LEESVILLE, La. -- Fort Polk Progress Chairman Michael Reese, Fort Polk Deputy Garrison Commander Johnny Bevers, Leesville (Louisiana) Mayor Rick Allen and Vernon Parish Police Jury President James B. Tuck recently presented on the success of its Intergovernmental Support Agreements (IGSAs) at the Association of Defense Communities Installation Innovation Forum 2019 earlier this month.
The Installation Innovation Forum connects installation leadership with their community partners and industry experts to share ideas and acquire knowledge on ways to promote the advancement of innovation at military installations and their surrounding communities.
The presentation was part of the Fort Polk Innovation: A Regional Approach to Intergovernmental Support Agreements session. Fort Polk was selected to headline this session after being awarded the ADC Army Community Partnership Award for its IGSAs with the VPPJ, City of Leesville and Town of Rosepine in December 2018.
"It is an honor to be selected to share the success of our innovative community partnerships with other installations and communities around the country," Reese said. "It is evidence of all that can be accomplished with installations and their surrounding communities working together for the betterment of soldiers and their families."
Allen and Tuck also expressed their excitement at being selected to form part in this session.
"Just to represent the greatest Army installation in the world was amazing, and to be the undeniable leader in IGSAs in the nation speaks volumes of the leadership team we have in place in Vernon Parish," Allen said.
"The Vernon Parish Police Jury was proud to participate in the ADC Installation Innovation Forum to discuss the success of the IGSA between Fort Polk and the police jury in the collection and disposal of their solid waste," Tuck added.
Fort Polk has three active IGSAs -- all of which were detailed in the session -- providing solid waste removal, grounds maintenance and custodial services. Together, the IGSAs have yielded a $4.4 million annual savings and $18 million annual cost avoidance at the installation. The estimated five-year total of cost savings and cost avoidance is expected to be $112 million.
The IGSA in place with the VPPJ for solid waste removal accounts for $2 million in annual cost savings. The agreement was signed in January 2017 with service beginning in June 2017.
It consists of VPPJ developing and executing an installation-wide comprehensive solid waste collection and disposal program for solid waste generated on the installation by garrison elements--as well as the collection and sorting of field waste of rotational units.
The agreement achieved scale price reduction and a new revenue stream--resulting in VPPJ being able to leverage new equipment purchases, receive a local match for State Capital Outlay Project and fund its Road Overlay Program. Fort Polk retained its cardboard recycling dividends instead of paying the previous contractor to dispose of it. It also added 12 full time Progressive Waste employees for Fort Polk collection and sorting.
"It has truly been a win-win for both of us," Tuck said.
The agreement between Fort Polk and the City of Leesville for vegetation control culminated in a $1.8 million annual cost savings, since being signed in March 2018.
This IGSA provides vegetation control throughout the cantonment, high-visibility grounds maintenance, range mowing and dead tree removal. The City of Leesville is paid administrative expenses and retains excess dollars. Fort Polk added 35 full-time city employees.
"Where we are geographically located it is very challenging to come up with ways to generate revenue for our community," Allen said. "We embraced the chance to further increase the value of our community to the Army through this IGSA with hard work and a lot of prayer. God has blessed us beyond measure, and we have begun to reap the benefits of these partnerships."
The custodial services IGSA between Fort Polk and Town of Rosepine resulted in a $600,000 annual cost savings, and was signed in June 2018 with services beginning in July 2018.
It consists of providing custodial services to various buildings and activities located on North and South Fort Polk and Toledo Bend (Lake) Recreation Site. The town is paid administrative expenses and retains excess dollars. It added 32 full-time employees.
"We are incredibly proud of how our community partners are working together to improve the military value of Fort Polk. Having the most cost-effective installation certainly helps position Fort Polk for future growth," Reese said. "We are proud to be trailblazers for these agreements."