Winter 2018   

In This Issue
Geneva Is a Staycation Destination
Sales Tax Referendum Coming In March
New Welcome Signs Installed
Stay Connected With Us
Wastewater Treatment Plant Construction Starting Soon
Mark Your Calendars For Winter Fun
Third Main Rail Line Update
Residents Should See Property Tax Bill Savings From City
MetroNet Work Continues In 2018
Volunteer On MLK Day
Recycle Those Old Electronics
Relive Holiday Magic In Geneva
City Administrator's Office News: Distinguished Budget Award
Administrative Services Department News: All About Utility Bills
Police Department News: Do Not Leave Running Cars Unattended
Economic Development Department News: Shop, Dine, Experience Geneva
Community Development Department News: New Library Update
Fire Department News: Keep Hydrants Clear Of Snow
Public Works Department News: Be Mindful Of Winter Parking Rules
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:
Stephen and Susie Anderson
Patricia Burnham
Colin and Glorianne Campbell
Heni Coletta
Dan and Roberta Edwards
Anne Fleming
Edward and Cynthia Foster
Geneva Chamber of Commerce
Marvin and Linda Haseman
George Havlicek - Havlicek Builders
Jim and Peggy Ivers in memory of the Anderson and Brelsford Families
W. Clyde and Sharon Jones
Dean and Linda Kilburg
Lynn Landberg
Dick and Darlene Larson
Richard Lewis - State Farm Insurance
Steven and Nancie Lillie
Richard and Cheryl Marks
James Letizia and Jeanne McGowan
Christopher and Joy Meade
The Olive Mill
Philip and Kathryn Page
Stephen and Sheila Persinger
Steven and Patricia Rambo
Robert and Emily Rogers
Rotary Club of Geneva
Ruth Rovelstad
Carl and Elizabeth Safanda - Safanda Law Firm
SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits
Thomas Simonian
Ronald and Marilyn Singer
Smith Family Foundation - Keith and Virginia Smith
Sharon Surrett
Jim and Sherri Weitl
Kenneth and Mary Kay Yotz

Donations are as of Dec. 18, 2017. For more information on the Beautification Committee, visit the City's website.
Mayor's Message
Dear Neighbors,  
Sometimes a little means a lot. And, perhaps this statement is no truer than when it applies to how we approach caring for our environment.

As you may know, the City of Geneva is signatory to both the Greenest Region Compact 2 as well as the Chicago Climate Charter. These two documents are replete with goals, objectives, strategies by which we - and hundreds of other municipalities - are addressing global climate issues by advancing policies and practices locally to ensure greater sustainability in all we do.

It is important to share with you - on the off chance you are not already aware - for many years the City of Geneva has adopted sustainability programs through its annual strategic planning workshop.

Moving forward, we are prepared and proud to strengthen our efforts and look forward to sharing all our progress with you.

To begin, let me be clear; our local efforts may seem minor compared to the significant challenges we face regionally, nationally and globally. However, your City Council, City staff and I are committed to do the best we can, where we can, and when we can with the financial, technical and human resources available to us and the private and public partnerships we will strive to develop.

Make no mistake, our efforts are less about doing what others refuse to do and more with recognizing that stewardship of our environment, at its core, is good business.

I am proud to serve on the Chicago Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Environmental Committee and welcome the opportunity to learn from my colleagues about carrying out municipal services that achieve the dual objectives of responsiveness to our citizens, businesses and guests while mitigating our impact on our natural resources.

A leader in many ways and the envy of many communities, the City of Geneva is poised to step forward in this effort as well. It will not be easy. While our success will not be immediate, we must persist in every way possible.

For your benefit, here are the links to both the Greenest Region Compact 2 and the Chicago Climate Charter.

I welcome your participation in executing the goals and objectives of these policy documents. As always, I am happy to make myself and my administration available to you so, together, we can make our little corner of the world more sustainable for current and future generations.  

My best,  

Kevin Burns

Chicago Magazine Names Geneva Great Staycation Destination

"Take the best things about living in Chicago and put them in one place, and you've got Geneva. Bike trails along a river? Breweries? Lovely shops (that aren't chains!) in a picturesque downtown? Frank Lloyd Wright houses?"

