Fall 2020

In This Issue
Back To Basics Fighting Coronavirus
COVID-19 Business Info
Geneva Makes The Grade
Curbside Leaf Collection
Citywide Stormwater Study
We Want To Hear From You
Kosirog Appointed New Alderman
2021 Election Candidate Guide
Geneva Is A Tree City USA
Keep Political Signs On Private Property
COVID-19 Impacts Fall Events
ComEd Trimming Trees This Fall
City Offers Halloween Safety Tips
On The Blog: Autumn Fest
Check Out New Geneva Businesses
What's New In Geneva Development
Fall Hydrant Flushing Continues
Sanitary Sewer Reimbursement Program
Brush Pickup Concludes In November
Quick Links
Share Our Newsletter with a Friend!
Thank You for Your Donation!
The City would like to thank the following donors to the Geneva Beautification Committee:

Mike Bruno
T.C. and Mary Klein
Terry & Dorothy Flanagan

Donations are as of Sept. 24, 2020. For more information on the Beautification Committee, visit the City's website.
Mayor's Message 
Dear Neighbors,

During this pandemic, the perfunctory has become poignant.  

That which we sometimes took for granted has become more valuable.  

That which we sometimes fail to notice has become more visible.

That which we always expect has become more appreciated.  

Perhaps one such longtime perfunctory element of Geneva has become even more beautiful. It reminds us that a splash of color in an otherwise gloomy past several months is precisely what we all need - even if we did not know it.

I am, of course, talking about the 58 downtown knuckle gardens that do far more than dot our landscape. They help give texture to our community.  

Cared for by more than 150 Beautification Committee volunteers, the gardens provide an added-value to the experiential nature of Geneva and, if I may be so bold, gives voice to our collective passion for nature's beauty.

Without flowers and fauna, the areas I describe have humble roots (pun intended).  

The street knuckles are a design feature on municipal roadways that, when installed, are done so to help moderate traffic speed and improve pedestrian safety.  

Years ago, these otherwise banal engineering elements found throughout Geneva have been reimagined in such a way as to make them more than utilitarian.

Who says safety cannot also be beautiful? Not Geneva.

On behalf of the City Council, the 23,000 people that call Geneva home, and countless visitors who stroll our streets, please join me in thanking the Beautification Committee volunteers who do not mind getting their hands dirty to help make Geneva bloom.
My best,

Kevin Burns
Health Department: Remember The 3 Ws To Help Reduce The Spread Of COVID-19
The Kane County Health Department is reminding the public to get back to basics by following the 3 Ws to combat the coronavirus: Wear your mask, Watch your distance and Wash your hands.

Illinois continues to remain in Phase 4 of Gov. Pritzker's "Restore Illinois" plan. Please keep doing your part to make our community safe.

For the latest information on Geneva's COVID-19 response, visit the City's website.

City Provides COVID-19 Resources To Local Businesses
The Phase 4 safety guidelines for businesses require reduced capacity, social distancing and face coverings as well as regular cleanings and health screenings specific to each industry. Gathering sizes continue to be limited to 50 people.

Phase 4 guidelines for restaurants and bar establishments require patrons to wear face coverings in both indoor and outdoor dining settings during any interaction with employees. Masks covering the nose and mouth are required when employees take orders, deliver food and beverages, and service tables.

As we transition into fall and winter, the City will be publishing guidance for restaurants and bars to continue operating outdoors safely and responsibly. The guidance will include information about temporary outdoor structures (tents, etc.), heating devices, additional safety considerations and requirements for incidents of inclement weather including snow and wind. Stay tuned for more details in October.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is accepting new applications for a second round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program. BIG is open to all eligible businesses for operating costs incurred during limited capacity or closure due to COVID-19.

For updates on mitigation measures applied to Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties), visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website. The City will continue to post pertinent updates on COVID-19 Resources for Geneva Businesses.

Geneva Makes The Grade With Daily Herald Readers' Choice Survey
Geneva was recognized as a top community for dining, shopping, festivals, and more as part of the 2020 "Daily Herald Readers' Choice" survey.

