FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions. If your question does not appear below please feel free to contact us at the City Utility Office (217) 438-6151.

  • I am putting up a fence. Do I need a building permit?
    You must have a building permit for any structure, structural change, or fence. You must call J.U.L.I.E. to have your utilities located before doing any digging. J.U.L.I.E. is a free locator service and can be reached at 1-800-892-0123 or the easy to remember 8-1-1. For more information see the building permits page.

  • Who do I call if I smell gas in or around my home?
    If you smell gas, immediately leave the area and phone us from another location. Leave the door open. During office hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, call the City Office at (217) 438-6151. After hours, weekends, and holidays, contact the non-emergency police number at (217) 753-6666 and the county dispatcher will contact the City on-call.

    While you are waiting for the City worker,
    • Do NOT operate any switches.
    • Do NOT use a telephone/cell phone.
    • Do NOT turn on TV, radio, appliances.
    • Do NOT operate garage door.
    • Do NOT use matches.

  • Is there a leash law in Auburn?
    There is a leash law. Domesticated animals, including but not limited to dogs and cats, shall not run at large within the city limits. The city has an animal control officer and,if your animal is picked up, there is a fine to retrieve it.

  • Can I park across sidewalks?
    You are not allowed to park on or across sidewalks.

  • Is there a limit on the size of vehicle that can park on the streets?
    Trucks over 16,000 pounds are limited to 2-hour parking on side streets for loading and unloading. Overnight parking is not allowed.

  • Can I park a vehicle along the street if the vehicle does not run?
    Inoperative vehicle ordinance states all vehicles on your property must start and run under their own power or the inoperative vehicle will be towed at owner’s expense.

  • What am I allowed to burn on my property?
    The city burning ordinance bans all burning other than landscape waste generated from your property. The fires must be on the open ground on your property and properly attended, and may only be between sunrise and sunset, excluding national holidays.

  • There is a hole in the street by my property, can I fill it with rock?
    You are not allowed to put rock in ditches or along the road. Please contact the City at (217) 438-6151 before dumping rock or putting in culverts.

  • What is the speed limit on city streets?
    The speed limit for side streets is 25 mph unless otherwise posted. School zone speed limit is 20 mph.

  • Can I put our portable basketball hoop on the street?
    Portable basketball hoops and trash containers are not to be placed on city streets or right-of-ways.

  • Can I landscape around my gas meter?
    Landscaping can be done around meters. However, no landscaping or coverage of meters may be done which blocks the view or access of your water and gas meters. All landscaping is subject to removal for maintenance on the meter.

  • Who do I call if I am having sewer problems?
    If you have a sewer problem (backing up, etc.), call the City and we will check to see if it is a City problem or the homeowners. The City will assist you in determining the problem. However, the property owner is responsible for maintenance and repair of the service line.

  • I have a swimming pool to fill but I don’t want to pay the sewer fee?
    Special water meters are available once a year for filling swimming pools (only). Using this meter will save you money on your sewer charge. For more information, please contact the City Utility Office at (217) 438-6151 before you fill your pool.

  • Where can I view the city ordinances?
    The City Ordinances can be viewed online at Municode.com

  • Do I have to maintain the ditch since it is on city property?
    Yes, you are responsible for maintaining the city right-of-way. (i.e. between sidewalk & street, also alleys adjacent to your property.)

  • I trimmed the trees in my yard, will the city pick up the limbs?
    The city does not pick up limbs from tree trimming done on your property.

  • What do I do if I think my water bill is too high?
    Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much water is used for routine daily activities. For a sample of how much water is typically used for laundry or baths, see this water usage information sheet.

    Other reasons for the usage to be higher than normal: 1) the number of people living in your home has changed, 2) you have been watering grass or landscaping, or 3) you have a pool or hot tub.

    For ideas on what to check for leaks, look at this:

If you cannot find any reasonable explanation for higher usage, call the City Office at (217) 438-6151 and make an appointment with our service man.

  • Can I hook my sump pump or storm drains into the sanitary sewer?
    No. This contributes to overloading the sanitary sewer system which may cause back-ups into Auburn residents’ basements. In addition, the excess water costs the City extra sewerage processing fees. City ordinance states the following:

    Sec. 21 1/2-110. Roof downspouts, exterior foundation drains, etc., not to be connected. No person shall make connection of roof downspouts, exterior foundation drains, areaway drains, or other sources of surface runoff or groundwater to a building sewer or building drain which in turn is connected directly or indirectly to a public sanitary sewer. Any existing connection must be removed. (Ord. No. 727-75, § 1, 12-8-75)

    Water flow from a downspout or sump pump should flow onto your property and soak into the ground. Never direct the water onto a neighbor’s property, street, right-of-way, or easement.

  • How do I reduce my natural gas usage?
    Several things can be done to reduce gas usage. We have a list of helpful suggestions that you can download: