For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Todd Shanks, Community Marketing Director
Missouri National Guard, City of West Plains Lease Agreement Ensures New Guard Unit
A lease agreement between the City of West Plains and the Missouri National Guard was formally signed Thursday morning during a press conference at the West Plains Regional Airport, ensuring the continuation of a relationship with the Guard, the City of West Plains, and Howell County that has existed for 78 years.
Per the agreement, which runs until 2051, the National Guard will lease the parking lots located on the north and east sides of the existing Armory facility at 1315 Webster Street. Present to sign the agreement was Brig. Gen. David Boyle, West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann, and Howell County Commissioner Billy Sexton.
Boyle also announced that thanks to the agreement, the Guard is expected to add a larger engineer unit (112 soldiers) in place of the smaller 1138th Military Police Company (50). He said the Guard will ensure that the soldiers from the 1138th will have opportunities in either West Plains or elsewhere. The economic impact of the new unit is expected to be approximately $3 million annually, according to the Guard. In fiscal year 2017, the Guard’s fiscal impact in West Plains was approximately $1.4 million.
The Guard has owned and operated the existing Armory facility in West Plains since 1940. The City has leased the parking lots surrounding the Armory from the County since 1952, with those lots now being subleased to the Guard. The Guard will be responsible for any alterations or improvements to the lots, and the Guard will be responsible for all costs or expenses from damage sustained to the lots.
Boyle was highly complimentary of the West Plains community in his remarks, crediting the City and County leaders for their work in extending the Guard’s relationship with the area.
“Adding these parking lots is a huge deal to the National Guard,” said Brig. General Boyle. “This gives us a very functional facility with room for parking and motor pools. We are honored and happy to remain in West Plains.”
Mayor Jack Pahlmann and Commissioner Billy Sexton, in turn, said the Guard’s long history in the region and positive economic impact made extended the relationship with the Guard a natural fit for all parties.
“This agreement ensures a new unit in West Plains, and more jobs,” said Mayor Pahlmann. “Overall it’s just excellent for West Plains and the region.”