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Change coming to downtown Auburn

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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

Change is good, and after more than 30 years, change is coming to downtown Auburn.

Tuesday the City Council approved a $150,000 contract with planning firm Urban Collage out of Atlanta to create a concept for the future of downtown Auburn.

"The city designed a comprehensive city-wide plan a couple of years ago. A new downtown plan was a major recommendation from that planning effort and it goes along with the Opelika Road development plan," explains Assistant City Manager Kevin Cowper.

The new downtown plan has three major elements: improvements to the Toomer's Corner intersection, infrastructure redevelopments and expanding downtown by redeveloping surrounding older housing units.

Public input will play a key role in producing a final plan.

"Those are just the initial ideas. The planning firm will go through a planning process. There will be lots of public engagement, lots of opportunities for people to come to meeting and share their thoughts and ideas, their likes and dislikes," says Cowper.

Auburn residents like Jillian Hall are getting used to change with recent event and looks forward to the full redevelopment of downtown.

"I think it's time for change with everything that happened with the trees it's so sad, but it will be great for us to update the town a little bit and kind of get back to the roots, just restart, refresh," says Hall.

Although there is not a cost associated with the project, it will be refined as part of this planning process.

"This is something that's probably going to take five, ten, fifteen years to complete so the funding will be a major element and we will be providing several funding opportunities as they arise," explains Cowper.

The plan is estimated to take nine months to complete.

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