By Donna Cipolloni, NAS Patuxent River Public Affairs
PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (NNS) —Since February of this year, when the Navy took immediate actions to increase oversight and hold public-private venture (PPV) partners accountable for timeliness benchmarks and improved customer service, Lincoln Military Housing (LMH) at NAS Patuxent River has responded to the call.
In recent months, LMH has fully staffed its maintenance department, which completed 780 work orders in the month of August and another 730 work orders in September, while still keeping up with the demand for emergency and urgent tickets.
“With the addition of new staff, which means a quicker response, Lincoln Military Housing is receiving higher marks on their ‘Satisfacts’ surveys,” said Ross Keene, housing director for Pax River, referring to the survey emailed to residents after each work order is completed. Keene is the DoN representative who serves as a liaison between military housing residents and LMH.
Keene also noted that semi-annual preventive maintenance – such as checking HVAC systems, smoke detectors, and various other conditions to ensure there are no issues within the home – is underway, starting with Challenger Estates. Power washing of the homes in Glenn Forest, Lovell Cove, Challenger Estates and Columbia Colony has been completed by a third-party contractor, and tree trimming was also done within those neighborhoods.
LMH has gone from over 800 backlogged service tickets to less than 100 since February when new LMH District Manager Gina Edwards came aboard, and Keene credits her for much of the improved effort.
“Gina came in at the height of it and we can see a significant difference since she arrived,” he added. “LMH is almost fully staffed now and has been putting the right people in the right spots, with good leadership guiding the way. Everything is lining up perfectly.”
With resident Town Hall Meetings required quarterly, LMH is combining that event with their upcoming Community Information Expo, scheduled 5-7 p.m. Oct. 24 at the LMH Community Center.
“Other installations have been doing it this way and have been successful, and the residents are open to it,” Edwards explained. “We’re bringing in our vendors and other outside resources as a way to bring the community together and provide them with information that’s out there. With vendors at the expo, residents who have questions or concerns about their service will be able to speak with them directly.”
Two such vendors confirmed to date include the companies that provide landscaping and trash removal services for LMH properties, and other confirmed outside participants are the St. Mary’s County Health Department, College of Southern Maryland, the local 4-H Program, and St. Mary’s County Library. Executive Salon Suites will be giving free haircuts, and Wallgreens will be administering flu shots to anyone interested.
“People can either show their insurance card and Walgreens will file the claim directly, or there’s a charge of $35,” Edwards noted.
On the DoN side, representatives from the fire and police departments will be on hand, as well as Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Navy Recreation Center Solomons, Fleet and Family Support Center, and the Pax River School Liaison Officer. The expo is open to all LMH residents.
“With constant PCS, we’re always transitioning people in and out, so this will be a great way for residents to learn about the programs and activities available to them on and off base,” Keene said. “And, of course, the [NAS Patuxent River] CO, XO, and CMC will be there and the CO will tie in his own Town Hall with this event, so we’re expecting some nonresidents as well.”
The information expo will also feature free food, courtesy of LMH, as well as give-aways and door prizes, and even a bouncy house for the kids, weather permitting.
Satisfaction moving forward
LMH manages 749 homes in three on base and three off base developments.
If a housing resident should have a complaint, the first step to take is to put in a work order by dialing the 24-hour toll-free maintenance line at 888-578-4141, or by going online at www.LincolnServiceTrack.com.
If the issue is not resolved within a reasonable amount of time, the resident can then phone the LMH office at 240-895-0380 or call the government partner, which is Keene or one of his staff members, at 301-342-3846.
“We want to reiterate that resident satisfaction is our goal,” Keene said, “and we’re all working together – DoN and Lincoln – to try to assure the residents that their needs are our priority.”