Geneva was named the top pick for the best downtown atmosphere and the second best city to live. The Little Traveler and Geneva Commons garnered first and fourth-place honors respectively for best neighborhood shopping centers.

Festival of the Vine was chosen best community festival. Swedish Days also was named one of the region's top festivals (fifth) along with having the best community parade (first).

Numerous restaurants, stores, attractions, and more were recognized as some of the best in the Chicago suburbs. You can view the entire "Daily Herald Readers' Choice" survey online.

Thank you to the residents, merchants, Geneva Chamber of Commerce and countless stakeholders who all work hard to make Geneva a great place to live and visit.

Geneva's Curbside Leaf Collection Program Starts In Late October
When the City's curbside leaf collection program begins later this fall, Geneva residents will be able to track the contractor's progress with an enhanced online map.

The curbside program is scheduled to start the last week of October on Geneva's west side and the first week of November for the east side. The collection schedule is subject to change in case of inclement fall weather or equipment failure.

The City's curbside leaf pickup is divided into three geographical zones, with each zone collected three times using vacuum truck equipment. Every street will be targeted once during each of the three separate leaf pickups. Each zone takes several days to complete.

Zone breakdowns, proposed start dates for all three curbside collection rounds, December leaf bag program details and more information can be found on the City's website.

This year, the City has improved its online curbside collection map to detail the collection zones and to better track the progress crews are making through each neighborhood. The map will be updated weekday mornings, and residents are encouraged to visit the City's website often for any potential schedule modifications.

Residents are required to rake their leaves to the parkway parallel to the street and about 12 inches behind the curb or edge of the pavement by 7 a.m. on the Monday of their scheduled pickup week. Raking leaves into the street or curb/gutter can clog storm sewers, which can later result in street flooding.

Leaves placed on the parkway after the crews have passed will not be collected until the next scheduled date.

Questions can be directed to the City's Public Works Department by calling 630-232-1501.

Geneva Moving Forward With Stormwater Drainage Study

Geneva will be conducting a citywide stormwater drainage study this fall, and public participation will be an important part of the process.

After contracting with WBK Engineering, the firm will identify, assess, and evaluate the City's stormwater and drainage concerns. The process calls for citizen engagement, including meeting with the community, to understand and document resident and business concerns.

Residents are invited to attend a public meeting from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 at the City's Public Works Department, 1800 South St. The informal open house will provide a project overview and allow participants to ask questions to City and WBK staff. People attending the session will need to follow the City's COVID-19's meeting guidelines, which includes wearing a face covering and completing a screening questionnaire before admittance.

For those unable to attend the meeting, residents can report drainage concerns through the City's Comprehensive Watershed Study online portal available on the City's website. The portal features an interactive map tool where users can pin and detail specific problems on their property or neighborhood.

Ultimately, the study's goal will be to develop a drainage capital improvement program to be utilized in future City budget planning.

WBK staff has actively been involved with responding to service requests sent to the City during spring rainfall events and documenting the observed conditions for their future report. The firm also will be performing topographical surveys in parts of the City to assist in the study.

The stormwater study does not include evaluation of the sanitary sewer since those concerns are being addressed in a separate effort by the City.

For more information on Geneva's stormwater drainage study, visit the online portal located on the City's website.   

City Seeks Community Input On Strategic Plan With Online Survey, Virtual Meetings
Geneva residents, merchants, and stakeholders are invited to weigh in on the City's strategic plan priorities to help establish a work plan for the year ahead.

People can make their voices heard through an online survey that can be found on the City's website. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete, and the deadline to respond is Sunday, Oct. 18.

Instead of conducting a community forum due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, the City's Strategic Plan Advisory Committee will be hosting a series of virtual meetings in October. The public can register to participate in a one-hour session at the following times:

*    6:30 to 7:30 p.m. or 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1;
*    9 to 10 a.m. or 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2; and
*    1 to 2 p.m. or 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Each virtual meeting will be limited to 10 participants, who will go through a guided conversation with committee members about strategic plan priorities.

