Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, load up a truck with old mattresses from the barracks in 2018 during a pilot recycling program with Fort Drum Public Works. Fort Drum Housing and Public Works representatives spoke with 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers about quality-of-life issues during a barracks town hall meeting Sept. 16 at the Multipurpose Auditorium. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
Participants discuss quality of life, renovation plans during Fort Drum barracks town hall
Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Sept. 18, 2019) – Fort Drum Housing and Public Works representatives spoke with 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers about quality-of-life issues during a barracks town hall meeting Sept. 16 at the Multipurpose Auditorium.
“The purpose of this town hall is to provide a forum for Soldiers and leaders to voice their concerns about anything barracks-related and quality-of-life concerns,” said Jeremy Wildhaber, Unaccompanied Housing chief.
Wildhaber spoke about the five-year barracks plan, which is set to renovate all 29 legacy barracks buildings on the installation. He anticipated completing upgrades to six buildings per year. The plan also includes an addition of one common area kitchen per building.
Bill Findley, Facility Maintenance Control Branch chief, spoke about the service order process and different ways to submit them. Soldiers can call in a service order at (315) 772-DPW1 (3791), or file a request online, by email or on the Public Works app.
The DPW hotline is staffed from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Emergency requests are forwarded to a 24/7 calling service.
“Once you submit a service order and get a confirmation email, you can go right to the Sharepoint address to check the status of that service order,” Findley said.
Any follow-up inquiries will require a service order number, so Findley advised Soldiers not to lose it.
Don Starr, Unaccompanied Furnishings Management officer, addressed the issue of washers and dryers that was discussed at previous barracks advocacy meetings. He said that 12 buildings underwent lifecycle replacements in 2017-2018. This includes the replacement of all furnishings, washers and dryers and other appliances.
“This year, so far, we changed out the washers and dryers in five buildings,” he said.
Starr said that seven more buildings will begin that process in December.
“All the new washers are going to be top-loading, because they seem to be more durable and they are lasting a lot longer,” he said. “We’ve had very few issues in the past two years with the buildings that have those.”
Every company commander designates an individual as the barracks representative, and Starr said that person has the ability to request replacements for unserviceable appliances and furniture from the PW warehouse.
During the Q&A portion of the town hall, one brigade first sergeant mentioned that they are focusing on making improvements to the day rooms – adding more books, game consoles and items that Soldiers enjoy. However, the issue of Soldiers being unable to access cable programming in the day room was discussed.
“FMWR (Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation) pays for the free basic cable package for every single barracks building on the installation,” Wildhaber said. “If it’s not working, we need to know.”
Wildhaber ended the town hall by asking the Soldiers present to continue submitting any quality-of-life issues to them.
“No matter how minute you think it is, let us know,” he said. “We can only fix it if we know what’s broken.”