FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Auburn’s electric rates?

You can download a copy of the 2019 rates here: DOWNLOAD

What are Auburn’s water rates?

The Auburn Water Department’s rates are set by City Council and approved by the IURC. You can download a copy of the 2019 rates here: DOWNLOAD

What are the procedures if you’re filling a swimming pool on your property?

Residents may use a garden hose and run the water usage through their house meter.

  • Prior to filling the pool, you must contact Auburn Municipal Utilities at 260.925.0365 to have a meter reader sent to the property to read the meter. (This will be done again when the pool has been filled[LT1] .)
  • Above ground pool? You must submit proof that the water was not drained into the sewer to avoid being charged. Only one sewer abatement per calendar year will be granted.
How can citizens help keep our local waterways clean and safe?

You can assist Water Pollution Control with simple clean-up and preventive maintenance techniques:

  • Keep debris, snow, ice and leaves off the top of catch basins, or sewer grates, in the street. Items like trash and leaves left on top of catch basins contribute to overland and street flooding during wet weather events. If you notice a catch basin that is clogged or full, call 260.925.1714 to report it.
  • After a heavy snowfall, assist the Auburn Fire Department by uncovering fire hydrants that may become buried in snow.
  • Do not dump motor oil, antifreeze, gasoline, trash, paint, etc. down catch basins. Many catch basins across Auburn lead directly into Cedar Creek.
  • Remember it is illegal to connect household down spouts and sump pump drains to a city sanitary/combination sewer. If you have information regarding someone dumping substances into a city sewer, call 260.925.1714.
How can residents and businesses support the city’s storm water control efforts?
  • Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams.
  • Use the least toxic pesticides, follow label instructions, and learn how to prevent pest problems.
  • Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways and sidewalks.
  • Disconnect downspouts.
  • Compost yard waste.
  • Use rain barrels to water plants during dry periods.
  • Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.
  • Vegetate bare spots in your yard.
  • Take your car to the car wash or wash it on the grass instead of washing it in the driveway.
  • Pick up after your pet.
How do I get a bin for refuse and/or recycling?

To request bins, please call 260.747.4117 or visit www.republicservices.com. You must use your supplied bin. You may also request additional bag tags for $1.25 each).

What if I have a bulk item?

If you have a bulk item, like a sofa, please call 260.747.4117. There will be a $15 fee.

What types of items can I recycle?
  • Glass, excluding light bulbs, mirrors, ceramics and drinking glasses
  • Plastics: soda bottles, water jugs, milk containers (no food debris)
  • Aluminum/tin cans and foil (no food debris or aerosol cans)
  • Newspapers
What is the sprinkler credit?

The credit recognizes that small individually-metered residential customers (including only single family or duplexes) typically have a single service with a single meter for measuring water use. The City of Auburn gives a sprinkler credit since the water used for lawn sprinkling does not get discharged to the sewage system. The summer (June, July and August) sewer bill is computed based on water consumption readings from the nonsprinkling season (average of the previous January, February and March). This adjustment is applicable to all single-family dwelling residential units on individual meters whether they are conventional site-built housing or manufactured housing.

Why is a permit required?

All structures—from office buildings to single-family homes to decks and sheds—are required to meet building safety codes. To ensure compliance with these safety codes, the building inspector visits the project during construction and upon completion. A permit informs the Building Department about the project, helps ensure the contractor understands requirements, and becomes a mechanism for triggering inspections. A permit also helps maintain a record of property improvements. When someone is considering purchasing property, it can be valuable to know what work has been done on the property, when it was completed, who completed it, and that it was inspected for compliance.

Why is there a fee to get a permit?

It takes time and resources to maintain and process permits, maintain records, and conduct inspections. Fees are collected to cover the cost of the application, review, and the inspection process.

When is a permit required?
  • New Buildings and Changes to existing
  • Additions
  • Remodels
  • Decks / Pergolas
  • Sheds / Yard Barns
  • Gazebos
  • Garages / Carports
  • Electrical Work
  • Plumbing Work
  • Foundation Work
  • Utilities: Sewer Connection and Tap; Water Connection, Meter and Tap; Irrigation Meters
  • Swimming Pools
  • Fences
  • Demolitions
  • Work in the right-of-way
  • Permanent Signs and Temporary Signs
Who is responsible for scheduling inspections?

The Building Permit Applicant is responsible for calling to schedule inspections.

Who performs inspections?

The City of Auburn employs a Building Inspector that is trained in codes and construction methods.

How much notice is required for an inspection?

Call for an inspection at least 24-hours prior to when the inspection is needed. For example, if concrete is scheduled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, call before 9 a.m. the Monday before.

Are there any inspection fees?

The required inspections are included in the building permit fee. Special inspection fees may be charged for the following:

  • Required re-inspection: $40
  • Temporary Certificate of Occupancy: $30 per condition
What is a Certificate of Occupancy?

A Certificate of Occupancy (C. of O.) is required for all construction projects requiring a building permit to the occupancy or use of the building. The Certificate of Occupancy will not be issued until all electrical, mechanical and plumbing is complete and address numbers are posted on the building.

What if I do not agree with the inspection result?

If an inspector identifies an item for correction that the permit holder believes is correctly built or installed as per code, then they may contact the Administrator of the Department of Building, Planning & Development.