The survey and meetings are part of the City's ongoing efforts to improve services, gather important feedback, and educate the community about the strategic plan. Public input will help the committee identify priorities and make recommendations to the City Council regarding the implementation of the strategic plan.

The 2025 strategic plan was created with assistance from a broad cross-section of community stakeholders and focuses on five unique areas:

*    Economic vitality;
*    Strong governance;
*    Environmental stewardship;
*    Excellent municipal services; and
*    Quality of life.

A strategic plan is a valuable tool used by City leaders to establish goals and prioritize resources. The City Council and City staff rely on the visions presented within the plan to guide development and design programs to ensure Geneva remains a vibrant and prosperous community.

People who do not have computer access can request a member of the City's Strategic Plan Advisory Committee to reach out to them by phone. For more information, contact Geneva Assistant City Administrator Ben McCready by calling 630-938-4540 or sending him an email.

Brad Kosirog Appointed New Geneva 2nd Ward Alderman
The Geneva City Council approved Mayor Kevin Burns' appointment of Brad Kosirog to fill the vacant 2nd Ward alderman seat during a Sept. 8 meeting.

Alderman Kosirog has served on the City's Planning and Zoning Commission since 2016. An active member of the Geneva community, he has been on the board of directors for the Geneva Academic Foundation and Geneva Community Chest. He also has worked as a Kane County election judge for the past four years.

Kosirog was one of 10 residents that applied for the City Council vacancy.

"I am grateful to Aldermen Rich Marks, Craig Maladra and Tara Burghart who led the interview process and advanced Mr. Kosirog's nomination, which received the City Council's unanimous vote of support," Mayor Burns said.

Alderman Kosirog and his family moved to Geneva in 2014. He owns a fastener distributorship in Warrenville that has been in operation for 31 years.

"It's an honor to have the confidence of the Mayor and my colleagues on the City Council to fill this position," Alderman Kosirog said. "I look forward to getting to know the residents of the 2nd Ward, including their passions and interests."

Alderman Kosirog replaced former 2nd Ward Alderman Mike Clements, who announced his resignation this summer after serving two years on the City Council.

Residents can contact Alderman Kosirog by calling 630-232-0000, Ext. 4004 or sending an email.

Geneva's 2021 Election Candidate Guide Now Available
Residents interested in running for Geneva City Council in 2021 can find a candidate guide posted on the City's website.

The guide provides election information on how to file for candidacy and all required forms.

The positions for mayor, city clerk, and treasurer along with one aldermanic seat in Wards 1, 3, 4, and 5 are open with each carrying a four-year term. The 2nd Ward has two seats up for election, with one running for two years and the other for four years.

Candidates can file their petitions from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays from Monday, Dec. 14 through Monday, Dec. 21 at Geneva City Hall, 109 James St.  

The candidates will run in the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Election. For more election information, visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Two Decades & Counting: Geneva Named A 'Tree City USA'

Geneva has been named a "Tree City USA" member for the 20th time thanks to the City's commitment to effective urban forest management.

The Arbor Day Foundation's most recent recognition is based on meeting four core standards, including maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and an Arbor Day observance.

This spring, the City planted dozens of new parkway trees throughout Geneva.

Helping contribute to the cause, the City of Geneva's Natural Resources Committee and Geneva Park District Foundation continued to raise money during February's Wine, Cheese & Trees fundraiser. The money will be used by both groups to plant trees in Geneva's parkways, parks and open spaces throughout the community.

People interested in a new parkway tree should visit the City's website to learn more about our cost-sharing program.

Make Sure Your Campaign, Other Signs Are Displayed Properly

As we enter another election season, the City of Geneva would like to remind residents that campaign signs need to be placed on private property and not public parkways.

If a sidewalk is present, place the sign between the sidewalk and the building. If a sidewalk is not present, look for other markers such as utility poles or fire hydrants.

Signs that are allowed on private property include:

*    Garage, yard, or rummage sale signs which do not exceed 6 square feet in area and are placed on private residential property. Such signs shall be limited to one per lot and shall only be permitted between the hours of 7 a.m. on Friday and 8 p.m. on Sunday.

