By Dorinda WareJanuary 30, 2013
Dugway Proving Ground, UT Commander opening remarks:
FY13 funding issues: Fiscal Cliff funding issues were delayed until 1 March. Reductions will have to be absorbed before FY14. The funding cuts will be difficult for DoD to implement. The Pentagon realizes that we may go over the "fiscal cliff" and there will not be enough money to operate at current levels. The Pentagon has begun planning for the cut backs and is implementing guidance to lessen the pain at the end of FY14.
There is a proposed reduction of approximately 15% for ATEC and the Garrison has been tasked to reduce 30%.
An Army wide-hiring freeze has been implemented with very specific instructions. The hope is to reduce manpower through attrition. All Term personnel are to be released immediately. Temp assignments will not extend beyond current period. Mission critical positions must be justified.
All travel is being reviewed and approval levels have been elevated.
Q: Will there be a furlough of 22 or 30 days?
A: Hopefully none! A furlough is the last resort. Dugway is in a good position to NOT be impacted by a furlough.
Q: Will there be any Reduction in Force (RIF)?
A: Same answer addressed in Furlough. There is NO guidance indicating that RIFs will be necessary at Dugway.
Q: What services within the Garrison will be cut if they have a funding reduction of 30%?
A: IMCOM has proposed a 46% reduction in our SRM funding as a planning tool. Fully funding the Base Operations current C-Martin contract would be impossible with this cut. We have prepared a response to IMCOM STONGLY stressing that we are not able to take that kind of a reduction. We are in the process of reviewing all contracts for areas that could be reduced. We have asked C-Martin's help to review areas that could be performed more efficiently.
Q: What about the swimming pool project; the new school; and any home refurbishing?
A: The swimming pool was funded in FY12 and is scheduled to be completed end of May. The new school funding has already been appropriated and should not be affected. It remains a matter of allocation of those dollars. Housing improvements are funded with Army Family Housing (AFH) funds. Currently, AFH funding has been identified for cuts also but we actually have an advantage in receiving rent money. If funding is available, we will continue with planned improvements. The Tooele School Board meeting held 22 Jan approved the proposal to submit their matching fund proposal.
Q: It is very cold in the Club in the dining areas near the bar. We were told that there is nothing they can do about it. Is this true?
A: Temporarily YES. During the remodeling project in the Ballroom, some distribution systems have been disturbed. This will be corrected within the next week.
Q: Will the Theatre ever be open again?
A: No, not as a movie theatre. The Garrison now controls the use of the building. The Steering Committee is reviewing reuse ideas. One idea is to show newly released DVDs. We have approached the PTA for possible uses also. There is a cost associated with any use of the building and this has to be taken into consideration.
Q: Can you influence AAFES to move the DVD machine to the Mall?
A: We will talk with them again but the machine needs special cabling not currently available in the Mall. This question has actually been forwarded to the vendor Manager for AAFES and we should hear something soon.
Q: Can you talk about the VET services for Dugway?
A: SSG Beck has been in contact with Hill Air Force Base. They are currently short staffed but are in the process of hiring. Priorities are the "military working" dogs. Hill's goal is to provide quarterly visits to DPG. Past experience is that vet was not fully utilized when here. It is not cost effective to send the vet if not used. Hill AFB will consider monthly visits if usage increases to support. There is a program on line at the Hill AFB website to make appointments. Future notification of vet schedule will be via FMWR announcements.
Q: When are the West Wherry houses going to be demolished? Do you have the funding? Are they really going to be demolished? When do I really have to be out?
A: Funding has been requested but not approved. That approval for the funding does not change the basic situation. We will reduce our housing inventory to save costs. West Wherry houses are the oldest. The houses need to be vacated no later than early fall.
Q: Rumor has it that Verizon is going to provide cell coverage for the West Desert areas. Is that true?
A: NEC is arranging for a cell provider in the West Desert area. At this time, it is not known which provider that will be.
Q: Can Self-Help hours be reviewed? Not open every day and if snow storm comes on off day, residents cannot get the snow blowers. We can't meet the 12-hr requirement to clear snow. How long can we keep the blowers if we are doing more than one residence? Residents told blowers need to be returned before reasonable amount of time (only 1 hr). Equipment rented doesn't work and/or has no gas.
