Weekly COVID-19 Response Update from Mayor Ley (Week of May 11)

 In City Leadership

It was good to have a couple nice weather days last week. I know this makes us all feel a little bit more normal when we can get outside and get fresh air. Additionally, the warmer days gave many local farmers the opportunity to get crops planted—another sign of resuming important activities. In a sense, the planting of crops is symbolic of the hope we have with slowly reopening the state, planting and harvesting seeds of prosperity and growth in our communities.

Utility Assistance Resources
Although most customers have been able to maintain regular payment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that some of you may need assistance during this difficult time. The Utility Office staff is here to guide you to the various resources available—some of which are listed below. Please feel free to contact these agencies for assistance or call the Utility Office at 260.925.0365 to discuss payment plan options.

As the state reopens, our regular policy regarding delinquent accounts and disconnection will resume later this summer. So, again, reach out to us so we can work with you and hopefully avoid such a situation.

Spring Clean-up Schedule
Just a reminder, Spring Clean-up began this week. We communicated the new schedule from Republic Services on May 1. You can find the schedule and map here. During your scheduled week, please get your items out early on Monday. Republic Services will be making one pass-thru at some point that week.

City Business Continues
City departments have continued to move forward with the business of local government. The Street Department has been busy with multiple street repair projects, Auburn Water Department has been continuing its hydrant and water main flushing program, and Auburn Electric crews have been busy repairing downed power lines, courtesy of spring storms. And, as a reminder, our city offices are open to the public again.

City-wide Movement
In January, you may remember, I shared about a city-wide movement that I think has the potential to make a significant impact on our community. A small but growing group of Auburn citizens are banding together to address systemic issues facing our community—issues like mental illness, hunger, addiction, poverty and homelessness. I’ve been thinking about this group and our community’s needs a lot lately. I’d like those who are part of the movement—as well as anyone who wants to join—to thoughtfully consider this question: What has this pandemic exposed about our community?

Issues won’t go away simply because we’re reopening the state. In fact, most are systemic and are not new—perhaps they’re just more visible since the pandemic. I am interested in polling various organizations, businesses, churches, etc. about issues so we may begin to identify the most pressing ones.

As part of this city-wide movement effort, there is a prayer gathering in Fort Wayne on May 19 from 7-8 p.m. at the Parkview Mirro Center Parking Lot. To gather while practicing social distancing, participants will remain in cars and tune into 88.3 FM. I hope you’ll consider joining others to worship, pray and contemplate what’s next in our city-wide movement.

Congratulations High School Seniors
Finally, I want to acknowledge and congratulate our soon-to-be 2020 graduates of DeKalb County Central United School District. I realize graduation isn’t as you envisioned it, but it makes your accomplishments no less significant. You should feel proud—this is a major milestone and we honor you. As a member of our community, your actions can have an impact. Whatever your next steps, there are ways for you to participate in making the community—local, national and global—better for everyone. Use your voice and your ideas to help create a better tomorrow.

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