Winter 2017  

In This Issue
Download Our New App
Time To Take Down The Christmas Tree
City Takes New Approach To Icy Roads
Union Pacific Third Main Line Update
Mark Your Calendars For Fun This Winter
Make Sure To Register To Vote
Make Paying For Parking A Breeze
Places For Eating Tax Update
Need To Recycle Old Electronics?
Check Out Our Christmas Walk Photos
City Administrator's Office News: Popular Annual Financial Report
City Administrator's Office: Geneva Wins Budget Award
Fire Department News: Meet New Chief Antenore
Fire Department News: Keep Hydrants Clear Of Snow
Community Development Department News: Historic Preservation Awards
Police Department News: Cul-De-Sac Parking Reminder
Economic Development Department News: At Your Service
Economic Development Department News: New Businesses
Public Works Department News: Winter Parking
Public Works Department News: Prevent Frozen Pipes
Public Works Department News: Parkway Tree Orders
Public Works Department News: ComEd Tree Trimming
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Thank You for Your Donation!
The City would like to thank the following donors to the Geneva Beautification Committee:
Marian Allen
Pamela Burgeson
Lewis Caliento
Susan Cherney
Gregory and Irene D'Anna
Nancy Dantino
Dan and Roberta Edwards
Anne Fleming
Graham's Chocolates - Bob and Beckie Untiedt
Marvin and Linda Haseman
Havlicek Builders - George Havlicek
Howard and Valerie Heidlauf
James and Peggy Ivers
Lorraine Kautz
Dean and Linda Kilburg
Lynn Landberg
Richard Lewis, State Farm Insurance
Steven and Nancie Lillie
The Little Traveler
Craig and Karen Maladra
Kathy McNeil
Ed and Debbie O'Connell, The Olive Mill
Philip and Kathryn Page
Stephen and Sheila Persinger
Jim and Maureen Radecki
Charles and Barbara Radovich
Steve and Patti Rambo
Robert and Emily Rogers
Ruth Rovelstad
Carl Safanda
Sav Way Fine Wines & Spirits
Ronald and Marilyn Singer
Smith Family Foundation - Keith and Virginia Smith
Stockholm's Vardshus - Mike Olesen
Sharon Surrett
Jim and Sherri Weitl
Kenneth and Kay Yotz

Donations are as of Dec. 16, 2016. For more information on the Beautification Committee, visit the City's website.
Mayor's Message
Dear Neighbors,

If products and people can have "brands," then why can't communities? Well, I believe they can and do.
Geneva's brand is the culmination and intertwining of people, personalities, policies, programs, preservation and possibilities.

In other words, the 6 Ps.
Going on 182 years, Geneva has evolved into a lively and envied community in which to live, learn, work, play and raise a family.

Our schools are rated among the best in the state, our parks system and programming are highly regarded and appreciated; our downtown business district is second-to-none; our Randall Road corridor continues to shine; our industry partners lead markets locally, nationally and globally; our library remains in touch with current and future trends; our character and history remain central to all we do; and municipal services and governing practices are heralded as responsible, inclusive, affordable and innovative.  

All these elements, and more, combine to form the Geneva brand that is often copied but seldom duplicated.  
The Geneva brand has always been, and always will be, a product of everyone investing our time, talent and treasure to ensure that what makes our City special remains front and center and what can make Geneva even more unique is always considered through respectful dialogue and debate.  
Think of the Geneva brand as the quintessential community garden; each of us is - or should be - responsible for tending to the garden to ensure the crops we grow (children, families, businesses, charities, etc...) are cultivated in a way that yields the highest quality product enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people annually.  
As the new year beckons, let us resolve to continue tending to the garden we call home and, together, let us harvest the very best Geneva we can so that our brand remains true.

My best,  

Kevin Burns

Bring Geneva On The Go With City's New Mobile App

Need to find information about a Geneva business, event details or report a concern to the City? There is an app for that.

The City has launched the "Go Geneva" mobile app to give residents and visitors instant access to key community information and services from the convenience of their smartphone.

After downloading the app, staying connected with Geneva news, community alerts and more will never be easier. With the app's "Notify Me" feature, users can choose what information appeals to them to receive updates via email, text messages or push notifications. Residents wanting to report a concern can use the app to fill out an electronic request and can attach a photo from their phone if needed.

