LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
The contractual agreement between the Department of Defense and Balfour Beatty Communities requires Balfour Beatty to report to a residence within specified time frames to inspect and assess maintenance issues.
James Fisher, Lackland Capital Asset Management Office manager, said there may be a misconception on Balfour Beatty's obligation for maintenance calls.
"'Respond' does not necessarily mean 'completely fix the item' and that's where there's confusion," Mr. Fisher said.
He explained response requirements include the amount of time Balfour Beatty has to inspect and assess. In some situations, the problem may be corrected during the response. In others, parts may have to be purchased or ordered which delays completing the repair. If the repair is not completed during the response, however the tenant should be given an explanation and a repair timeline.
"They (Balfour Beatty) should be telling the tenant all of that," Mr. Fisher said. "If that type of conversation does not take place, the tenant should contact us (Lackland Capital Asset Management Office, formerly Lackland Military Family Housing Office)."
There are three categories for maintenance response times: emergency, urgent and routine. Emergency is defined as a health or safety issue in which Balfour Beatty is required to respond in 30 minutes during normal duty hours and one hour during non-duty hours; urgent has a 4-hour response time; and routine is within 24 hours.
Balfour Beatty is required on emergency calls to make the situation safe, which may or may not correct the problem.
"They have to troubleshoot to the point where they can determine the cause and isolate it to a safe point," Mr. Fisher said. "In the process, they may not have totally repaired the item but they've 'safed' it and it can be taken to the urgent or routine category to allow more time to go back and fix it."
Mr. Fisher said it was important that both Balfour Beatty and the housing office do their best to service the tenants because vacant houses on base create a no-win situation for the military and the contractor.
"Our focus is to make sure we do everything we can to satisfy the tenants and resolve their concerns," he said.
To report maintenance issues in base housing, contact Balfour Beatty at 674-9366 or visit their website http://www.lacklandafbfamilyhousing.com