Dining facility upgrades, opens next year|
by Senior Airman Daryl Knee
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
7/14/2011 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The dining facility here, which has been closed since August 2010, is tentatively scheduled to re-open in January.
With the re-opening, there will be changes to the facility and to Airmen's pay.
The Mosel Dining Facility has been closed to renovate and add more cold-storage area, said Udo Stuermer, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron programs flight lead. The $640,000 project is scheduled to be complete next month.
Workers will take advantage of the present dining facility closure to upgrade the serving line appliances and housing, Stuermer said.
"Before you see the food, you see the serving line," Stuermer said. "It has to be inviting. First impressions are so important, and we want to show people our first-class fare."
The serving line is currently stainless steel, and the housing and molding on the sides and front is made of wood. With constant moisture from operation, some of the wood-paint is chipping. Water from mopping the tiled floors has splintered the lower portions of the wood housing.
"It was becoming a hygiene issue," he said. "Not to mention how it looked. We owe it to our Airmen to get this fixed."
With the new plan, the entire housing for the serving line will be stainless steel. The tile floor will not change, and the line will use all the same pipes, drains and plumbing as before.
What that means to you
The serving-line upgrade is in the bidding process, and. U.S. Air Forces in Europe has allocated money for this project. Once the bidding is complete, construction can begin.
Construction processes are not fast, Stuermer added. There are many complications that may arise, which could delay completion, ranging from inclement weather to parts being shipped to a wrong address.
He said he believes the facility construction will be complete no later than January.
Airmen who would normally use the meal card have not had meal deductions in their pay since the dining facility's closure, said Master Sgt. Shirley Quevedo, 52nd Comptroller Squadron customer service flight chief. As long as the dining facility is closed, this will continue.
Airmen also receive 100 percent of their cost of living allowance, which is an adjustment to salaries based on the year's living expense, while the dining facility is closed.
Once the dining facility re-opens in 2012, Airmen using the meal card will see changes to their pay. Basic allowance for subsistence will have meal deductions and COLA will be 63 percent, not 100.
"Think about what it's going to be like," Quevedo said. "Budget wisely; this is a huge pay decrease."
The average person using the meal card is an airman 1st class with less than two years in service, she said. As of now, that airman 1st class may receive approximately $325 in BAS and $441 in COLA for a total of $766 per month.
Meal deductions for BAS total about $227.50, she continued. Coupled with the reduced COLA, Airmen can expect to receive a total of about $350 per month after the re-opening instead of $766.
She said the best way for Airmen to save money will be to maximize the use of the dining facility.
After the re-opening, Airmen must inform the finance office immediately if they are still receiving full COLA or if they are not receiving meal deductions to prevent any fraudulent payments.
For more information, call the 52nd CPTS customer service flight at DSN 452-6730.