Visitors to Geneva who use the app will be able to access the City's business directory, event/attraction details as well as parking maps. Other app highlights include utility bill payments, construction project updates, municipal job listings, garbage and recycling services, City Council and advisory board agendas, and social media accounts.

The free app is available in both the App and Google Play stores by searching "Go Geneva."

City Announces Christmas Tree Collection Schedule
christmas tree pickup Geneva residents will have two opportunities to dispose of their live Christmas trees for free during January.

Trees will be picked up on residents' normal garbage collection day the weeks of Jan. 9 and Jan. 16 by Advanced Disposal, the City's waste hauler. People must place their live tree at the curb no later than 7 a.m. on their scheduled collection day.

No refuse stickers will be required for this service.

Ornaments, hooks, nails, tinsel, garland, tree stands and other hard materials should be removed from the trees prior to disposal. Trees placed in bags at the curb will not be accepted.

All wreaths and roping must be discarded with the regular trash.

For more information, call the Geneva Public Works Department at 630-232-1501. 

Geneva Takes New Approach To Keep Ice Off Roads This Winter

Mother Nature got off to a busy start with a few heavy snowfalls last month, but some of Geneva's roadways were safer to travel thanks to a new anti-ice pilot program.

Residents may have taken notice of some roads covered in reddish streaks prior to a snowfall. Public Works Department plow crews have two trucks placing a salt brine application that prevents the formation of ice on the pavement and snow from bonding to the surface. In the photo above on Route 31 near Fargo Boulevard, the two driving lanes remained clear of snow when treated beforehand compared to the center turn lane (which was not) during a trial run in December.

Salt brine is the combination of water and salt mixed together to a 23 percent salinity level. There are many brands of brine makers on the market ranging from $20,000 to $70,000, but City staff did research to build our own brine maker using 500 gallon totes, pvc pipe and a pool pump at a cost of $1,600. The City's brine maker can produce 800 gallons per hour.

"The proper use of an anti-icing program most importantly provides safer roadways for our residents," said Nate Landers, Superintendent of Geneva's Streets and Fleet Division. "This pilot program could have a positive financial impact on our winter operations budget by eliminating the need for crews to be called out for small snow events of less than an inch. Ice bond prevention could net a 75 percent savings compared to de-icing a road already covered in ice."

Weather conditions, pavement temperature and air/ground moisture all play a factor on the effectiveness of this liquid chemical. However, if done correctly, there is little to no product loss off the pavement since it dries quickly to prevent frost and snow from forming on the road at the start of a storm.

During the pilot program, the City is applying the salt brine on downtown area hills and bridges as a first priority and then main arterial roadways for additional coverage. The chemical also is being used in the Third Street Commuter Parking deck and City parking lots. Given the initial success, Landers said the City hopes to expand the anti-icing program in the future.

Union Pacific Provides Update On Future Third Main Line Construction Project
Geneva City Council - Nov. 7, 2016 
Geneva City Council - Nov. 7, 2016 

Construction may be a year away, but Union Pacific said the wheels are in motion to build a new third main line through Geneva.  

During a November presentation to the Geneva City Council, Union Pacific said design work on the 6.1-mile stretch of new rail is completed after having worked with the City, Geneva Park District, Illinois Department of Transportation and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County. The plans are now undergoing environmental review. The project will foster smoother traffic flow and reduce conflicts between commuter and freight trains, according to the railroad agency.

The timetable calls for construction bids to be issued in summer 2017 and work likely to commence in winter 2018. The overall construction schedule is expected to take 18 to 24 months. Some other project highlights include:
  • Once construction begins, Union Pacific said trains will be federally required to sound their horns when workers are present.
  • The grade crossings at Third Street and Western Avenue will need to be closed between four to six weeks as part of the project. Route 31 will be shut down for up to four months for bridge work. None of the crossings will be closed at the same time.
  • Union Pacific needs to acquire small tracts of land as part of the project. Specific property acquisition details have not been made available at this time.
  • Rail officials said installing temporary sound walls during construction is not being considered at this time.

Union Pacific will be scheduling a community meeting with residents and interested stakeholders to discuss the rail expansion and answer questions. We will announce the meeting details when information becomes available.

You can watch the full Union Pacific presentation in the video above (start at 24:38 mark). For more information, visit the City's website.

