By Leigh Morris
For the Star-Gazette
At a net cost of just $25, Virginia’s City Council on Monday evening learned it can become a member of a unique statewide response and recovery assistance network.
Cass County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA) Director Roger Lauder invited the city to join the Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network (IPWMAN).
Founded in 2009, IPWMAN has grown to include more than 150 members, including Cass County, Arenzville, four of the county’s townships and numerous others in Central Illinois.
IPWMAN’s mission is “to develop and maintain a statewide network of public works related agencies whose principal purpose is to provide mutual aid response and recovery assistance to each other when confronted with natural or man-made emergencies and disasters.”
As Lauder explained IPWMAN, mutual aid is available from other counties, cities and townships for emergencies ranging from chemical spills to devastating storms and floods.
“I think this is a good program that would be a wonderful asset,” Lauder said. Lauder serves as a member of the IPWMAN Board of Directors.
The annual membership fee is $100, but Lauder has been able to reduce that amount to $25. He told the council that Cass County, Sunrise Ag and Brandt Consolidated each have pledged to pay $25 of the membership fee for every county unit of government that joins IPWMAN.
At its March 10 meeting, the council will consider an ordinance allowing the city to join IPWMAN.
In other business, Public Works Director Randy McClure reported that a water main leak was discovered behind City Hall. He estimated the leak was sending 30,000 gallons of water a day into the storm sewer. Repairs were to be made Tuesday.
Alderman Rickey Cox told the council the Virginia Park Board has given its approval to several significant improvements, including a new scoreboard at the baseball diamond and two new batting cages. Also, the board authorized a new lifeguard stand for the pool as well as concrete work around the pool.