Fort Polk brought nearly $10B in 2020 for Louisiana
LEESVILLE, La. (KALB) - Over 200 Fort Polk Progress members got together at the Vernon Parish Fairgrounds Auditorium on November 10 to get an update on the economic impact Fort Polk has had on the local communities and Louisiana. It was revealed that in 2020, Fort Polk brought in $9.64 billion to the state’s economy. Added to that were 77,000 jobs and generating over $348 million in state and local taxes.
Congressman Mike Johnson was at the meeting and said that more things could be done at Fort Polk to increase those numbers.
“We heard tonight over a $9 billion annual impact,” he said. “I mean there are few things in the state that have that kind of impact for the country, whole industries don’t supply that. So, it’s critically important that we support the installation, critically important that we continue to advocate for its untapped potential.”
Congressman Johnson also took the opportunity to announce that the National Defense Authorization Act passed the House of Representatives last month, which means the current Joint Operations Center - that was built in the 60′s - will get a makeover. Under the same act, Fort Polk will also be receiving over $50 million for new barracks for the service men and women living on site.
According to Leesville Mayor Rick Allen, Governor John Bel Edwards told him that Fort Polk is the largest employer in Louisiana. Part of it has to do with the immense projects that the military post goes through from time to time.
“The influx of contractors that we have here in Vernon Parish goes all the way to Alexandria down to Lake Charles,” Mayor Allen said. “Sometimes the hotels are full because they have a big project in Fort Polk, and they have a lot of contractors out there. So, it generates a lot of money for our economy here in Central Louisiana.”
In the past, Fort Polk has faced risks of post closure, but Mayor Allen believes it isn’t a “realistic possibility” at this time.
“I think Fort Polk is very stable at this point,” he said. “They understand in Washington how important Fort Polk is and the training that it offers our military service men and women.”
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