Straight Talk: Grass cutting and snow removal

  • Published
  • By Col. Stacy L. Yike
  • 66th Air Base Group commander
Only one comment on grass was received in the Straight Talk mailbox as of close of business on July 20. Thanks to the dedicated facility manager who wants some more information on the big picture.

Grass cutting answers:
- Budget overruns earlier in FY10 left us with insufficient funds and hard decisions to make. We chose to take the hit in base appearance in order to minimize impact to mission and mission support activities, such as turning off office telephones, closing the pool or scaling back hours at the fitness center.

- We have not instituted base wide details in place to cut grass. The 66th Air Base Group will watch for common areas that need trimming, such as the parks, and do our best to maintain those areas with after-hours volunteers.

- Individual units are welcome to form details to maintain areas around the unit or on common areas as they see fit. Grass cutting details can only utilize military members due to workers compensation and other rules governing civilian activities on base, however, everyone can feel free to pull a weed or pick up a few pieces of litter on the way in and out of buildings.

- CE has loaned out a few mowers for details. Unfortunately, a few of these have broken in the process. We have limited funds for repairing this equipment and are now trying to balance the repair process with the availability for volunteer details. Call Dennis Cronin at (781) 377-7933 to check on availability.

- We are also keeping an eye out for "critter control." In general, we are trying to keep trimmed the places where children and adults play to minimize any impact. It is always a good idea in summer to check yourself for ticks if you have been outside, but we are not seeing any increase with pests at this time.

Snow Removal:
Q: Will the budget situation impact snow removal this winter?

A: Snow removal impacts both mission capability as well as safety. For those hoping that we will close down the base from the first snow until the spring thaw, I think you are out of luck. We will be working the FY11 budget hard to maintain our mission priorities, take care of the people here on base and preserve resources.

Thank you:
The Straight Talk mailbox was actually pretty empty this week, so with no additional Qs and As, I will take the opportunity to publish the thank you note we received. It's always great to get good news, so thank you for taking the time to let us know we resolved the issue. As always, if you have a question, send it in.

"Hanscom Straight Talk has delivered again for me. This is my second complaint here at Hanscom and each time I have gotten nothing less than results. I really appreciate everyone making this a priority and taking care of this issue. Please relay my thanks to management and those that came and made it happen to fix this issue immediately. You all are the best and I appreciate the men and women here at Hanscom and especially those that wear the uniform. Thank you so much."