They're all here in Geneva! Those were the opening words on "Chicago Magazine's" December article on our City being a great destination for a staycation.

Have you visited all the hidden gems and favorite locales on their list?

Get Educated On Geneva's Non-Home Rule Sales Tax Referendum

Geneva residents will head to the polls in March to decide if the non-home rule sales tax rate in Geneva should be 1 percent, an increase of 0.5 percent. If the referendum is approved, for every $50 spent an extra $0.25 in non-home rule sales tax will be paid.

To help voters make an informed decision, the City has created a referendum webpage that provides background and FAQs. An informational video also will be coming soon.

Think about it, talk about it and make sure to vote March 20.

Geneva Welcomes You With New Signage
Residents and visitors driving into Geneva will be greeted with new welcome signage at some of the City's major gateway points in 2018.

Two primary arterial signs will be installed on State Street (Route 38)/Bricher Road (above) and Fabyan Parkway/Kaneville Road while secondary signs will be located at First Street (Route 31)/Wheeler Park and Bennett (Route 25)/Division streets.

Installation started in December and is anticipated to be finished in January, weather permitting.

The primary signage will feature the words "Geneva" and "Est. 1835" engraved into an 8-foot by 5.5-foot limestone slab that sits on top of a concrete base with brick veneer. The back portion of the monument signs will showcase an arched 10-foot corten steel piece showcasing the City's logo. New or existing trees will be incorporated to serve as a backdrop along with additional landscaping that will be planted in the spring.

The secondary signage will be a smaller version of the main monument.

The signs were designed by Lannert Group of Geneva with guidance and overview of a design committee consisting of aldermen and City staff. The committee established natural materials would set the tone for the signs, which would be grounded in Geneva's history. Brick is the most popular material in Geneva's historic buildings; limestone is the element that forms the Fox River bank and identified the valley; and steel references the City's historic past as a manufacturing and job creation community.

In keeping with the design committee's goal, the corten steel piece was built by Horn Steel of Geneva. Horn Steel, also known as Wm Horn Structural Steel Co., is one of the City's oldest businesses established in 1896. Horn Steel provided outstanding expertise to help the City create the sign's vertical feature with the Geneva logo. The corten steel will age in place with a rust patina that will provide a dark, textured finish within two years.

The new welcome signs will either be replacing older versions or be installed in locations where signs had previously existed but had been removed due to damage. The City plans on adding more signage in the future as funding becomes available.

Connect With Us To Stay On Top Of Geneva News & Information
Want to stay on top of what is happening in Geneva these days? The City provides an array of communication options to help you stay connected to your favorite community:
  Facebook Join My List Logo    
City Website
  Select Notify Me to receive updates on City news, community alerts, events calendar, meeting agendas and more.    
 E-News: GenevaMail Weekly Blast & Quarterly Newsletter 
      Read   Subscribe      
Social Media
You can find even more information about Geneva's communication outreach on the City's website
Wastewater Treatment Plant Construction Project To Start Soon
Construction for a $12.5 million upgrade to the Geneva Wastewater Treatment Plant is expected to get underway shortly that will bring the City in compliance with new state environmental regulations.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) is mandating all wastewater plants along the Fox River reduce the amount of phosphorous being discharged into the river after treatment. The river is an impaired water way in part due to low dissolved oxygen levels. Phosphorous causes algae blooms that reduces dissolved oxygen.

The City of Geneva project will be partially funded through the IEPA Water Pollution Control Loan Program at an interest rate of 1.56 percent. Geneva also has been adjusting its water rates to pay for the Wastewater Treatment Plant enhancements.

The effort is one of the biggest water-related projects in the City's history, but Geneva customers should not see any noticeable changes in their service. The improvements are expected to be completed by April 2019.

Full water rate information is available on the City's website. For more information, call the Geneva Public Works Department Water Division at 630-232-1551.
Lights, Camera, Action! Film Festival Highlights Geneva's Winter Events Scene
The Geneva Film Festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year featuring films from around the world.     
Films will be shown Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10 at the Geneva Park District's Playhouse 38 and Penrose Brewing, both located on Stevens Street. Filmmaker activities will be held Thursday, March 8. The independent film festival will feature short and feature-length films, in categories such as documentaries, narrative, student films, animated films, and music videos.

