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November 23, 2012

News

South Post town hall informational meeting supports community

Residents of Fort McCoy’s South Post Military Family Housing attended a Nov. 8 town hall meeting to get informational, community and event updates and to discuss ways to maintain and improve support to each other as a military community.

Sherry Oslie, Fort McCoy Housing Management specialist, said the meetings, held in the fall and spring, offer a valuable channel of communication between the installation, Housing management and the residents.
PHOTO: The South Post Housing Mayor adresses a South Post town hall meeting. Photo by Rob Schuette
New South Post Housing Mayor Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Zuehlsdorf addresses a South Post town hall meeting. The town hall meetings are held twice yearly, with the next one scheduled for April 2013.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

“The meetings provide an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas among residents and the installation and promote the feeling of a ‘housing community and home ownership,’” she added.

New South Post Mayor Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Zuehlsdorf of the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy was introduced at the meeting, as was new Deputy Mayor Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mark Miller of the 181st Infantry Brigade.

Zuehlsdorf talked about everyone being good neighbors, respecting each other’s living areas, and getting to know each other.

“If you’re having problems with your neighbor, go talk to them,” Zuehlsdorf said. “If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can contact me. I’ll help get it worked out.”

Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. Bill Bissonette encouraged everyone to get to know their neighbors and to report concerns about the South Post Housing Area, such as safety and property issues, etc., so they can be identified and fixed.

Zuehlsdorf said he hoped to arrange several special events where residents can get together and socialize with each other.
Some ideas under consideration include a block-type party and special-themed social events.

Ross O’Neil, chief of the Fort McCoy Housing Division, presented an overview of current and planned South Post Family Military Housing.

Fifty-five units, dating from 1998 to 2012, have been constructed to serve residents. Two additional units will be completed by the end of the year and will bring the number built with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus funds) from 31 to 33, he said.

Sixty-three more housing units are scheduled to be constructed, pending final congressional and funding approval. Fifty-six units would be built in fiscal year (FY) 2014, with another seven units planned for construction in FY 2016.

O’Neil said this would bring Fort McCoy’s total South Post Military Housing from 57 to 120 housing units. A military housing assessment completed several years ago put the number needed to support the installation’s military population at 134, and the Army has been funding approximately 90 percent of that number, he added.

“The other project we have going on is the renovation of the community center,” O’Neil said. “That’s proceeding as planned.”

The projected opening date is spring 2013. O’Neil said the facility will feature an expanded community room and also be the new location for the Housing Management Office, which would bring everything regarding housing together in that area and provide better customer service.

Kevin Herman and Terry Rogalla of Army Community Service (ACS) talked about some of the programs available at or coordinated through ACS.

A number of programs are available to support Soldiers and their Families and include various workshops, volunteer opportunities and the Army Emergency Relief program, Herman said.

Rogalla talked about Family support programs, including the Family Advocacy Program and the Exceptional Family Member Program. An updated Love and Logic Program will begin in January.

For more information about ACS programs, call 608-388-3505.

Randy Eddy, Installation Safety Office Safety manager, and Curt Ladwig, Fire Prevention inspector for the Fort McCoy Fire Department, talked about safety topics, including seasonal safety and fire safety.

Liz Weaver of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) Marketing Office discussed events and services available through the installation’s DFMWR program, such as fitness classes at the Rumpel Fitness Center; dining and recreational opportunities, such as bowling at McCoy’s; the Whitetail Ridge Ski Area and nearby Tactics Paintball Field and laser tag; the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program; and the Tree Lighting event, Nov. 29.

Bissonette encouraged attendees to attend any DFMWR events they can. Without support, the offerings could be reduced or eliminated, he said.

More information is available by calling the DFMWR Event Line at 608-388-7400 or visiting the website www.mccoymwr.com,

The next South Post Town Hall meeting tentatively has been scheduled for April.

For more information about the meetings, call the Housing Office at 608-388-3906 or for residents seeking information about South Post Housing matters or meetings call Zuehlsdorf at 608-388-3597 or Miller at 608-388-5134.

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