The afternoon of March 4 was a typical afternoon at the offices of the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Housing Division in the South Post housing area at the installation.
That afternoon, Housing Management Assistant Brenda Downing was helping with an inspection, Housing Manager Zachery (Zach) Hynes was helping a housing resident, Management Assistant Kenneth Folgers was moving equipment used by housing residents to be serviced.
That left DPW Housing Division Chief Monica Richmond in the office alone for a time, and she was answering calls from residents, working out issues over the phone, and getting work orders submitted to the DPW Helpline for the housing residents.
And while Richmond was busy working office tasks and the others were out working, contractors were busy in two sections of the housing area building seven new homes. When completed, that will bring the total number of homes in the South Post Housing area to 120.
The DPW Housing Division personnel and offices have been co-located with their customers in the South Post Housing area since 2014.
Currently, 22 of the housing area homes are officer homes (nine three-bedroom and 13 four-bedroom), and 91 are enlisted homes (55 three-bedroom and 36 four-bedroom). All of the seven new units will be officer homes.
The Fort McCoy housing management team is a traditional Army housing team. Most Army Family Housing offices, especially at large installations, are now part of privatized housing. Privatized housing initiatives have been a part of Department of Defense housing partnerships for more than two decades.
The DPW Housing Division consists of three branches, including the Army Family Housing Office (on-post housing), Housing Services Office (off-post housing), and Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (single Soldier barracks for E-1 to E-5).
Hynes said the housing team enjoys their daily interactions with the families, just like on March 4, and being able to quickly respond to anything.
“Being here, close to our customers, and serving as a hub for them is extremely important for our ability to provide great service,” Hynes said. “They know where to go and who to talk to.”
Folgers is the newest addition to the housing staff.
“He’s been just great since he started,” Richmond said. “Thanks to his efforts, we should be expanding our hours at the Self-Help Center here very soon.”
Continuous improvement is something the housing team is always striving for, Richmond said. Next to Richmond’s desk is a dry-erase board where she writes reminders of planned improvements the team wants to see happen.
“There are a lot of things written on the board as a reminder for me,” Richmond said. “But everyone here keeps a prioritized plan on what they have to do. I have a great staff. They know their job, they don’t complain, and they give a 100 percent effort all the time. And I think our residents see that effort every day.”
Customer service from the housing staff also works through the housing mayor — a Soldier who is a housing resident and takes resident concerns to the housing staff.
“We work very consistently with the appointed housing mayor,” Richmond said. “We ask residents to contact the mayor to raise concerns with us and as a way for the residents to help each other as well. The housing mayor program is a very good program. We also recently appointed an assistant mayor who also can help.”
In addition to regular meetings between the housing staff and the housing mayor and residents, the DPW housing staff has also held town hall meetings for residents that have included Fort McCoy senior leaders. All of the effort is to keep customer satisfaction at the highest level possible.
“Even though the Army and the Department of Defense has taken a bigger interest in improving housing across the spectrum, we strive to go above and beyond every day,” Richmond said.
“And that is what we will continue to do. We want our customers to always know we have their best interests in mind every day. We want South Post to be a community where service members want to live.”
For more information about all support and services available by the Housing Division staff, visit their offices in the South Post Community Center.
Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.
The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services each year since 1984.