A: We will review hours to see if they can be spread throughout the week. We are limited by our contract and funding in the number of hours service can be provided. SGM has NOT written anyone up for not clearing snow so that should not be a fear for anyone. Common sense rule applied to the requirement. We will look into the condition of the equipment and the time allowed for each to use. It is a fire hazard to store equipment with a full tank.
SUGGESTION: Can a "No screen time" period be implemented at the Youth Center and more physical activities planned to encourage physical activities for youth 5th -- 8th grades?
Q: Why is the FRG charged for facility usage at Dugway but not at other installations/posts?
A: FMWR will look into the requirement and provide more information. There are changes going on throughout the Army regarding charges. Previously there was money allocated because of deploying units. With far fewer units deploying that source of money is going away.
Q: Why is Home daycare now charging the same rates as the CDC?
A: A recent change to the policy at DoD level requires the rates to be the same. This is not a local policy.
Q: Can you relook the possibility of contractors using the Commissary? More contractors would consider living here if Commissary available.
A: COL Estes has been working on a request through the ATEC channels for approval. Put on a "pause" due to some recent guidance but will send for approval in the near future.
Q: Do we need to renew the expiring windshield stickers?
A: No. Vehicles are no longer required to be registered. You can remove the stickers and return them to the Visitor Control Center. They are a registered item and need to be tracked to show removal.
Q: Is the Garrison considering a gun range for civilian use?
A: Yes. Garrison has been working on a plan for the past few months. New fiscal reality may slow completion.
Q: Will the wood privacy fences in East Wherry be removed with the new chain link fence project? Complaint that some of the wood fences are falling apart.
A: No. The new chain link fences are to define individual resident areas. DPW will look at area identified.
Q: When will the internet service get better? Residents' comment that internet is unavailable for multiple/long periods of time. Very slow in the evening and weekends. Trying to complete courses on line but difficult with the unstable service.
A: COL Estes/SGM Morton unaware of the problem. They have not experienced any outages or speed reduction. It is more likely a problem in the distribution of service rather than the particular provider. NEC and FMWR will look into the problem and try to isolate and identify.
UPDATE: CENTRACOM is in the process of upgrading their service to Dugway. You will soon be able to get HD capability
Q: Is there anything being done to prevent housing fires similar to the most recent house fire?
A: The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The fire raised concerns for units with leases extending beyond 5 years. These units have not had maintenance similar to the units that turn over every 3-5 years. Garrison is looking to correct this. Maintenance needs to be completed, i.e. new carpet, even if resident is still in the house. This may cause some inconvenience but is required to adequately maintain the homes. Residents should go through their home to ensure that light bulbs greater than 60 watts are replaced. They are no longer authorized. The garrison is looking at doing a physical check of all the remaining West Wherry units to ensure there are no safety issues. We will then move to other units contemporary with them.
All money expenditures are being screened against the criteria of Life, Health, Safety or Mission critical at the IMCOM level. If it does not fall within any of these areas, it will most likely not be funded.
Chapel youth are willing to help shovel snow. They will come clear those driveways that the snowplows fill in. They are trying to earn money for various projects. Contact the Chapel at ext 2431 if you need help shoveling snow.
3/A ADA will probably be moving to Aberdeen Proving Ground in FY14. This is not a new development. This is in line with information we have been tracking.
Fiscal Uncertainty: DoD/Army is going to change. May seem difficult for those employees coming in since 9/11 when monies were plentiful. Army has been operating at a "Gold plated" standard. Must change to "Stainless Steel".
Housing problems: Contact Mr. Moses Thomas at 831-2041 or Cell 435 241-9686
C. Martin contractor lack of responsiveness/related problems contact Mr. Les Peterson at 831-2342 or Cell 435 849-1131
Internet problems -- Call CENTRACOM Technical Support at 435 427-3331 or contact the AAFES area representative Mr. Tommy Sullivan at 214 312-6525
GOOD OR BAD -- Use ICE to tell us how we are doing. http://ice.disa.mil