Mark Your Calendars For Fun This Winter
Geneva Is Picture Perfect
The collection of Geneva photographs featured in a French exhibition last summer have made their way back to the Tri-Cities. In fact, the pieces could be yours as part of an upcoming art gallery and fundraiser held by the City's International Cultural Exchange Committee.

The exhibit will be open from Friday, Jan. 13 to Sunday, Feb. 5 at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia. Make one these photos your own, which will help support the ICEC. An opening reception with light refreshments will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 13

The ICEC put the call out last summer to area photographers for their best captures of Geneva. The photos were showcased with our cultural exchange partner Croissy sur Seine, a suburb of Paris. For more information, send an email to the ICEC.

Show Some Love For Our Trees
The Geneva Natural Resources Committee will be serving up a night of fun and fundraising during its Wine, Cheese & Trees event at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at the Persinger Recreation Center, 3507 Kaneville Road. The evening will feature appetizers, silent auction, live music, wine wall and a live auction. Money raised at the event helps pay for new parkway trees in downtown Geneva. Stay tuned for ticket details, which will be posted on the City's website soon.

Say 'I Do' to the Geneva Wedding Walk
Are you or someone you know planning a wedding? Everything needed to plan the perfect wedding can be found right here in Geneva. From the dress and the flowers to the music and the reception hall, our local wedding businesses are some of the best in the industry.

The Downtown Geneva Wedding Walk is the perfect time to see all Geneva has to offer to plan your special day. The Wedding Walk will be held at the Herrington Inn & Spa and throughout the downtown shops on Sunday, March 5. Brides and grooms will be pampered with gifts, goodies, and sweet treats plus the chance to win an all-inclusive honeymoon vacation package.
Register To Vote In The Upcoming General Consolidated Election
Another important election is around the corner, this time impacting the local level. Seats for aldermen in all five wards as well as mayor, city clerk and treasurer are up for vote in Geneva.

The 2017 Consolidated Election will be held Tuesday, April 4. Before you can make your choice on who should serve on the Geneva City Council, you need to be registered to vote. Residents can find helpful election information on the Kane County Clerk's website such as:
  • Polling places
  • Registration status
  • Early voting
  • Sample ballots 
Load Your Online Wallet To Make Paying For Daily Commuter Parking A Breeze

Have your passport? No, not the one for international travel, but Passport, the mobile payment app for daily commuter parking in Geneva.

After launching in late October, about 100 customers per day on average take advantage of paying for parking at the City's Third Street Commuter Parking Deck and Route 31 overflow parking lot from the convenience of their smartphone.

With the app, customers can create an account that loads between $15 to $75 in funds using an online "wallet" feature linked to their debit or credit card. 

People using the app will continue to pay the normal rates of $2 at the parking deck and $1.75 in the overflow lot (morning commute to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday), but app users will be charged a $0.37 convenience fee by Passport per transaction. The manual cash payment boxes in the parking deck and parking lot will still be available for those who prefer to pay in person as opposed to online.

The PassportParking app is free to download from the iPhone App Store and Android Google Play. Signage is displayed in the parking deck and overflow lot to instruct users how to download and get started with the app or find more program details on our website

Places For Eating Tax Start Date Postponed

The Places for Eating Tax that was scheduled to start Jan. 1, but after subsequent discussions with restaurant owners, the Geneva City Council decided to defer the implementation of the tax until May 1.

Restaurants and other businesses where prepared food is sold at retail for immediate consumption with seating provided may elect to pass the tax through to the consumers. This will translate into an additional $1 for a $50 bill for customers.

The new tax is expected to generate an estimated $1.5 million on an annual basis. The additional revenue will allow the City to maintain its current level of core services for public safety and public works and provide a funding source for various capital projects or future equipment purchases.

The City has notified restaurant owners of the postponement of the tax until spring. 

Business owners who have questions about the Places for Eating Tax can visit the City's website or call the City's Finance Division at 630-232-0854.

Have Unwanted Electronics? Take Advantage Of Kane County's Recycling Program
Did you get the perfect Christmas gift but are not sure what to do with your old electronics? Kane County is reminding residents to recycle their old devices at any of its three weekday sites or monthly collection events.

