By Tammy Sharp

The following is the second in a series concerning Intergovermental Support Agreements between Fort Polk and the surrounding communities. View the first article here.

FORT POLK, LA.–The City of Leesville renewed the first intergovernmental support agreement (IGSA) of its size in the world on March 1.

City of Leesville employees help maintain approximately 5,000 acres at Fort Polk through an Intergovernmental Support Agreement.

IGSA’s are provided for under the Public-Public Partnership Program in the 2013 Defense Authorization Bill and allows installations to both solicit partnership proposals from the field and benchmark existing partnerships. 

The contract, which saves the federal government both money and human resources, was worth about $2.9 million dollars in 2018. 

“We worked on it for eight months,”  said Allen, of the process of hammering out the details of the largest IGSA in the world. The contract has grown from the $2.9 million in 2018 to $3.2 million in the current contract, he added, with $1.7 million in savings per year for the federal government. 

The City of Leesville is also able to provide spousal employment to Fort Polk families through the IGSA, with Chris Ausbun, retired command sergeant major, as the director of the contract.

On the flipside, the city has been able to buy a new city hall and now has access to more equipment and resources that can be cross-utilized in the off-season to handle properties it had struggled to maintain before, such as its airport. In addition some of the revenue goes toward playground equipment in city parks. 

The city is also able to provide spousal employment to Fort Polk families and currently employs a retired command sergeant major as the director of the contract.

The agreement with Fort Polk was implemented under the leadership of Allen and Leesville City Administrator Patti Larney. 

The contract was originally signed by Col. Jarrett Thomas II, Fort Polk’s then garrison commander, and Allen. Allen signed the renewal with Col. Samuel Smith, current garrison commander of Fort Polk. 

In an article published at the time of the original signing, Thomas noted that the contract was a testament to the support Leesville offers to the Fort Polk community and that he’d never met more supportive community members. 

The city employees maintain about 5,000 acres, said Allen. 

Many see IGSA’s as a way to secure the missions of the JRTC and Fort Polk by allowing the installation to operate more efficiently and by keeping soldiers focused on training.