City of Auburn seeks community input for 2013

A lot is already happening in the City of Auburn this New Year and city officials are looking for the public's input on two issues affecting Auburn residents.

First, the city is looking for input on how to spend federal money from the department of housing and urban development through the Community development block grant program, or CDBG.

The CDBG program targets lower and moderate income neighborhoods to expand economic opportunities.

"Each year we have to do an annual action plan. The action plan outlines what our proposed activities are to be implemented that particular year to address the goals of our five year plan," explains The City of Auburn's Director of Community Development, Sharon Tolbert.

In the past, the city has used CDBG funds to construct affordable housing units and fund non-profit agencies that provide services to low-income citizens.

A public meeting will be held January 14 at 10 a.m. in the Boykin Community Center to let the public weigh in on how this year's funds should be allocated.

"We want to hear everything. We want to hear what the needs are, what the City of Auburn needs to be focusing these dollars on. Our goal is to address the needs that the city or residents feel are most important," says Tolbert.

Next, at the January 8 Auburn City Council meeting, an ordinance replacing the "Animals and Fowl" chapter of the City Code will be considered.

"We embarked on this several months ago in terms of just taking a look at the ordinance and making some changes mainly geared toward the care of animals and also owner responsibility for animals," shares the City of Auburn's Director of Environmental Services, Timothy Woody.

If the ordinance passes, dog licensing requirements in Auburn will be eliminated and the issue of hoarding animals will be added.

Also, the City will instead enforce rabies vaccination issues through sections of the Alabama code.

"The main focus is on the care of animals, specifically dogs, to prevent hoarding of animals where possible, to address owner liability issues and just the general care of animals and also to remove the general licensing provision that was previously in there," explains Woody.

Until the ordinance is considered by the council, the city is recommending that residents hold off on renewing pet licenses until this issue is resolved.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.