*    Political campaign signs announcing candidates seeking public office and/or signs in support of or opposition to any person, cause, issue, or referendum. Such signs shall be located on private property.

*    Public interest signs publicizing a charitable or nonprofit event of general public interest are allowed. Such signs shall be located on private property and may be displayed up to 30 days before the event and for the duration of the event.

*    Real estate signs indicating the sale, rental or lease of residential property. Such signs shall be located on private property, shall be limited to one sign per lot, and shall not exceed 6 square feet in area. All such signs shall be removed within five days after the sale, rental, or lease of the property.

Signs that are not allowed:
*    Signs attached to trees, fences or public utility poles, other than warning signs issued by public utilities.

If you have any questions regarding the sign code, please feel free to contact the City's Building Division at 630-262-0280. Thanks for helping to keep Geneva looking great!

COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Geneva's Events

With Illinois' COVID-19 health guidelines still limiting large gatherings, the downtown merchant Halloween trick-or-treating, Holiday House Tour, and Steeple Walk events have been canceled this year.

Following state health guidelines, the Geneva French Market opened in June and continues to run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays at Fourth and South streets through mid-November.

For the latest event details and information about the City's COVID-19 response, visit the City's website.
ComEd's Tree Trimming Continues This Fall In Geneva

Commonwealth Edison will continue trimming trees this fall along the Illinois Prairie Path, Kirk Road and the Union Pacific railway tracks. Work started in September and is expected to wrap up in October.

While the City of Geneva owns and operates its own electric utility, ComEd runs power lines through the community to our substations as well as neighboring municipalities. The company states its vegetation management program helps ensure electrical reliability since tree branch contact with power lines is a leading cause of outages.

ComEd notified affected residents about tree trimming taking place in their neighborhood. Maps and more information also can be found on the City's website.

Residents who have questions or concerns with ComEd's program can call the company at 800-334-7661.

Police News: City Recommends Halloween Safety Tips

Safety First Blog

Check out other recent blog entries from the Geneva Police Department regarding:

Bicycle Theft, Car
Burglary  Prevention


Back-to-school safety.

People can subscribe to receive notifications on future blog entries, community alerts, City news and more via the City's website.
Halloween is around the corner, and it will look and feel different than past years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The City of Geneva has begun to receive several inquiries about neighborhood Halloween trick-or-treating on Saturday, Oct. 31. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has issued Halloween guidelines that parents should read before making plans.   

For those that choose to go trick-or-treating, Geneva's suggested hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31.

Pending any additional guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health or the CDC, the City would like to recommend the following safety guidelines:

*    If you choose to hand out candy, make sure to turn your porch light on, and please consider options for contact-free distribution.  

*    If you choose to not participate, please turn your porch lights off.

*    Refrain from trick-or-treating if you do not feel well, are awaiting COVID-19 test results, have recently returned from travel to a hot spot state, or if you know that you have been exposed to the coronavirus.

*    If you decide to take your child/children trick-or-treating, wear a facemask incorporated into your costume to help prevent the spread of germs.

*    Trick-or-treat as a household and maintain social distancing from other groups.

*    Make sure trick-or-treaters have a clear field of vision, wear light-colored costumes or incorporate reflective tape into their clothing.

*    Use caution when crossing streets and check all directions for cars.

*    Do not enter into any homes.

*    Check all treats once you arrive back at home. Only eat unopened candy that is in its original packaging.

*    Respect others and their property

As a final reminder, Halloween is not a City of Geneva holiday. The City also does not provide guidance as to the cancellation of Halloween events due to inclement weather.  While Halloween weather can be very unpredictable, as evidenced by last year's snowstorm, the decision to trick or treat is left to the discretion of individual families.

We hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween. If you should have any questions please contact the Geneva Police Department at 630-232-4736.  

Eric Passarelli
Geneva Police Chief
Economic Development News: Kick Off Fall With Jack-O-Lantern Walk During Autumn Fest
Geneva's Downtown Trick-or-Treating has been canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But the family can still enjoy the colors of fall, eat a caramel apple, and sip a pumpkin latte during the second annual self-guided Jack-O' Lantern Walk.

