Memorial Day Mt Olivet (copy)

Col. Scott M. Halter

Fort Detrick’s outgoing garrison commander and the housing company Balfour Beatty continue to address concerns raised by those who live on post, following nationwide mandates to improve housing on military installations.

Housing on military posts nationwide came under scrutiny in February when a Senate Armed Services subcommittee held a hearing on dangerous and substandard living conditions. Although housing at Fort Detrick was not specifically mentioned, Balfour Beatty, which operates the privatized housing at Fort Detrick, was also under scrutiny for its management at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

The subcommittee specifically called out Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County for complaints residents had about mold, lead paint and rat infestation.

As a result of the hearing, all posts were required to investigate housing conditions. Fort Detrick and Balfour Beatty spent the past four months working to improve the conditions on the Army installation, said Col. Scott Halter, outgoing garrison commander.

Halter and command staff have held four town hall meetings about housing, he said. Common issues included plumbing and interior repairs, as well as appliances.

In addition, Halter has mandated new tests, including examining houses once they are vacated, and follow-ups on finished work. Balfour Beatty and the command staff also increased communication about work orders, including a hotline.

“We obviously haven’t fixed everything,” Halter said. “We know there is more to be done.”

One of the issues facing the post is aging infrastructure. Halter requested funding to help address housing concerns there, he said.

The role of the command staff is to take care of the people on post, Halter said.

“We found certainly a number of issues, and we’ve been able to resolve several of them,” he said. “There’s still much work, more work to be done to get it to perfection, which might be too hard to achieve, but I think we can strive for that, strive for that high goal of satisfying all of our tenants to make sure that they absolutely have what they deserve in terms of safe and quality homes.”

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at hmongilio@newspost.com.

(6) comments

francesca_easa

Tear these unhealthy homes down and move our military families into the new housing developments. God knows there are enough of these going up.

ninagomez.ninagomez

What is not directly mentioned is the brown water issue. My family and I, live on post Ft. Detrick and once a month we have 2-5 days of brown/yellow water. NOTHING has been done. We NEED a water filter system put into all of our homes so we aren’t bathing our children or cooking with this water. At this point we care more about our water then we do about anything else. The pipes that our water runs through have many issues and each month that they flush these disgusting pipes, our entire neighborhood is stuck with brown water for a few days. We are tired of it and NEED change now! Ft. Detrick and Balfour Beatty should take care of their military families!

matthewboh

Dear comrades. We spent the money to help on our dear leader's July 4th celebration for all Americans. You'll have to suffer it out for the rest of America.

knahs25

And what about employees working in mold infested buildings? Employers should be required to provide employees a safe working environment.

threecents

Until the army stops shuttling people into their jobs for just two or three years, they will continue to fail to fix long term problems.

gardenwhimsey

The transfers from post-to-post are not the problem. The problem is that the housing was privatized some years back. Back when my dad was in the Army, if we had a problem...plumbing, heating, etc., we called the post engineers and they were there within the day to make things right. I thought it was bad when we were housed in a converted barracks but the problems the current families are experiencing are much worse.

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