It’s hard to believe almost 12 years have passed since I first took office. But there’s a lot of truth to the saying about how time flies by when you’re busy—and we’ve definitely been busy bring about lots of exciting changes. These changes have not only improved the quality of life for our residents, but also made Auburn and the broader region more attractive for companies. So, at a time when we often hear what’s wrong in the world, I want to highlight just a few of the things I think we’ve done right in Auburn for our residents and businesses alike:
- Parks and Recreation: We’ve doubled the acreage of our community parks over the last decade, including the development of the “king” of all parks: Rieke Park. Located on North Indiana Avenue, Rieke encompasses 64 acres of space to include softball and baseball diamonds, football and soccer fields, a fishing pond, a lodge, playgrounds, restrooms, and open space to just run and play.
- Revitalized Downtown: With the creation of Courtyard Park near downtown, we’ve been able to bring more traffic to the heart of our city. Downtown community events have grown from two in 1999 to more than 40 this year. It adds to the social and cultural aspects of our city while also supporting our local downtown businesses.
- More Integrated Technology: Fiber infrastructure. Smart Grid. Auburn Essential Services. Auburn is one of the most technology-adapted cities in the state and in this region of the country—and that’s a key selling point with businesses seeking to lay roots in this area.
- Auburn Essential Services: See past blogs on the value this entity brings to our residents and businesses alike. I’m so proud of the work they’ve done in offering high-quality, cost-effective phone, Internet, data, point-to-point and, in the near future, television services.
- Storm Water Management: We are the only MS 4 mandated community in the state that has added this vital community resource without creating another tax. This program helps to preserve our water table, ultimately protecting the public health, improving water quality, conserving resources and managing risk.
- Fire Training Center: We built the first certified training center in the state. Today, firefighters from all over Northeast Indiana come here to practice and train. We’re helping protect lives in many communities with this important resource.
We were able to accomplish all these positive changes because of community support. While we may disagree at times on how to accomplish something, when we see a need, we all come together to make things happen. And that’s probably the best accomplishment of all: community spirit, collaboration and cohesiveness.