Most electronics remain free to recycle, but the program will now charge residents a fee to recycle televisions and monitors - $25 for screens 20" or smaller and $35 for screens 21" and larger.

Weekday drop-off locations are open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday in Batavia, 517 E. Fabyan Parkway (old Juvenile Justice Center) and the South Elgin Public Works Department, 735 Martin Drive. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday at the West Dundee Public Works Department, 900 Angle Tarn.

The first Kane County 2017 collection event will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Kane County Circuit Clerk's Office, 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

Full program details, including a list of acceptable materials, can be found on the Kane County Recycles website.

Photo Gallery: Relive The Magic Of The Geneva Christmas Walk
What was your favorite part of the Geneva Christmas Walk Dec. 2? Santa, the Tree Lighting, carolers? We loved it all, and thank you Geneva Chamber of Commerce for putting on a fantastic festival. Enjoy the memories by visiting our Christmas Walk photo gallery.

City Administrator's Office News & Notes: Popular Annual Financial Report
So you want to learn more about the City's fiscal health, but attempting to read 201 pages of the 2015-16 annual audit can be a daunting task.

Before you rush out to get that finance degree, we offer an easier alternative.

The City has created a Popular Annual Financial Report, a 14-page, visually-friendly summary of the annual audit filled with photos and graphs. The new report continues the City's effort to promote transparency by giving casual readers a better understanding on the complexities of government finances.

This first endeavor provides information about:
  • Population/Census
  • Top area employers
  • City government organizational chart
  • A breakdown of our government funds
  • Sales tax rates
  • Property assessments and tax bill details
The City has submitted its Popular Annual Financial Report to the Government Finance Officers Association for award consideration. In the meantime, we encourage residents to read this document online to learn how your local government is working for you.
City Administrator's Office News & Notes: Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
The City's budget practices continue to earn national recognition after Geneva received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the seventh consecutive year.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada honor reflects the commitment of the City "to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting," according to the association. Geneva's 2016-17 budget runs from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017.

In order to receive the award, Geneva had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity's budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device. Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories, as well as the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.

Award recipients have "pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America," according to the association. The Government Finance Officers Association is a non-profit organization serving nearly 19,000 government finance professionals.

Both past and present budgets can be found on the City's website.  
Fire Department News: Meet New Fire Chief Antenore
Geneva Works - Fire Department 
Geneva Works - Fire Department

Geneva experienced a changing of the guard with its senior leadership in 2016, including at the Fire Department. New Fire Chief Michael Antenore, who is the featured guest on January's episode of our "Geneva Works" TV show, brings years of public safety experience to the City. 
Fire Department News: Keep Fire Hydrants Clear Of Snow
With winter weather arriving in December, the Geneva Fire Department wants to remind residents to clear out the closest fire hydrant to their house.

A fast and adequate water supply for the Fire Department can make the difference between minor damage and major destruction during a fire. The City's Public Works Department is aware of the hydrants and tries very hard to avoid covering them with plowed snow. However, the situation can be unavoidable on some streets, such as cul-de-sacs, where there is not much space to pile the snow between the driveways, mailboxes and fire hydrants.

Residents fortunate enough to have a hydrant in front of their house can do the Fire Department and themselves a huge favor by clearing a 3-foot by 3-foot area all the way around the hydrant to make them visible and accessible from the street.

For more information, call the Fire Department at 630-232-2530. 
Community Development Department News: Historic Preservation Awards
City Council - Oct. 17, 2016 
City Council - Oct. 17, 2016
Every two years, the City recognizes projects promoting the historic character and charm of our community. The 2016 Historic Preservation Award winners were honored at the Oct. 17 City Council meeting (start viewing one minute into the video above). Thank you to all the award winners who are dedicated to preserving windows to Geneva's past. 
Police Department News: Cul-De-Sac Parking Reminder
Geneva Police want to remind residents that parking on a cul-de sac "nose first" (illustrated above) violates our City code. This illegal parking becomes problematic to our police officers, firefighters and public works crews responding to emergencies. Postal workers delivering the mail and refuse workers collecting trash also have a difficult time maneuvering around these parked cars.

Residents and visitors should be parking with their passenger side wheels parallel to the curb. For more information, call the Geneva Police Department at 630-232-4736.   

