MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Base officials recently announced that an agreement is currently under negotiation to divest MCLB AlbanyÕs family housing area known as Boyett Village.
The developer will use the revenue generated from 419 housing units in Boyett Village to build additional housing units at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
According to Maj. Gen. H. Mashburn Jr., Deputy commandant for Installations and Logistics (Facilities) at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, having the new units built at Camp Lejeune is more practical.
ÒIn order to best address Marine Corps needs, and in consideration of Albany community needs, we intend to proceed with the sale of Boyett Village,Ó Mashburn said.
ÒMarine Corps Base Camp Lejeune has a projected housing deficit of more than 1,000 homes,Ó Mashburn added. Although the Department of DefenseÕs policy is to rely first on the private sector to provide housing to military families, Mashburn pointed out that the sale of Boyett Village here will generate developer resources for building new units for Camp LejeuneÕs junior enlisted personnel.
ÒThe Boyett Village site will ultimately be developed in accordance with city zoning requirements, thereby meeting the needs of the Albany community,Ó Mashburn concluded.
The Public-Private Venture project was initiated in 1996, reported Debbie Haguewood, Base Housing Officer.
ÒHowever, the terms of the project have changed considerably in response to a recent market analysis that clarified the availability of housing in the surrounding community to meet the needs of the base that cannot be satisfied with our on-base housing,Ó Haguewood reported.
ÒInitially, the plan was for the contractor to use the resources generated from Boyett Village to build additional housing units adjacent to the mobile home park on base,Ó Haguewood said. ÒBut the proposed agreement has changed to meet more critical Marine Corps housing needs at Camp Lejeune.Ó
Haguewood explained that the terms of the agreement and the identity of the contractor cannot be released to the public until after Congressional approval. HQMC officials expect Congressional approval in December with the agreement to be signed shortly thereafter. Haguewood also explained that a previous mandatory housing policy at MCLB Albany has been cancelled, an important factor used in calculating the value of the Public-Private Venture project.
Due to the pending agreement, Haguewood reported that the base is no long moving Marines and their families into Boyett Village. Those families who cannot obtain on-base housing will be provided assistance in locating suitable temporary or permanent housing in the local community.
ÒWe will have a 12-month transition period Ñ when the housing area will remain exclusively military Ñ that will begin on the date the agreement is signed,Ó Haguewood said. ÒMeanwhile, weÕve already begun the complex task of reassigning Boyett Village residents to units in Hill Village.
ÒWe recently distributed a survey in Boyett Village to obtain the current status on expected departure dates, as well as to confirm information about family composition,Ó Haguewood continued. ÒThe survey explained that Hill Village has been redesignated, and that they [Boyett Village residents] were being placed on the waiting list for the available Hill Village units, with a bulk control date of June 6.
ÒThis gave our Boyett families a higher priority than applicants for housing Ñ basically, the new arrivals to MCLB Ñ who were placed on the waiting list after June 6.Ó
According to Haguewood, the housing reassignments were first prioritized by projected separation, retirement and permanent-change-of-station dates.
ÒThe government will bear the moving expenses, so we divided our waiting list into four priorities,Ó Haguewood continued. ÒBasically, Marines who represent the best value for the taxpayersÕ dollars get top priority.Ó Marines with departure dates after June 30, 2001, and Marines who expect to leave before June 30, 2001, have second and fourth priority, respectively. Third priority was reserved for those waiting list applicants who went on the waiting list June 7.
Nevertheless, projected departure dates are not the only consideration, explained Col. Larry P. Cole, MCLB Albany commanding officer.
ÒBase Housing Office personnel are working hard to make the reassignments as fairly as possible within the guidelines provided by DoD,Ó Cole said. ÒThey [Base Housing Office personnel] have prioritized Boyett Village residents for reassignment based on departure dates, but they are also working to minimize the impact on children who will have to change schools.Ó
Haguewood explained that a sub-category of Boyett Village families with children who will be in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th-grades this fall was created.
ÒChildren in those grades will have to change schools, so weÕre trying to get those families moved before the new school year begins,Ó Haguewood said. High school students (grades 9-12) will attend the same school.
To clarify the factors used to prioritize the waiting lists, Haguewood explained that applicants who were on the waiting list before June 6 and Boyett families whose projected departure date is July 1, 2002, or later are priority one. Boyett families with projected departure dates from July 1, 2001, to June 30, 2002 are on the priority two waiting list. Priority three is designated for applicants who went on the waiting list on or after June 7. Boyett families with projected departure dates between June 6 of this year and June 30, 2001, are priority four.
ÒItÕs obvious that a priority four applicant is the least likely to be moved out of Boyett Village because of his expected departure date,Ó Haguewood said. ÒBut anyone on the waiting list whose departure date or family composition changes, should call us immediately. For instance, if a priority four applicant gets a tour extension that changes his priority category, we will make the appropriate priority waiting list adjustment.Ó
More information about the prioritization, waiting lists and housing reassignments will be published in The Emblem next week.