Fox Meadow Transition: a smooth transition with minor bumps

  • Published
  • By Elizabeth McLean
  • Spouse Writer's Corps
It's hard to believe that at this time last year we were beginning the transition process from Dakota Ridge to Fox Meadow.

The homes in Dakota Ridge were being leased from the Rapid City Defense Housing Corporation.

On Sept. 30, the 20-year lease expired and residents were given the choice to either sign a private lease to keep living there or move to another location.

The first indication of change was the new sign at the subdivision entrance, "Fox Meadow." Those of us living there held our breaths as we anticipated what was to come.

New roofs and siding have made the homes much quieter when those famous South Dakota winds start to gust. Garage doors were painted or changed. Front doors were painted in the hopes of appealing to both existing and new tenants.

As military families, we expect change; some of us even welcome the inevitable move every few years. This transition, however, was new to most of us. Town hall meetings were held with representatives from the Ellsworth housing office and Rapid City Defense Housing Corporation. Transition packets were provided. A summary of utility billing for 2009 for each occupied address was also provided as a point of reference in making our final decisions to stay or move at the government's expense. One and two-year lease options were offered. Housing inspections were performed and maintenance issues addressed and corrected by DGR Maintenance and the housing office. The on-site property manager at Fox Meadow agreed to handle all maintenance issues. Col. Jeffery Taliaferro, 28th Bomb Wing commander, was a supportive figure throughout the entire process, assuring that all of our questions were answered.

All parties involved did their utmost to guarantee a seamless transition, but there are always bumps in the road. Utility transfer information was a bit confusing; particularly, whether or not deposits would be waived. Montana Dakota Utilities did not require a security deposit. Black Hills Power did not require a deposit but charged an account fee of $20.00. Rapid City Public Works required a refundable security deposit of $33.00; plus, a one-time move-in charge of $28.00. To ensure we could make any mid-month deposits, the housing office expedited basic-allowance-for-housing forms to Finance for quick processing.

Overall, the transition has been smooth. RCDHC is currently working on a website and rent-payment options to further ease our way. A daycare provider, Black Hills Montessori, is located right in the subdivision. The playgrounds are being replaced with new equipment. Weed killer and lawn fertilizer have been sprayed throughout the entire development. The only difference now---we write the checks on the first of each month.

"Fox Meadow...A Neighborhood. A Community. A Home." The slogan for our new community is quite fitting: Fox Meadow is a nice place to call home.