Catch a glimpse of what is to come at a Geneva Film Festival preview Friday, Jan. 26 or Friday, Feb. 2. Learn more about the preview and the main event at the Geneva Film Festival website.
Other Winter Fun In Store
Jan. 22-28  Geneva Restaurant Week  Geneva Chamber of Commerce 
Feb. 24 Wine, Cheese & Trees Fundraiser  Geneva Natural Resources Committee 
March 4  Geneva Wedding Walk  Geneva Bride 
Third Main Line Construction Scheduled To Start In Late 2018
Union Pacific and Metra officials provided an update to the Geneva City Council in November regarding the upcoming Third Main Line Project scheduled to start in late 2018. The third rail line will be installed primarily on the south side of the railroad tracks from Peck Road to West Chicago.

People can view the presentation and watch the meeting video to get the full scope of the update.

During the discussion, the rail agencies said property surveying and acquisition will be ongoing through 2018. The property needing to be acquired borders the Union Pacific right-of-way and will often be narrow strips of land and not entire parcels.

The project will require staggered grade crossing closures at Route 31, Third Street and Western Avenue once construction gets underway. Only one crossing will be closed to car traffic at a time.

The majority of the construction will occur between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, but there will be occasions when work will need to take place in the evenings or weekends. The overall project is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.

For more project information, visit the City's Third Main Line construction webpage.
Residents Should See Savings From City On Upcoming Property Tax Bill
Geneva residents should expect to see a decrease in the amount of property taxes paid to the City when they receive their tax bill this spring.

Although the Geneva corporate estimated tax levy approved by the City Council in December shows an increase of 4.12 percent, the tax rates for individuals is anticipated to drop.

Last summer, the City generated savings by selling $1 million in Prairie Green Wetland mitigation credits, which reduces the tax burden on residents since the revenue is being used to retire bond debt for the purchase of the natural area at Peck and Keslinger roads. (See Fall Newsletter for more background on Prairie Green).

Overall, the City's tax rate (excluding special service areas, if applicable) will decrease from 0.708564 to 0.604969, or more than 14 percent. So what does this mean for the average homeowner for taxes paid to the City?

Home Value
Estimated Tax Bill Savings

*Based on a home maintaining the same value from 2016 to 2017.

The final rates are calculated by Kane County and will be applied to the 2017 property tax bill, which is typically issued in May.

Budget Planning Underway

City staff has begun the process of constructing its first two-year budget plan, which will help City leaders plan more effectively for the future.

The City Council will conduct a Special Committee of the Whole meeting Monday, Jan. 29 to discuss the City Council's direction on specific policy items that will impact the budget. Tentatively scheduled for the beginning of March, City Council members will be presented with 2018-19 and 2019-20 budgets for their consideration.

A public hearing for the budget will be held in April prior to the City Council adopting the spending plan by the end of the month. For budget documents, visit the City's website.

MetroNet Construction Will Continue Throughout 2018

MetroNet's fiber network installation project started last fall on Geneva's west side and is anticipated to expand to other areas throughout the City in 2018 as the company plans to offer a new option for cable television, Internet and phone service in the future.

Construction Underway (see map at link below)
Zone GE020
Subdivisions: Williamsburg, Blackberry and Stonebridge
General Boundary Area: Bricher Road, State Street (Route 38), Williamsburg Avenue, and Randall Road.

Zone GE011
Subdivisions: Pepper Valley, Geneva Manor, Dover Ridge among others in the area.
General Boundary Area: Randall Road, Williamsburg Avenue, State Street, the Geneva Golf Club, Western Avenue and the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Zone GE015
Subdivisions: Fisher Farms, Crossing at Geneva, Prairie Ridge Townhomes and Prairieview Estates
General Boundary Area: Peck Road, Bricher Road, Geneva Commons, Williamsburg Avenue (with a small deviation south), Fisher Driver, Border Road and the southern border of PrairieView Estates subdivision.

Coming Soon* 
Zone GE016
Subdivisions: Fisher Farms and Westhaven Of Geneva
General Boundary Area: Peck Road, Keslinger Road, Fisher Drive, and the combination of Williamsburg Avenue/FAA property and the northern boundary of the Westhaven subdivision.

