Farmville roundabout

A rendering of the planned roundabout at Farmville Road and North College Street, looking northwest

The Auburn City Council unanimously endorsed the planned roundabout at North College Street and Farmville Road at its meeting this week.

The roundabout project is being managed and funded by Alabama Department of Transportation and has received both positive and negative feedback from the public. Many of those who said they did not support the project in a survey conducted by ALDOT said they would only be happy with a red light at that location, according to ALDOT representatives.

Mark Graham, pre-construction engineer for ALDOT's Southeaset Region Office, previously explained to the council in a work session in December that traffic studies did not support the use of a red light, and a roundabout was determined to be the safest option for the intersection.

After voting to endorse the project, Mayor Ron Anders said he feels it is his responsibility to make decisions that make the community safer.

"This is the path that ALDOT will take; they will not take another path. They'll either leave it as it is, or they'll build a roundabout," he said. "It's my perspective as an elected official in this community to endorse things I believe make our community safer, and I don't believe there's any question that a roundabout at that intersection is going to make that a safer intersection."

Councilwoman Beth Witten also noted that the council's endorsement includes language asking ALDOT to reduce speed limits farther along College Street instead of just immediately surrounding the roundabout.

Also at its meeting this week, the council approved additional shelving and seating for the Youth Services area of the Auburn Public Library.

The seating will include soft, comfortable pieces to occupy an open area in Youth Services, and the shelving will be on casters, so it can be moved around to accommodate programming.

"We've been needing something to take better advantage of that space," library director Chris Warren said. "That fact that we have more money in our materials budget for this fiscal year means we're adding to our collection and it's continuing to grow.

"We pride ourselves on trying to be a comfortable, welcoming destination for people of all ages, so having soft-seating will help us with that."

Warren is also working with the company conducting design work for a planned outdoor amphitheater space on the library's front lawn. He said details are still being worked out, but he estimates the project being complete in August or September.

"One of the reassuring things is ... it looks like what we originally thought of can become a reality, so that's good," he said.

The space will include amphitheater seating for about 40 to 50 people. It will be a space for programs, story times and for residents to congregate and hang out.

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