Fort Polk recognized in D.C. for community partnerships

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KALB) - Fort Polk was one of seven installations to receive the 2018 Army Community Partnership Award at the Pentagon on Tuesday for their continued relationship with Vernon Parish.

Mr. Jordan Gillis, the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (front left), and LTG Gwen Bingham, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, present 2018 Army Community Partnership Awards to Fort Polk, Louisiana, communities. Recognized were the Vernon Parish Police Jury for solid waste management; the city of Leesville for vegetation control, grounds maintenance and tree-removal services; and the town of Rosepine for custodial services on Fort Polk. The Army presented awards Dec. 4, 2018, in the Pentagon. | Photo courtesy: Fort Polk

"I appreciate the recognition for this, it's a lot of teamwork across the board," said Colonel Jarrett Thomas, Garrison Commander of Fort Polk. "We would not have been a success without our community partners and we thank them for everything that they do on a daily basis. Our success as an installation is based on the support from our community."

The partnerships include a solid waste agreement with the Vernon Parish Police Jury, custodial services with the Town of Rosepine and vegetation control with the City of Leesville.

"Fort Polk isn't just a neighbor, they're our family and we're glad to support them and want to up the quality of life for all of our heroes who serve," said police jury president James Tuck.

Fort Polk Progress chairman Michael Reese added, "As we seek to retain missions that are there today as we work with the Army to grow missions there in the future, our ability to make Fort Polk more competitive, more cost effective for the military is going to reap benefits for all of our surrounding communities."

That benefit is new revenue for local communities to improve infrastructure.

"We are working on wastewater improvements," said Rosepine Mayor Donna Duvall. "All structural and hopefully a recreational pavilion in the future."

"For the first time in the history of Leesville, we will line item budget for street repairs every year from now on. And when you're talking about a community that hasn't done any street repairs in the past 20 years, that's huge," said Mayor Rick Allen.

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