Rosepine Mayor Grateful for Relationship, Opportunity

By Tammy Sharp

March 1, 2022

The following is the first of three articles detailing Intergovernmental Support Agreements between local communities and Fort Polk. 

ROSEPINE, LA.—The town council here is entering into its fourth year of a five-year Intergovernmental Support Agreement (IGSA) with neighboring Fort Polk that the mayor said has been nothing short of a blessing. 

IGSA’s were established through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2013 as formal public-public partnerships agreements between Army installations and their state or local governments for the provision, receipt, or sharing of installation support services.

Rosepine Mayor Donna Duvall (left) visits with Fort Polk staff during the State of Fort Polk and JRTC on February 7.

“It was such a wonderful achievement,” said Rosepine Mayor Donna Duvall of the town’s agreement for custodial services signed in 2018. “These partnerships are about community relationships.” 

Signed by then Garrison Commander Col. Jarrett A. Thomas, II, the agreement, reported at the time of the signing to be worth $1.71 million per year over the life of the agreement, provides custodial care to more than 100 facilities, or about 1 million square feet of space, on Fort Polk, at the Army Recreation Site and at England Airpark, where soldiers process in and out. 

The previous contract cost the base $2.4 million per year, saving the federal government approximately $3.5 million over five years, according to an article written at the time.

But the cost savings isn’t the only benefit of the agreement. The community partnership between the Town of Rosepine and Fort Polk is an invaluable resource, said Duvall. 

Members of the local communities not only benefit from the job opportunities provided by the IGSA, but many also truly value the opportunity to serve soldiers, she said. 

According to Duvall, the town can directly employ up to 35 people at one time, only a small handful of which are part time, in order to fulfill the contract. Some of those employees are seasoned people from the previous contract, said Duvall. 

According to its website, Rosepine was incorporated in 1902 with logging as its primary industry. These days, Rosepine’s population hovers around 1700, said Duvall, who is skeptical about the accuracy of that number, when she considers community participation during the past census, she said. The population is likely higher.  

Regardless, in the early 1970’s, the town’s wastewater system was built to accommodate a mere 700 people. The town has been working for some time to make improvements to that infrastructure, and the IGSA with Fort Polk will make it possible for them to finally have the matching funds for the project, Duvall said. 

In effect, the IGSA has been essential to the town’s infrastructure improvements.  

“Infrastructure problems are the things you can’t see,” said Duvall, with water and sewer the most important infrastructure for obvious health reasons. “You don’t miss it until it’s gone.” 

Located in the southwest Louisiana countryside, Rosepine is the second largest town in Vernon Parish and home for many who work to the north and south of the town, including Fort Polk soldiers and their families and retirees. Located about 13 miles to the south of Leesville/Fort Polk and only 3 miles north of DeRidder, this Christian community also hosts six churches within its 4 square mile area. 

Duvall married a soldier (now he’s retired), and the couple moved, and then came home to live on property her great grandfather owned, she said.  

Anyone interested in becoming part of the custodial crew that serves Fort Polk, should visit the town’s website. Daytime and nighttime schedules are available. The positions offer competitive pay, as well as vacation and holiday pay.