Auburn projects receive financial boost from Heartland

City’s power supplier awards grants for streetlights, landscaping

With beautiful parks and a charming main street, residents in Auburn, Iowa are proud of their community.

Local officials hope to maintain that appeal by tackling projects aimed at quality of life. Two long-term goals include upgrading street lights to LED and enhancing Main Street landscaping.

Both projects recently received a boost from the city’s electric power provider, Heartland Consumers Power District.

Heartland invests in its customer communities through energy efficiency grants to improve efficiencies at city facilities. Economic development grants are offered to help improve the quality of life in a community, support new business opportunities or promote economic prosperity.

Heartland awarded the city two grants totaling $6,635. The money will help the city make major strides towards completing both projects.

Streetlight upgrades

Auburn has a total of 73 street lights. The city began upgrading the lights from high pressure sodium to LED in 2016.

LED lights provide many benefits over the old fixtures. The bulbs last longer, use less energy and produce less heat. They also provide a brighter, whiter light.

Heartland awarded the city $1,635 to assist with upgrading the remaining lights. The last leg of the project will save the city over $3,200 per year. The project will pay for itself in savings in just over one year.

Landscaping project

Auburn completed a major street project in the business district in 2012. Though much-needed, the upgrade uprooted much of the city’s beautiful landscaping.

The city has budgeted money every year since then to restore the natural fa├žade. Residents and community groups have also lent a hand by trimming trees, planting flowers and weeding.

Heartland provided the city a $5,000 economic development grant to buy trees, shrubs and landscaping supplies. The grant strengthens the city’s efforts while easing the burden on taxpayers. It also frees up funds for other important projects.

Partnering for progress

The Auburn city council approved a new contract with Heartland in December, making them a long-term customer which made them eligible for the company’s incentive programs.

“We are excited to partner with Auburn and help these projects reach completion,” said Heartland Chief Communications Officer Ann Hyland. “We are proud to invest in the communities we serve and look forward to more collaboration in the future.”

Heartland first began supplying Auburn with wholesale power and energy in 2015. The original contract had a ten-year term. The new contract provides savings over the existing, as well as stable pricing for the next 20 years.

Featured image: Heartland awarded the city of Auburn a $5,000 economic development grant and a $1,635 energy efficiency grant to support two local projects. Heartland Customer Relations Manager Kelly Dybdahl, far right, presented the grants to Auburn Clerk Tammy Nuckolls and Public Works Superintendent Robert Rath.