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.

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.

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 and after hours call the City Office at (217) 438-6151 and someone will be dispatched to your location.

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.

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.

You are not allowed to park on or across sidewalks.

Trucks over 16,000 pounds are limited to 2-hour parking on side streets for loading and unloading. Overnight parking is not allowed.

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.

The city burning ordinance bans all burning other than trees, branches, and gumballs that are dry 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.

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.

The speed limit for side streets is 25 mph unless otherwise posted. School zone speed limit is 20 mph.

Portable basketball hoops and trash containers are not to be placed on city streets or right-of- ways.

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.

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 homeowner’s. The City will assist you in determining the problem. However, the property owner is responsible for maintenance and repair of the service line.

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.

The City Ordinances can be viewed online at

Yes, you are responsible for maintaining the city right-of-way. (i.e. between sidewalk & street, also alleys adjacent to your property.)

The city does not pick up limbs from tree trimming done on your property. 

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, check out this Water Leak Check List

If you cannot find any reasonable explanation for higher usage, call the City Office at (217) 438- 6151 and and the city office can run a usage report from their utility software, as well as work with the city garage to schedule an appointment to interrogate the meter.

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 sel/yer 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 propedy and soak into the ground. Never direct the water onto a neighbor’s propedy, street, right-of-way, or easement.

Several things can be done to reduce gas usage. We have a list of helpful suggestions that you can download:

For ideas on how to reduce gas usage, check out Gas Usage Suggestions