Zone GE047
Subdivisions: Geneva East and Geneva Knolls
General Boundary Area: East Side Drive, Division Street, Kirk Road and Geneva Drive
Zone GE046
Subdivisions: Geneva East and Chesapeake Commons Townhomes
General Boundary Area: East Side Drive, Geneva Drive, Kirk Road and the Illinois Prairie Path

* The City allows for only three active construction zones to take place at one time. Permits for new construction will be approved once work is finished in one of the areas listed above.

MetroNet will be working in utility easements throughout the City during the next two years after the Geneva City Council approved a cable television franchise agreement with the company in September. These easements are typically a strip of land running along the street, the sidewalk, the rear lot line or between two lots.

MetroNet has a construction website, where residents will find a project overview, notification schedule, construction map, FAQs and an avenue to submit questions online. Residents also can make inquiries by calling MetroNet at 877-386-3876. The City has created a construction webpage for additional background.

MLK Day Is A Great Opportunity To Give Back To Your Community

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'" - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

With many businesses observing the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Jan. 15, people will be participating in volunteer projects across the country in the spirit of the former civil rights leader. The City of Geneva supports this cause and offers several great volunteer possibilities listed online that can be taken up by an individual or groups throughout the year.

Additional volunteer opportunities can be found at All For Good and the Corporation For National & Community Service.

Recycle Your Unwanted Electronics
Have old or unwanted electronics sitting around your house after the holidays? Recycle them through any of Kane County's collection sites or events in 2018.

The next recycling event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Kane County Circuit Court Clerk's parking lot, 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

People can find information about accepted items and cost details to recycle televisions and monitors on the County's website.

A weekday drop-off location also is conveniently located at the Old Juvenile Justice Center at 517 E. Fabyan Parkway in Batavia. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Picture Perfect: Geneva Christmas Walk Enjoyed By Thousands

Holiday magic was shining bright during the Geneva Christmas Walk Dec. 1. A crowd of about 20,000 people was estimated to have attended the festivities, which included the tree lighting, Santa Claus, holiday music, shopping and much more. Thank you to the Geneva Chamber of Commerce for organizing a fantastic event to help ring in the season.

You can relive the memories by viewing the City's photo galleries on Facebook or our website. Photo credit (above): Nancy McQueeny.

City Administrator's Office News: City Wins Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
For the eighth consecutive year, the City's budget practices have once again earned national acclaim after Geneva received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

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 2017-18 budget runs from May 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018.

Geneva had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation to earn the award. 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.

Administrative Services Department News: All About Your Utility Bill

Did you know Geneva residents have 24-7 access to their utility billing account? Utility customers can access their utility account online on the City's website and click the " Online Bill Pay" button.

After logging in with an account and phone number, customers can make payments or view the following information:

  • Account summary
  • Bills
  • Consumption, and
  • Account history (dating back to 2011 or when the account was established)

There are several convenient ways to pay a Geneva utility bill. Besides the online portal stated above, the City also offers an Auto Pay option. Instead of mailing in a check or calling in a credit card, residents can provide the City with a voided check, and payments will be processed on their due date every month. An auto pay form will be included in people's next utility bill.

Payments can also be dropped off in one of four locations throughout Geneva; Finance Division, 15 S. First St.; City Hall, 22 S. First St. (drop box located on the northwest side of building); Fire Station No. 1, 200 East Side Drive; or Fire Station No. 2, 2530 Fargo Blvd.

Want to go paperless? The City offers an e-bill option where customers would receive an email when their bill has been generated. The e-bill also can be saved into a PDF format for record retention. Contact the Finance Division to set up e-bill.

People who have questions about their utility account or payment options can contact the City's Finance Division at 630-232-0854 or by email. Normal business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Police Department News: Do Not Leave Cars Running Unattended This Winter
Do you subscribe to our Safety First Blog?  
The blog is a great source for community education from our Police and Fire departments, including this entry from Police Chief Eric Passarelli about the dangers of leaving your car running and unattended in the winter: 
With the cold winter months upon us, many of us start up our car prior to embarking on our travels. Who wouldn't enjoy getting into a warm car as you drive the kids to school or activities, head to work, go to the grocery store and venture on other daily tasks that do not stop due to the weather.

