AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) — New changes in Auburn could affect how much residents pay for utilities. At Tuesday’s Auburn City Council meeting, members voted unanimously to separate from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to enable the city to make small changes to the water rates rather than large increases stretched out over time.

The meeting briefly opened up to a public hearing and gave residents a chance to speak against the new change; however, no one had any opposing concerns.

Now that the vote has passed, there will be a 60-day time frame where residents can petition against opting out of the IURC.

If the petition receives signatures from at least two percent of the people who voted in the last secretary of state election, the matter will become an item on the general election ballot.

If not, the ordinance will go into effect on the 61st day. Another big agenda item was the sale of property at Memorial Park.

Semitrucks loading and unloading at DeKalb Metal Finishing has disrupted traffic on West Fifteenth Street, making it a safety hazard. City officials voted unanimously to sell 2.7 acres of the park to DeKalb Metal Finishing to help eliminate the traffic hazard.

The proceeds from the sale will fund renovations to the rest of the park. After getting two different appraisals for the land, the agreed price landed at a little over $120,000. 

Dekalb Metal Finishing also agreed to donate an additional $100,000 to the park to pay for other upgrades such as landscaping, relocation of trees and demolishing certain structures.

The renovations will be part of a larger project, as the city has chosen to dedicate $2 million as part of OCRA’s Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program grant.

A public hearing will be held Wednesday, Sept. 13, to further discuss the new changes in the park.