Story by Rick Emert on 09/05/2019By Scott Prater
FORT CARSON, Colo. Fort Carson Army and on-post housing leaders hosted a quarterly town hall Aug. 28, 2019, for Soldiers and Family members at McMahon Auditorium in an effort to fortify communications with on-post housing residents.
The group also relayed important information about housing topics and capped the event with a Q&A session.
Col. Guillaume "Will" Beaurpere, deputy commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, opened the event by welcoming community members and informing them that division, garrison and command elements on post are committed to solving housing challenges for all housing residents.
"Through the feedback generated by the Army's latest housing survey, we learned a lot about the housing situation at Fort Carson," Beaurpere said. "We learned a lot of good things and some things that opened our eyes. And, installation leaders have worked very closely with our housing partners at Balfour Beatty Communities (BBC) to address these issues."
Beaurpere also told Soldiers they could count on their Army chain of command to help solve housing problems.
"The message we want to convey to our housing residents, and our most junior tenants, if they feel that for some reason the existing infrastructure or service support is not supporting their needs or requirements in a timely fashion, especially when it comes to health and safety, they have a chain of command they can lean on for support and service," Beaurpere said.
Col. Brian K. Wortinger, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson, and Steve McIntire, project director, BBC, also addressed attendees and covered a variety of housing topics.
Communication failure, explained Wortinger, was the most identified issue for residents across the Army.
"It is also the top aspect that Balfour Beatty and the command here at Carson has been attempting to address." he said. "There are a lot of things being done on that side, but I need your help on the community side to get the word out."
He implored residents to engage BBC leadership if and when they experience service problems.
"Almost every event I've personally been involved with, regarding quarters, involved residents not following the resolution process," he said. "I'm happy to jump in and solve problems, but if we can go through the resolution process, solutions get a lot easier."
Step one, he said, includes visiting https://www.fortcarsonfamilyhomes.com, clicking on the "contact us" tab, finding contact information for McIntire and Christy McGrath, community manager, BBC.
"Residents can also contact a BBC resident engagement specialist right there," Wortinger said. "Nine times out of 10 they are going to be able to solve any problem you have. If residents need further resolution, they can contact our Directorate of Public Works Housing Services or the GC or CG hotlines on the Carson.army.mil website."
To contact the Fort Carson Housing Services Office, call 526-2322/2323 or get more information at www.carson.army.mil/organizations/dpw.html. The garrison commander ("Ask the Garrison Commander") and commanding general ("CG Hotline") hotlines are located in the "Resources" section on the carson.army.mil homepage.
Since last February's housing town hall, BBC has processed over 16,000 requests for service, reworked the website and developed an app for residents to report and track work orders.
McIntire said BBC has been experiencing exceptional results from its RENTCafe app and residents are also welcome to visit the BBC building on post for work order resolutions.
"We are no longer cancelling work orders, and as a means for knowing residents are satisfied, we are asking them to sign work orders upon completion of service," he said.
McIntire also provided residents with updates for ongoing roof, window and gutter replacement projects from prior hail and wind storms, while BBC and DPW housing staff stood ready to speak directly with residents following the town hall.
Prior to the Q&A session, Wortinger spoke about some other issues mentioned by residents in the April housing-area survey. He informed residents about the post's immediate- and future-neighborhood playground plans, and also mentioned parking, roads and resolutions for pest control in the housing areas.
Residents then addressed specific issues with leaders during the Q&A, everything from barracks laundry facilities to law enforcement of speed limits near homes to playgrounds and school routes.
During his last remarks, Beaurpere also provided a perspective for Fort Carson residents.
"This is the mountain post," he said. "We have a lot of great resources and we have access to a tremendous support system. It's a privilege to live on this installation, so it's incumbent on each of us to be good neighbors to each other and uphold the mountain post standard of living that Maj. Gen. (Randy A.) George (commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson) and Command Sgt. Maj. (T.J.) Holland (4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson) want on this installation."
Housing Environmental Health Response Registry information:
Housing Environmental Health Response Registry contact care representatives are available 24/7.
Registry telephone numbers:
Toll free at 800-984-8523
Commercial at 210-295-3700
Call one of the above numbers and take advantage of the registry if anyone in the household has experienced unresolved concerns about housing and related health issues.