U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford ‘Beags’ Beagle Jr., addresses the virtual attendees of the virtual Community Town Hall July 1. During the town hall, representatives from housing, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Directorate of Public Works, Balfour Beatty, and Moncrief Army Health Clinic behavioral health to let attendees know what services are available during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alexandra Shea)
By Alexandra Shea Fort Jackson Leader
Updates to Fort Jackson housing were among the topics discussed during a quarterly community town hall held virtually July 1.
The town hall hosted by Fort Jackson’s Commander Brig. Gen. Milford H. “Beags” Beagle Jr., Post Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavernier, Garrison Commander Col. John “Wes” Hankins, and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony J. Wilson, informed residents of housing and service updates while also recognizing the contributions of installation staff who have helped maintain and re-open services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The post held two virtual town halls July 1 and 2 aimed at two separate audiences.
First to address virtual attendees were representatives from Belfour Beatty who announced a new preventative maintenance program designed provide routine maintenance within homes to prevent breakdowns and plumbing issues.
“To better serve you better, we have developed a new program,” said Balfour Beatty Community Manager Judy Boley. “The program will give our technicians and certified contractors’ four visits to your home. We can address any maintenance issues as well as preventative maintenance to your HVAC systems, appliances and plumbing.”
Residents will receive advanced e-mails to let them know dates and times inspections will be conducted. Boley also gave contact information to residents needing work orders completed. She said emergency work orders should be called in to (803) 787-6416 and routine work orders can be reported using the resident’s portal.
She also explained how 246 of 360 work orders from March and May have been completed. The remaining work orders are expected to be completed by July 31.
“Our COVID-19 restrictions have caused us to slow down a bit,” Boley said. “As of today, we only had 104 outstanding work orders.”
Directorate of Public Works Chief Ann Garner then explained how completing a Satisfacts Survey helps residents communicate their satisfaction of completed work orders with installation leadership. Each resident will receive a survey shortly after work orders and maintenance is completed.
“You have recourse if you are not satisfied with a maintenance activity. One is called a Satisfacts Survey,” Garner said. “Fill it out to let us know if the work was performed to the quality and timeliness you deserve.”
Residents can also call Engagement Specialist Karen Dimsdale at (803) 738-8275 or Boley at (803) 738-8275, or the Garrison Housing Office with questions about on-post housing.
Garner also announced two ice cream trucks available to residents to help cool off on hot weather days. Through a partnership with AAFES, the mobile sweet treat trucks are able to rove community housing areas on Wednesday and Sunday throughout the summer.
The Army Wellness Center announced their virtual re-opening. When conditions allow, the center will re-open for face-to-face appointments. Those interested in stress and weight management, improved eating habits or incorporate a new exercise plan can call 751-6749 to schedule a virtual appointment.
Behavioral Health Chief Dr. Rachael Nelson spoke about available health services for those who may feel anxious or alone during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Pandemics are stressful,” Nelson said. “I don’t think you need a psychiatrist to tell you that. You’re not in this alone, let us know if we can help you.”
Virtual and in-person appointments are available and can be scheduled through referrals from Primary Care Managers or by calling (803) 751-2513 or (803) 751-5911.
The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation announced Marion Street Station and Weston Lake Recreation Area reopened June 20. Equipment such as canoes, canopies, boats and camping and fishing gear is available for rent. While the lake is open for fishing and boating, community shelters and swimming remains closed.
Army Community Services remains available though many programs have been suspended until further notice. Those in need of Army Emergency Relief, Victim Advocates or the Lending Closet can receive assistance by calling (803) 751-5256 to schedule a virtual appointment.
“We are excited to announce the return of in-person chapel services,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Rodie Lamb, deputy garrison chaplain. “Safety guidelines are in place for your protection and to ensure you will enjoy your worship experience.”
Services at Daniel Circle and the Main Post Chapel returned June 28. For a complete list of available service, visit the Fort Jackson Religious Support Office Facebook page.
Hankins had opened the town hall by presenting coins and awards to garrison team members.
“We will recognize a few of our front line community heroes,” Hankins said. “(They have) been doing phenomenal work on our instillation to ensure (and maintain) the delivery of services and quality of life to those who work and live on our installation.”
Beagle, Tavernier and Wilson joined Hankins in recognizing eight garrison staff members.
“Without those on our garrison team,” Beagle said. “We don’t have the ability to do what we do which is to provide great programs and services to our Family members, retirees, dependents and beneficiaries.”
The town hall ended with a question and answer session for the panel of speakers and leadership team, allowing virtual attendees to have their voice heard and questions answered by subject matter experts.
Tavernier helped provide closing remarks by encouraging the community to provide feedback of town halls.
“I consider feedback as a gift so I encourage everyone to keep giving us feedback,” Tavernier said. “The only way we, as a team, are going to fix issues within the community is by the community speaking up. Keep pushing the feedback and we will do the best that we can to ensure this is the best home for everyone.”