FORT POLK, La. (Fort Polk) - U.S. Army Garrison Fort Polk and the town of Rosepine have entered an agreement providing custodial services for the installation located in the heart of Louisiana’s Vernon Parish.
Col. Thomas Jarrett II, garrison commander, and Rosepine Mayor Donna Duvall signed a five-year intergovernmental support agreement (IGSA) awarding a custodial contract, part of the Army’s Public-Public Partnership program, during a specially called town council meeting June 5.
“We are fortunate and privileged to have this,” a smiling Duvall told those who filled the Rosepine City Hall meeting room for the signing. “It’s good for both the town of Rosepine and its people.”
The contract, worth $1.71 million a year over the five-year life of the agreement, provides custodial care to more than 100 facilities — or about 1 million square feet of space — on Fort Polk, said Nathan Jernigan, chief, Operations and Maintenance Division, Fort Polk Directorate of Public Works.
“Our current contract is about $2.4 million a year, so this is a significant savings for Fort Polk,” Jernigan said. “Of equal importance is the integration of Fort Polk with the local community.”
Thomas lauded the opportunity for Fort Polk to extend its partnership with a community partner.
“This is a win-win for Fort Polk and the people and town of Rosepine,” Thomas said. “We have great relationships with Rosepine, Leesville, DeRidder and other local communities and IGSAs such as this allow us to make them even better.”
Thomas said the IGSA with Rosepine builds on a similar agreement for grass-cutting services on Fort Polk signed with the city of Leesville on March 8.
“This allows members of the local community to work on Fort Polk and help serve our Soldiers, and we really appreciate that,” he said.
Thomas said Fort Polk’s facilities take a lot of work to maintain.
“They’ll be able to do things like trash pickup and cleaning of latrines,” he said. “If we didn’t have a contract like this, we would have Soldiers doing those things, but Soldiers need to train, doing the things the Army needs them to do on a daily basis.”
The contract was made possible by the fiscal year 2013 defense authorization bill that authorized military installations and their host communities to enter into intergovernmental support agreements for base support services. As part of the Public-Public Partnership program, IGSAs allow the Army to solicit partnership proposals from the field and benchmark existing partnerships.
“This has been a great initiative by IMCOM (Installation Management Command),” Thomas said. “We’ll find more opportunities as they come up.”
Duvall said the agreement would allow the town of Rosepine to do much-needed work on its infrastructure.
“We do not have many revenue streams so this is going to be a tremendous help, especially with our water system which needs a lot of work,” she said. “It’s been a blessing.”