Are alternate methods of construction permitted?
  • The provisions of the Building Code are not intended to prevent the use of any material, alternate design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by the Building Code, provided any alternate has been demonstrated to meet the purpose of the code.
  • The building inspector may approve any such alternate, provided the inspector finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the provisions of the code and that method or work offered is at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the code in suitability, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, safety and sanitation. The customer is responsible to provide proper documentation and evidence of suitability for each alternate proposed.
How do I register for a Parks program or event?

Visit our Facebook Events tab for a list of events and how to register for them.

How long in advance can I reserve a Parks facility?

A facility can be rented one year in advance on the closest business day. If the date happens to be on a weekend when the Parks Office is closed, the facility will be ready to reserve the following Monday.

For how long can Parks facilities be reserved?

Reservation hours are from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. You may only occupy the premise during those times. Set-up and clean-up times should be within these hours.

What amenities does Rieke Lodge offer?

Rieke Lodge includes:

  • Kitchenette (including refrigerator, microwave and sink)
  • Supply closet
  • Gender-separated restrooms
  • Tables and chairs

Outside there is a pergola, six-acre pond and two trash receptacles. In the future, it will also include extensive trails and a fishing pier.

 

Can I bring outside activities, structures or devices when renting a Parks facility?

Additional items, such as a speaker system (DJ or otherwise), a bounce house or anything that draws a copious amount of power, must receive Park Board approval in advance. Call the Parks Department at 260.925.2997 for information on how to obtain Park Board approval.

Is alcohol permitted at reserved Parks facilities?

The City of Auburn does not allow alcohol in public parks or premises.

When can I pick up the key for my Rieke Lodge reservation?

If you reserved Rieke Lodge for the weekend, you can pick up the key on the Friday prior to your reservation. Otherwise if your reservation falls on a weekday, you can pick up your key the day of or day before your reservation.

What is the smoking policy for Rieke Lodge?

Smoking is prohibited in city parks, though for Rieke Lodge, we request that if you do smoke, you remain at least 8 feet from an entrance and dispose of the ends responsibly.

Can I decorate Rieke Lodge for my reservation?

Decorations are allowed, however, we do ask that people do not tape, tack, pin or affix in any way anything to the walls, glass or other surfaces in Rieke Lodge.

Are pets allowed in Rieke Lodge?

Aside from an accredited service animal, pets are not allowed in Rieke Lodge.

Do I need any form of renter’s insurance for Rieke Lodge reservations?

Insurance may be required for additions to Rieke Lodge, such as DJ booths, sound systems or bounce houses. Otherwise, no insurance is required.

How far in advance do I need to cancel a facility reservation?

You may cancel a reservation 31 days or more prior to your reservation and receive a full refund. If you cancel your reservation within 30 days or less of your reservation, you will not receive a full refund. If you are interested in moving your date to another available slot, you are able to do that as well.

What is the capacity for Rieke Lodge?

Rieke Lodge seats 80 people.

What are the guidelines for bonfires and campfires?
  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass and leaves.
  • Keep plenty of water handy and have a shovel for throwing dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Don’t start your outdoor fireplace when it’s windy. The wind can carry sparks and set fire to your property.
  • Keep at least 3 feet away from the flame—this includes people, pets, furniture, etc.
  • Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals and sticks are wet.
What are the guidelines for outdoor fireplaces?
  • Use a mesh screen to cover any openings to prevent sparks and ash from floating into the air.
  • Make sure the embers have burned out before going inside for the night.
  • Don’t use portable fire pits underneath overhead branches.
  • Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.
  • Keep at least 3 feet away from the flame—this includes people, pets, furniture, etc.
What are the guidelines for fireworks?
  • Always read and follow label directions.
  • Have an adult present.
  • Buy from reliable sellers.
  • Use outdoors only.
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
  • Never give fireworks to small children.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
  • Stay away from illegal explosives.
How do I get utility services transferred?

You must come to the office to apply for utility services. You must provide a valid photo ID. Any resident or business occupying a property, (purchasing, renting or purchase by land contract) and who wishes to place the utility bill in their name must make a utility deposit unless creditworthiness is established. The required deposit is one sixth (1/6th) of the annual bill for the property. When you move from the property, contact us at 260.925.0365 and the utility deposit will be applied to your final bill.

Does the city pick up grass clippings?

The Street Department does not pick up grass clippings. Please do not dispose of grass clippings by putting them in the street or along the curb. The Street Department will pick up brush only at the first of each month. Residents are encouraged to make use of the compost site located near CR 36A to dispose of all yard waste.

What do I do if I need a sewer or water inspection?

Your first step it to contact Auburn’s Building, Planning & Development Department and apply for a permit. Then, once approved and your contractor is ready to tap for water, you call the Auburn Water Department. (Generally contractors will manage this process.)

What do I do if I need an electrical inspection?

Your first step it to contact Auburn’s Building, Planning & Development (BPD) Department and apply for either a temporary or permanent permit. Auburn Electric will be notified when the permit is approved and the site is ready to be energized. After that, BPD will inspect the site. (Generally contractors will manage this process.)

Who should I contact about a burned-out or broken streetlight?

If you notice a burned-out or broken streetlight, please report it to Auburn Electric at 260.925.8232.

Who should I contact about a yard having extremely overgrown grass?

If a property in your neighborhood has extremely overgrown grass, you may report it to the Auburn Police Department at 260.920.3200.