Mark your calendar: Geneva's Autumn Fest will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, and local merchants have created a safe way to celebrate the season.

Participating businesses will display glowing Jack-O' Lanterns in their windows or outside their doors, or you can find them all marked on a phone-friendly digital map. Unique pumpkins will be waiting to greet explorers all over Geneva's downtown. You can vote for your favorite in the categories of "most creative," "most spooky," and "best group." To date, 50 businesses are participating with their very own Great Pumpkin to delight and surprise you.

To add to the fun, a fall-themed photo-op will be on display at the Kane County Courthouse lawn at 100 S. Third St., where you can cast your vote. Special consideration will be given to provide a safe environment on the Courthouse lawn.

While you are on your pumpkin expedition, you may want to do a little shopping. Participating merchants will be a leafer's paradise with fall decor, treats, in-store specials and/or new fall arrivals. Stop for dinner before or after your walk to take advantage of the food and drink menu specials offered by participating restaurants. Outdoor seating will be available at many Geneva establishments.

Stay tuned for more details on Autumn Fest by following @AutumnFestGeneva on Instagram. If you'd like to show off your costume and have a chance to win a prize on Halloween, watch for an announcement about an Instagram contest. For the latest news on First Fridays and other activities in downtown Geneva, you can also follow Experience Geneva IL on Facebook.

Geneva's downtown businesses are preparing for a fabulous fall kick off and together they will make the evening a special memory for the whole family.  

Check Out Geneva's Newest Businesses
Even during a pandemic, new businesses continue to call Geneva home. Check out the latest additions on the City's New Business Map. Looking for other business information? A comprehensive online Business Directory and the City's Explore Map provide to be handy resources to find restaurants, shops and experiences in Geneva.

Community Development News: Stay Connected To Geneva's Development Scene
Geneva residents can follow development projects from application submission to City Council approval - and everything in between - by visiting the City's Development Projects Map. People also can subscribe to receive updates every time the City modifies the map.

Public Works News: Hydrant Flushing Continues This Fall

The City of Geneva continues to flush fire hydrants throughout the community this fall as part of an ongoing maintenance program.

Hydrants are being flushed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. The water is safe to drink, but residents are encouraged to let their faucets run for a few minutes if they notice any discoloration.

People are urged to limit their water use if possible and refrain from washing their clothes during this time period to avoid staining from rusty water. In the event rusty water discolors clothing, residents should keep their laundry wet and purchase a rust-removing solution packet from a local retailer.

Signs will be placed in neighborhoods to remind residents that the program is underway in their area. Residents also can view a hydrant flushing progress map on the City's website or on Twitter. Work is expected to be completed in mid-October, weather permitting.

The City flushes hydrants to improve the overall quality of the water by cleaning the water mains of rust and corrosion and to ensure that all fire hydrants are working properly.

For more information, contact James Childress, Geneva Public Works System Maintenance and Customer Service Supervisor, at 630-232-1551 or via email.

City Establishes Sanitary Sewer Reimbursement Program

The Geneva City Council approved enhancing its sanitary sewer prevention program to help residents protect personal property from potential sewer backups during major rain events.

The updated program provides added flexibility for property owners to determine what device best suits their needs with four financial reimbursement plan options:

  • Sanitary backflow prevention;
  • Lead & galvanized water service replacement;
  • Sanitary sewer service lateral lining and grouting; and
  • Footing tile separation

Full program details and applications can be found on the City's website. All program assistance is contingent on City budget fund availability, and participation is based on a first come, first-served basis.

For more information, call Geneva's Public Works Department Water Division at 630-232-1551.

City's Monthly Brush Pickup Concludes In November
Full brush program details, including a collection progress map that will be updated weekday mornings during the first two full weeks of the month, can be found on 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. The City's character is found in its distinct architecture, historic buildings and picturesque natural areas. With festivals and events year-round, Geneva is a special destination for unique and award-winning shopping, restaurants, galleries and more. Home to excellent schools, library, parks and a vibrant cultural arts scene, 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.