New solid waste services for the White Sands Missile Range workforce and work areas are scheduled to begin April 1 as part of an Army Intergovernmental Support Agreement with South Central Solid Waste Authority.
Jose Gallegos, Director of Public Works for White Sands Missile Range, said Intergovernmental Support Agreements are extremely important to military installations as a means to leverage local community resources that result in more affordable and better quality services, cost savings and improved relationships between military installations and local governments and communities.
"This newly established IGSA between WSMR and the South Central Solid Waste Authority is the first for WSMR and was the result of great team work between both WSMR and SCSWA key personnel," Gallegos said.
WSMR Garrison Commander Col. Chris Ward said this IGSA is extremely important to both WSMR and the City of Las Cruces. "This agreement amplifies the partnership with the city of Las Cruces and with SCSWA and WSMR. The final agreement creates jobs for the city of Las Cruces, keeps monies within local community, and realizes a significant cost savings for the government. It is a win-win for all the stakeholders involved," Ward said.
The Army has promoted and encouraged installations to establish IGSAs, when possible, as a viable and economically feasible alternative to traditional contracts.
According to Gallegos this 10 year agreement will result in cost savings with expanded services. Also, additional services can be added in future years as long as cost savings can be justified.
Gallegos noted that this agreement does not affect WSMR residents living in Main Post privatized housing. The change applies to facilities on main post, down range, the Small Missile Range, EMRE, and HELSTF. The start date is April 1 but turnover started March 1 to prevent a lapse in service.
The services will include recycle containers that will be distributed throughout different locations on the range.
The SCSWA is an intergovernmental entity between the City of Las Cruces and County of Dona Ana that provides integrated solid waste management services for both the City and County as well as other public entities within their boundaries and brings years of experience and all necessary resources to provide top quality services including refuse and recycling services.
"We look forward to working with the SCSWA and establishing other IGSAs where possible," Gallegos said.
"We are super excited about it because this has been over ten years in the making. It is bringing our community together," said Patrick L. Peck, Executive Director with South Central Solid Waste Authority. "It just makes sense because the people that work out here are receiving the same level of service in Las Cruces or in their homes, so why not have it out at the missile range as well. Bringing that all together under our umbrella is just something that we are really excited about. I think it is going to be great for White Sands Missile Range."
Peck said these agreements will create more jobs for drivers. "This agreement creates four new jobs within Las Cruces. My board of directors is ecstatic about this agreement and the growth we are seeing."
Melanie A. Javery, Intergovernmental Support Agreement Manager at WSMR, said Intergovernmental Support Agreements are public-public partnerships that authorize military services to enter into agreements with state and local governments to provide, receive, and/or share installation support services.
"IGSAs are a means to partner and build mutually beneficial relationships between installations, local governments and counties," Javery said. "They are cooperative way to strengthen our communities, enhance mission readiness and create efficiencies and economies of scale and achieve cost savings."
"On average, the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) realizes a 30 percent cost reduction for installation support services provided through IGSAs with local or state government partners," Javery said.
These partnerships are important because the goals of IMCOM's IGSA program are to enhance Army readiness, promote cost savings or cost avoidance, gain efficiencies, improve the quality of life for Soldiers and families, and strengthen installation-community relationships.
"We have achieved all of the above with our new refuse and recycling partnership between WSMR and the South Central Solid Waste Authority," Javery said.
According to Javery, this IGSA is the result of many years of planning, networking and building meaningful relationships between WSMR, SCSWA and the City of Las Cruces.
"Our refuse and recycling IGSA is currently negotiated for a period of up to 10 years. It is renewable, flexible in terms, allows for expanded services if required, and results in a significant cost savings to US Army Garrison White Sand Missile Range," Javery said. "We are so happy to partner with SCSWA as they bring years of experience, professionalism and all the necessary resources to provide excellent quality refuse and recycling services."
Of significance is that this is USAG WSMR's first IGSA of record. It is the first in the Army to provide both refuse and recycling services. It is also the first Army IGSA to be let at a remote location.
As far as future plans, Javery said the IGSA team is currently discussing and researching potential IGSA partnerships.
"We are excited to see what the future holds and look forward to establishing other IGSA partnerships that will benefit WSMR, the local community and our Army organization."
IGSAs as we know them today are a fairly recent phenomenon. The first IGSA was established in 2002 between the Presidio of Monterey and the City of Monterey to deliver Base Operations Services to the base by means of special legislation. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2013 expanded the authority to enter into IGSAs with local and state governments for installation support services.