By Scott Prater | Mountaineer staff
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson Army and housing leaders updated residents and community members on the latest news and happenings concerning the post’s housing areas Nov. 18, 2020.
Speaking from a home on post, Col. Nate Springer, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson, joined Christy McGrath, community manager, Fort Carson Family Homes (FCFH), and other housing leaders to deliver a virtual quarterly housing town hall update.
The housing team covered a wide variety of topics, from playground construction to road paving, and safety concerns, maintenance work-order completion and the problem-resolution process.
“The garrison commander and I hosted two ribbon cuttings in October, which opened new playgrounds in the Sioux and Cheyenne villages,” McGrath said. “We are 75% complete on resurfacing many of our 69 playgrounds on post and are 52% complete on slides.”
While announcing that Radon testing will be 100% complete in Fort Carson neighborhoods by the end of 2021, McGrath said FCFH is also conducting paving, repairs and roadwork in Blackfoot, Dakota, Kiowa and Cheyenne villages. Village residents will also see crews repair potholes in a number of villages in 2021.
The post’s latest hailstorm affected villages on the north end of Fort Carson Aug. 5 and crews have begun roofing and gutter repairs. McGrath said windows that need replacement are on order and should arrive within the next 30 days.
While responding to questions via live link, she indicated that FCFH will continue performing routine maintenance work orders despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we call and schedule work orders with residents, we will ask pre-screening questions to ensure the safety of Families and maintenance technicians,” McGrath said. “Technicians should be masked and wearing personal protective equipment, to include gloves and booties. Anyone who has specific concerns can reach out to us and we will address those individually.”
As winter arrives in Colorado, residents planning to take leave elsewhere are asked to leave the heat on in their homes. Ensure the home thermostat is set between 65 and 68 degrees and disconnect any outside hoses.
Springer also announced that Fort Carson leaders are working to create an alternative internet service.
“We’re excited about this,” said the garrison commander. “Next summer, we should have alternative to TDS, called Boingo Wireless. Currently, we are working with Boingo to expand our current fiber-optic cable on post.”
Transitioning to matters outside of neighborhoods, Maj. Robert Rapone, executive officer, Directorate of Emergency Services, said post leaders have worked to reduce wait times at the Mountain Post’s entry gates.
“We realize that the wait time that many of you have at our gates, especially during peak hours, is high,” he said. “Specifically, at Gate 20, we’ve recorded average wait times over 15 minutes. In response military police have been added to each lane during morning commute times to increase throughput efficiency. This has helped lower wait times, but we also encourage motorists to use other gates that may have lower wait times already, such as Gate 4 and Gate 19.”
Rapone also reminded motorists to make sure they clear their vehicles of snow before driving during the winter months and that leaving a vehicle unattended while the engine is running is both illegal in the state and prohibited on post.
Clinton Reiss, chief of housing at the Directorate of Public Works, joined the update to inform residents about how the DPW housing office can assist them with resolving housing issues. He also relayed information about Fort Carson’s unit sponsorship program, which works to improve neighborhoods and identifies issues for both FCFH and residents.
Springer and McGrath then capped the townhall update with a question and answer session. Responding to a few concerns, McGrath gave residents guidance on steps to take should they encounter loose dogs, garbage in common areas and broke-down or abandoned vehicles.
As the holiday approach, leaders also announced they have scheduled a Santa Claus tour of neighborhoods. Fort Carson leaders will ride through neighborhoods in the
Fort Carson Fire Department vintage fire engine along with Santa on Dec. 11, 2020, from 3:15 to 6:15 p.m.
Residents who have questions or would like more information on housing topics can visit https://www.carson.army.mil/housing.html. The DPW housing services office can also be reached at 719-524-0541 or 719-524-4843.