Fort McCoy News March 14, 2014

Rumpel ends towel service; saves money, energy

The Rumpel Fitness Center has eliminated towel service for customers.

The cost-saving-and-avoidance move is expected to save approximately $30,000 a year.

Previously, customers could pick up a towel at the front desk as they entered the facility. Used towels were returned, washed and made available for reuse.

With the new policy, customers will have to bring in their own towel while using the fitness center.

The approximate $30,000 of savings, results from saving on the cost of purchasing the towels and the detergent and labor used to launder them, said Jeff Uhlig, Community Recreation Division chief for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Reduced water and electricity use will provide additional savings and are in line with the Installation Management Command Campaign Plan's Line of Effort #6 (Energy and Water Efficiency and Security).

Fort McCoy is not the first post to eliminate the towel service.

Posts Armywide have been trending to phasing out towel service in a cost-cutting move as organizations have to operate in an already tight operating budget environment. Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., Fort Hood, Texas, and U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, Germany, are recent examples.

Uhlig said the savings provides improvement possibilities to other areas.

"The money we save will go back into other areas that may include new material for classes or other offerings at the fitness center," Uhlig said.

"Cost avoidance is gained by reducing labor for laundering by more than 65 hours per month," he said.

"Time saved not doing the laundry will be redirected to other areas of the fitness center to include maintenance and cleaning."

The elimination of the towel service also supports Executive Order (EO) 13514, signed by President Barack Obama in October 2009. That order calls for federal agencies to reduce "water consumption intensity by 2 percent annually" through fiscal year (FY) 2020, or 26 percent by the end of FY 2020, relative to a baseline of the agency's water consumption in FY 2007.

Similarly, the towel service elimination supports the Army's Energy Security and Implementation Strategy that includes reduced energy consumption and increased energy efficiency across platforms and facilities.

For more information about the new towel policy at the Rumpel Fitness Center, or about what the fitness center has to offer, call 608-388-2290.