APG Town Hall connects leaders to community

Senior commander seeks open, honest communication

Linda VanBemmel, chief of the Information Technology Office, provides a response during the Question & Answer segment of the Installation Town Hall hosted by APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor at the post theater Oct. 5, 2017.|U.S. Army photo by Rachel Ponder, APG News

The APG community had the opportunity to provide feedback to senior leadership and service providers during the Installation Town Hall at the post theater Oct. 5, 2017.

APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor welcomed attendees to the first town hall of the fiscal year. Taylor said he is committed to hosting an installation town hall once a quarter, calling them “incredibly important.” The goal, he said, is to provide open and honest communication.

APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor delivers opening remarks during the Installation Town Hall at the post theater Oct. 5, 2017. |U.S. Army photo by Rachel Ponder, APG News

“We’re [going to have town halls] to keep you informed, that’s what today is about,” he said.

APG Garrison Commander Col. Robert Phillips III also thanked attendees for their participation.

“It’s critical that we communicate to the workforce and the residents more frequently,” he said. “So we will do more town halls like this, and I am also open to your input on other ways we can reach out.”

Emergency notifications

Peter Slusar, with the Garrison’s Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, gave an overview of AtHoc, a mass notification system that sends users emergency warnings and other important information. This system is available to all APG Soldiers, civilians and contractors under the APG footprint, including family members residing in on-post Corvias Military Living housing.

Registered individuals can add their personal cell phone numbers and email addresses, so they can receive emergency notifications when they are “on the go.” For more information about the system, contact the AtHoc administrator Richard Rivera at 410-278-4337.

AtHoc is also used to notify individuals of post closings or delays, in the event of inclement weather, Slusar noted. Additionally, updates are provided on the APG Weather Line at 410-278-7669; the APG website, www.apg.army.mil; the APG Facebook page www.facebook.com/APGMd; and the APG Twitter page www.twitter.com/USAGAPG.

New street names

John Fink, the deputy director for the Garrison’s Directorate of Public Works, discussed the installation’s process for standardizing street names and addresses. This is a public safety initiative tied to APG’s new, enhanced 911 emergency call system, he said, and it requires renaming some streets and providing new address numbers.

DPW is almost finished with phase one, which includes changing street signs and address changes, Fink noted. Phase two will involve changing non-housing building signs.

“We will be sending out letters of instruction for all of the tenants, giving them guidance on how their addresses are going to change,” he said

Live Army Green program

Fink also addressed the Live Army Green program, an Office of the Security of Defense directive, and a requirement of the Residential Communities Initiative Partner, Corivas Military Living.

Starting Oct.30, electric and gas meters will be installed on homes to measure usage. Once installed, monthly energy consumption statements, or mock billing will begin and last for three to six months, depending on the neighborhood.

Under the Live Army Green program, families are required to pay the difference of utility costs if they exceed more than 5 percent above the real monthly average utility usage for similar homes in their neighborhood. Families who uses less gas and electricity than average will receive a refund or a credit.

“Over 90 percent of the installations out there have already adopted this program,” he said. “So we are on the tail end of the implementation.”

A Corvias Military Living-sponsored town hall will be held to educate about the Live Army Green program on a date to be determined. For more information, read the article in the Sept. 28 issue of the APG News at www.apgnews.com, or contact Corvias Military Living at 410-305-1076.

Other issues briefed by subject matter experts included fall and winter safety concerns and upcoming events.

Question and answer session

The town hall concluded with a question and answer session. Topics included safety, gate hours, grass cutting, professional development and the Live Army Green program. A few attendees raised concerns about speeding on post.

Acting Director of Emergency Services, Rick de Oliveira told attendees that if they witness speeding on post, they should call the Police Desk at 410-306-2222, and provide specific information, like the time of day the incident occurred and a description of the vehicle.

“With that specific information we can tailor our patrols to have the biggest impact for you,” he said.

Taylor asked the Garrison to look into installing speed bumps in the Patriot Village subdivision.

Phillips said the community can use the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, system to provide feedback to APG leadership at http://ice.disa.mil//.

ICE kiosks are located in several buildings on post, including the Post Exchange; the APG South recreation center, Bldg. E4140; and in the Janet Barr Center, Bldg. 4305.

The next Installation Town Hall will be held Jan. 18, 2018.


By Rachel Ponder, APG News