Some people also choose to leave the car running and unattended while we go into gas stations or convenience stores for morning coffee. While it is completely understandable that nobody is raising their hand to get into a cold car, people who leave their vehicles running are increasing the likelihood of them being stolen.

Each winter season, the Geneva Police Department and other police agencies in our area receive reports of vehicles being stolen while they are left running, unlocked and unattended. This is a crime of opportunity that can be prevented by simply turning off your car, taking the keys and locking the car doors.

In addition, it is a violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code to leave a car running and unattended. The exception to this is a locked vehicle that is started by a remote starter system.

Thank you for partnering with the Geneva Police Department to assure our community remains safe and to lessen the likelihood of becoming the victim of a crime.

Economic Development Department News: Subscribe To The Shop, Dine, Experience Blog

Love Geneva's assortment of shopping and dining options? Then you will want to follow our newest blog: Shop, Dine, Experience Geneva.

Whether you are a resident, visitor or merchant, we will keep you posted on Geneva's dynamic business community. The latest post highlights our newest businesses that now call Geneva home. Check them out via our interactive map and subscribe to receive future blog entries.

Thank you for supporting our wonderful independent retailers, national stores and restaurants.

Community Development Department News: Library Going Through City Review Process For New Facility
The Geneva Public Library has submitted a request for a Special Use and Preliminary/Final Planned Unit Development approval for a new facility near Seventh and Campbell streets.
The proposed library would be three stories, and include 77 off-street parking spaces in the R-3 Medium to High Density, Single-Family Residential District. The Geneva Public Library also is requesting zoning relief on building height, street yard setbacks, maximum lot coverage, maximum floor area ratio and a reduction of the number of off-street parking spaces.

The Historic Preservation Commission considered the request on Dec. 19 and provided recommendations regarding the character of the development, yard setbacks, landscape features and building scale. The Plan Commission public hearing date will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25 at City Hall Council Chambers, 109 James St.   
Documents are available to the public to inspect from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday at Geneva City Hall, 22 S. First St. Plans also can be found in meeting packets posted on the City website's Agenda Center.
Want to stay in the loop with development in Geneva? Visit the Development Project Map page for the latest details and subscribe to receive updates via our website's " Notify Me" feature.  
Fire Department News: Keep Fire Hydrants Clear Of Snow This Winter

When Mother Nature gives us her best shot, 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 Geneva Fire Department at 630-232-2530.
Public Works Department News: Take Note Of City's Plow Operations, Winter Parking Regulations
snow plow
With a few snow storms under our belt and more likely to come this winter, the City of Geneva would like to remind residents about parking regulations to ensure plowing operations run smoothly and efficiently throughout the community.

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, 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.

During a major snowstorm, secondary streets will receive one pass in each direction to provide access for motorists and emergency vehicles. When the snowfall has ended, all streets will be plowed curb-to-curb.

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.

During major snow events, people can find plowing updates posted on the City's website. People can subscribe to receive those updates by clicking the " Notify Me" button and selecting "Community Alerts." Information also will be available on the City's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In the event of a light snowfall of less than an inch - and plowing operations are not necessary - salt will be lightly applied to snow routes, schools, hills, curves and intersections with stop signs.

Geneva plows 244 total lane miles during a snow storm. More information about the Geneva's snow plowing operations can be found on the City's website. Plowing questions can be directed to the Public Works Department via an online request that can be accessed by clicking the " Report A Concern" button on the City's website.

Public Works Department News: ComEd Trimming Trees Near Power Lines In January

Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) has notified the City about the company's plans to trim trees near its power lines in Geneva during January.

The vegetation management program will take place along two stretches in Geneva ( see map):

  • Between Western Avenue and Dunstan Road from Allen Drive to South Street; and
  • South Street/Kaneville Road/Keslinger Road from Western Avenue to Peck Road.

While the City owns and operates its own electric utility, ComEd does have power lines and infrastructure that run through Geneva. The adjacent subdivisions where work will be occurring include Allendale, The Meadows, Geneva Gardens, Eagle Brook, Dover Ridge, Laurel Acres, Pepper Valley and Fisher Farms.

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

For more information about the tree pruning operations, read ComEd's notification letter to the City or visit the company'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.