During Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the Council discussed approving annexation and rezoning of a property at the eastern terminus of Sutherland Lane, west of North Donahue Drive. The proposed housing will connect to Sutherland Lane, with no connections to North Donahue Drive yet planned.
Though multiple nearby residents had questions about the property, the proposal meets all City requirements, said City Manager Jim Buston.
The proposal currently covers 1.9 acres and 11 houses, which Ward 2 Council member Kelley Griswold said can be covered by the current sewer line in the neighborhood. Future expansion will require new infrastructure.
The Council unanimously approved the annexation and rezoning.
At the beginning of the meeting, the ETC Institute gave Auburn an award for being one of the 16 best communities it observed over the past year. Over 400 communities were observed in total.
“We have some of the best employees anywhere in the country,” Buston said. “It is more than just a job, it’s the dedication. You can see it, not only in this award, but in people wanting to live here.”
Mayor Ron Anders asked that the Council keep meeting online through January, as Gov. Kay Ivey extended the statewide health order and the East Alabama Medical Center expects to see increasing numbers of cases. The Council agreed and the meetings will continue online.
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During his announcements, Anders said that the Chamber of Commerce will once again work to provide meals to local healthcare workers.
Anders also announced that there are now COVID-19 vaccines in the community. They will be given to healthcare workers, with hopes that more vaccines will be available in the future for the general population.
Griswold shared with the Council that a local Creekside Elementary student proposed a new Auburn holiday. He asked that December 10 become Family Day in the City every year.
When discussing redistribution of federal COVID funds, Ward 7 Council member Bob Parsons asked for elaboration.
Community Services Director Al Davis explained that the money in question is from a second round of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding. Almost half of the $441,324 will go to the East Alabama Food Bank. Money will also go to organizations such as the Domestic Violence Intervention Center, which did not receive funds during the first round of CARES Act funding.
When discussing a nomination to the Historic Preservation Commission, Griswold apologized to his constituents in the Historic District that he could not sway the Council away from approving Nick Hayes. During the Committee of the Whole, Griswold and Parsons expressed concern over the applicant’s priorities concerning historic properties.
At the end of the meeting, Anders thanked City employees and wished the community a happy holiday season.
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