New housing developments open at Fort Knox - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New housing developments open at Fort Knox

At Fort Knox, the talk is about expansion and new jobs.  New housing developments for soldiers are just one sign of the massive growth under way at the post.

While the changes mean improvements, they'll also require more tax dollars.

Privatization of housing allows the Army to secure private funding which, in turn, means better homes for soldiers.  Fort Knox says that's a needed result with so much growth under way.

Gone are the housing quarters of yesteryear.  Staff Sgt. Ricardo Cruz and his family will be the first at Fort Knox to move into a duplex in the Maple Ridge development.

Construction will take place over the next eight years and will include 256 new homes at a cost of $220 million.

Col. Mark Needham, Fort Knox Commander, explains, "About 10 percent are Americans with Disability Act accessible. In other words, handicap access on them because more and more of our soliders are having those problems coming back from the war."

Funding was secured through a partnership between the Army and Actus Lease Lend.  The partnership will create new homes and 250 construction jobs.

Col. Needham says, "Since the BRAC announcement was made, we came to the conclusion that we do have to modify some rank structure where soldiers are going to live according to the growth at Fort Knox."

The growth of this development coincides with growth expected under the Base Realignment and Closure program that moved Army commands off the post but is expected to attract others -- including 2300 jobs by 2010.

Wilson Road has expanded -- a signal of growth off the installation.  The state has committed $100 million to improvements like those.  The question is: is it enough?"

Radcliff Mayor Sheila Enyart answers, "Oh, heavens no. We need a heck of a lot more than that." Mayor Enyart says that money is just a start.  Much more will be needed to construct new roads -- roads that will be needed to support growth to the area.

Many of the jobs expected to arrive within the next two years include human resources and information technology -- high-paying jobs civic leaders hope will result in re-investment in the community.

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