaping and the waiting period often necessary to manage maintenance work orders. Participating residents expressed general satisfaction with the conditions of historic homes and recent renovations.
Many of East Main Post’s larger trees have been trimmed or removed over the last two years, not only to enhance the area’s character, but because the trees posed safety issues to some of the houses and resident’s belongings.
“The removal of the trees has often led to frustration by residents regarding stumps to be removed, or grass reseeded. There has been a lot of work done in the last two years, but we acknowledge there is more work to do, including planting new trees,” said Strange.
The Villages of Benning recently emailed its residents to announce a plan to reduce backlogged maintenance work orders. Work began this week with the arrival of additional contractors and will continue for the next three months.
The next walking town hall is scheduled for Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. in Davis Village (Upper and Lower renovated homes).