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Rucker-Picerne Partnership reaches halfway point in initial development period

Jan 14, 2010

By Emily Natalio, Communications specialist

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Almost four years into the Rucker-Picerne Partnership, residents and the community are now aware of the many changes in lifestyle that come with privatization.

They have gained a new perspective and understanding that what happens today paves the way to how Soldiers and Families of the future will live at Fort Rucker, Picerne officials said.

The partnership follows Picerne's Families First® mission and is steadily working to build new homes like those found off post. It is also enhancing all common areas and amenities available to those who live in on-post housing.

"It's certainly amazing to take a look back and see how far the project has come," said Heath Burleson, Picerne program director. "Since we assumed operations April 1, 2006, we have completed 409 new homes and 557 minor renovations, opened one Neighborhood Center, and are well underway with a second Neighborhood Center and much more."

While the project is currently at its mid-point in the Initial Development Period, which ends December 2013, almost half of the Families living on post reside in recently built or renovated homes. Residents are using the numerous amenities on-post living allows such as the newly-built Allen Heights Neighborhood Center, walking trails connecting the three neighborhoods, the only Bark Park in the Wiregrass, 24-hour responsive maintenance, commercial lawn care, pest control, complimentary resident events and access to Department of Defense schools.

With the challenges of adjusting to privatized housing during the past few years, the Fort Rucker community is now embracing the new lifestyle and features located close to home, Amanda Filipowski, Picerne communications manager, said.

She noted more Families choose to move on post every day into quality homes built on time with features comparable to those found off post.

DOD mandates Resident Responsibility Program

In 2009, Fort Rucker began the mandated DOD Resident Responsibility Program. This program is based on placing the responsibility of energy conservation in residents' hands. While the program's implementation has been met with some questions from residents, it has resulted in savings that allow the Rucker-Picerne Partnership to reinvest the savings here.

"This is a DOD initiative mandated by Congress. The program first began billing on some posts in 2005. The good thing about the program is 100 percent of any money saved by Fort Rucker (residents) goes right back into the housing project at Fort Rucker," said Craig Little, Ista director of client services. Ista services, monitors and administers on-post energy consumption.

This program will be implemented at every home once all homes are improved, Filipowski said. Once improved, the homes are grouped with like homes for comparison and to establish a baseline. The baseline is then recalculated each month. Based on usage, residents may pay for usage above the baseline or receive refunds for conservation. The baseline is the average amount of gas and electricity used by like homes during a month.

Reinvestment in the program allows the Rucker-Picerne Partnership to fund amenities such as additional playgrounds, upgrade walking trails, put new asphalt on roads in the neighborhoods and construct homes. Additional information on the DOD program may be found on Picerne's online bulletin board at www.ruckerpicerne.com.

No matter what, Families First

Many residents enjoy the sense of community at Fort Rucker and visit with Family and friends at Picerne-hosted events throughout the year, Picerne Community Management Director Robert Frazier said.

These events give the Picerne team time to relate with residents out of the office. The Picerne team takes pride in knowing their residents by name and letting them know Picerne always puts Rucker's Families First®.

Picerne values residents' input

"With an optimistic view for 2010, I would like to thank you for the thoughtful feedback you provided to Picerne Military Housing throughout the past year through responding to surveys, participation in group discussions, phone calls and e-mails," Frazier said in this month's resident neighborhood newsletter. "Your input is a critical part in planning the future and achieving the growth that will leave a legacy for many Soldiers and their Families in the coming years."

Picerne wants to know how it is doing and what it needs to improve. Picerne values residents' input. Visit www.ruckerpicerne.com and submit feedback via the "Feedback/Information" link at the top right of the Web site.

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