Economic Development Department News: Take Advantage Of Our Expertise

If you have always dreamed of opening your own business and being a part of this one-of-a-kind community contact the Economic Development Department at 630-232-7449 to learn more about available business locations and what it takes to open your business in Geneva.

All Geneva Business Directory is Online
Geneva at your fingertips! A listing of all Geneva businesses is online to help you identify local goods and services.

Benefits of Shopping Local
*    Support Geneva's independent retailers with your dollars
*    Keep property values strong
*    Talk to knowledgeable shop owners
*    Your money employs the community and is reinvested locally

Economic Development Department News: Welcome New Businesses
Geneva welcomed more than 50 new businesses in 2016 with more on the way in early 2017. Check out our New Business Activity page for a complete list. You will discover new restaurants, shops, services, and more.

Public Works Department News: Winter Parking Regulations
  snow plow
Our Geneva Public Works plow drivers have a challenging task to keep our streets plowed and safe during the winter. The best way you can help them out is by moving your parked cars off the street to keep our operations moving efficiently.
When road conditions become hazardous, streets that are posted with "Snow Route" signage are cleared of snow and ice first. Snow routes are typically streets that have a large volume of traffic and higher speed limits. Parking on all snow routes is prohibited when the snowfall exceeds 2 inches or more.
Once snow routes have been cleared of snow and ice, crews will then target residential streets, alleys, cul-de-sacs and dead-ends. Parking is not permitted on these secondary streets when there is a snowfall of 3 inches or more, according to the Geneva Police Department.
It is strongly recommended residents move their cars from the streets when a snow storm is forecasted to avoid being ticketed or having their vehicles towed. Parking is not permitted on secondary streets at any time within 12 hours following a snowfall of 3 inches or more or until a street has been plowed to the curb.

You can read more about our snow removal operations and how to receive weather alerts/plowing updates on the City's website.
Public Works Department News: Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter
When temperatures fall below the single digits this winter, the City wants to remind residents to take action to avoid frozen water lines this winter.

Most importantly, do not shut off heat to a home or business that is unoccupied. Water pipes will freeze and burst, causing a significant amount of damage. Opening cabinets underneath sinks helps keep pipes warmer during the winter.

People should make sure that outdoor garden hoses are disconnected. If water pipes are located on outside walls that are not insulated, it is recommended that a small stream of water be constantly running to prevent the pipe from freezing. For more information, call the Public Works Department Water Division at 630-232-1551.

Public Works Department News: Parkway Tree Orders Due Jan. 6
Geneva residents interested in a new parkway tree should place their order with the Public Works Department by Friday, Jan. 6.

Parkway trees are defined as trees within the City's right-of-way, usually located between the sidewalk/property line and curb.

Through a contract with West Suburban Tree Consortium, the City is able to purchase trees at a discounted rate. Residents pay $150 as part of the cost-sharing program, and the City covers the remaining cost to purchase and plant a new tree. The City's portion is more than $150.

A list of available trees can be found on the City's website along with a form that must be submitted to Public Works. There is a limited number of trees and species that can be planted each spring, so requests will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, call the Geneva Public Works Department Streets & Fleet Division at 630-232-1502. 

Public Works Department News: ComEd Tree Trimming Program Continues In January

Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) has notified the City it intends to perform tree trimming activities near its power lines in Geneva during January.

The vegetation management program will take place along Heartland Drive east of Peck Road. While the City owns and operates its own electric utility, ComEd does have power lines and infrastructure that runs through Geneva.

According to ComEd, this maintenance program helps ensure electric reliability since tree contact with power lines is a leading cause of electric outages. ComEd has notified impacted property owners of this upcoming work taking place in their neighborhood.

In December, ComEd performed similar operations south of Fargo Boulevard between Dunstan Road and Western Avenue.

For more information about the tree pruning operations, visit the City's website

About Geneva


Located 40 miles west of Chicago along the Fox River, Geneva is home to 21,495 residents and serves as the seat of Kane County government. Geneva's character is found in its historic architecture, adaptive re-use of historic buildings, mature landscapes and open space with more than 700 acres of park land. With festivals and events year-round, Geneva is a place to connect with others for shopping, dining or browsing art galleries. Home to excellent schools, library and parks, Geneva continues to be one of the premier cities in the Chicago area to live, work, play and raise a family. For the latest news, visit the City's website.