(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood leaders hosted a quarterly housing town hall Wednesday evening at Stonegate Community Center, providing an opportunity for on-post family housing residents to get the most up-to-date housing information, voice any concerns or ideas and have issues addressed.

Col. Anthony Pollio, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, thanked everyone for attending and spoke about how feedback received from on-post residents via the annual tenant satisfaction surveys is guiding how Fort Leonard Wood’s housing partner, Balfour Beatty Communities, is working to improve services, and he encouraged residents to complete the current survey that was emailed to residents in October.

“I would just ask, if you haven’t completed the survey, please go and complete the survey, because we use that to justify recommended changes,” he said.

To request the survey be re-sent, call 573.596.0984.

Pollio introduced Allen Ward, a housing manager with the Directorate of Public Works, who spoke about the community mayor program.

“We created the mayor program as an initiative to try and get key leadership engagement while trying to help facilitate information for the residents,” he said. “That person can help you to find the right agency to help you with whatever your issues are. They’ve done a great job initiating Facebook pages, getting social — trying to create esprit de corps in their communities.”

Pollio called the mayors “great Americans, who just care about the community.”

“All they get is my eternal thanks and the eternal thanks from those in the communities,” he said.

Pollio added he meets with the mayors monthly.

“They come to me and bring all the concerns that the residents have brought to them, and we talk through how we’re going to address the issues,” he said.

Ward noted elections for the next six mayors — on-post housing is divided into six areas of responsibility with regards to the mayor program — are coming up. Nominations, he said, will be accepted between Jan. 9 and Feb. 22, with an official inauguration at the March housing town hall.

Call the housing division at 573.596.0984 for more information on the community mayor nomination and elections process.

Pollio also spoke about some of the avenues of communication residents have available to them, including the Balfour Beatty Communities website that is monitored during normal duty hours for routine maintenance requests — for 24/7 emergencies, such as water or electricity outages, call 573.329.4000 — the DPW housing office, and the Interactive Customer Evaluation system — commonly referred to as ICE.

“We read every single ICE comment,” Pollio said. “If you want somebody to close out with you, or follow up with you, you can put your name on there. If you don’t want to put your name on there, you can submit one anonymously. I just ask when someone does an ICE comment, try to be specific. Please explain what the issue is, and if you have recommendations, let us know.”

Pollio said he also has an open-door policy for residents who feel their concerns have not been met.

“You can call my office at any time and request to meet with me, and we’ll get you on my calendar as quickly as we can,” he said.

Ron Hestness, BBC’s facility director, spoke about some home winter preparation tips, including ensuring heat is left on at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit if residents are leaving on vacation during the winter months. Hestness also asked residents to ensure they are disconnecting garden hoses from outside water spouts when not in use. He also noted space heaters are not authorized in on-post housing — if any resident is having issues with their home heating unit, they should call the 24/7 maintenance number at 573.329.4000.

Hestness also spoke about recycling, noting that in addition to recycling options through housing, the Fort Leonard Wood Recycling Program has several options available to residents here, including three drop-off locations — two of which are open 24/7. Funds generated through this program benefit programs offered by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Fort Leonard Wood’s three recycling locations include the Recycling Center, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, and is located in Bldg. 2549, off Ordnance Drive; and 24/7 multi-bin drop-off locations located on the northeast side of the Main Post Exchange parking lot, and between the PX Mini Mall and the Commissary.

To avoid confusion, each bin is labeled with the recyclable item that is intended for the container.

Items that may be recycled on Fort Leonard Wood include office paper, plastics, cardboard, scrap metal, ink and toner cartridges, pallets, mixed paper — including newspaper, manuals, magazines, colored paper and phone books; clear, green and brown glass; aluminum cans; and used motor oil.

A full list of recyclable and restricted items is available at the Recycling Center. Call 573.563.3880 for more information.

Pollio opened the town hall up to questions from attendees, and a newer resident asked about the process for ensuring homes are ready for the next tenant — she said the home they moved into two weeks ago had many cosmetic issues, including nail holes in the walls.

Hestness explained the process BBC uses, from previous resident move out, through the inspection processes, the maintenance and cleaning contractor checklists and the quality control methods, and Pollio noted that he knows more work needs to be done to ensure new residents here aren’t disappointed in their new home at Fort Leonard Wood.

He added the DPW housing office will now begin briefing all incoming service members that if they or their families have cosmetic issues with the homes they’re moving into, to reach out to the housing office and it will get taken care of to the resident’s satisfaction.

“We recognize that is an area that needs work, and we’re trying to figure out how to improve quality control before tenants move in, so we catch those problems beforehand,” he said. “If we need to re-send the maintenance folks out there to make sure it’s up to the right standard, we will — that way you don’t have to show up and have your first experience with your new home be disappointment.”