Summer 2020

In This Issue
Geneva City Buildings Open
Cheers! Water Bill Tax Break OK'd
License Fees Waived For Businesses
Report Stormwater Issues To Us
Garbage Rates Adjusted
State, County Road Work Updates
COVID-19 Impacts Event Schedule
Mosquito Season Is Here
ComEd Trimming Trees
Messages From The Police Chief
Check Out New Businesses
City Expands Permit, Inspection Services
Make Sure To Turn Off The Lights
View The Outdoor Watering Schedule
Brush Pickup Continues
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
Jeff and Nancy Rodewald
Thomas Simonian
The Paper Merchant

Donations are as of June 23, 2020. For more information on the Beautification Committee, visit the City's website.
Mayor's Message 
Dear Neighbors,

Since March, our community, state, nation, and the world began to close down amidst the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been - like many of you - a little bit less surefooted in how to navigate the strangeness that beset us on a personal, professional, civic, cultural, and spiritual level. The heartbreaking loss of life, the worry for those who fell ill, and the uncertainty and insecurity that gripped many of us day-in and day-out have affected every aspect of our lives.

As Geneva begins the long, cautious, and measured return to find our footing, we must also navigate our way through, over, and around the challenges likely to visit us in the not-to-distant future.

I trust that nobody reading this message is so credulous as to believe that what we once knew is what we will once again experience. At least, not right away.  

Everything we once enjoyed will be a nuanced version of itself. That does not mean it has to be less exciting, inspiring, motivating, or impactful...but it will be different. Being different, of course, has its advantages. After all, Geneva has long prided itself as "different" and applied such a moniker to build a strong, vibrant, and adaptable community.  

There is no doubt that our community will be tested. There is no study guide available. Therefore, we must all commit to learn, support, trust, and, above all, be patient and kind with each other.  

What better grade is there than to have future generations say with gratitude that the citizens and business of Geneva, way-back-when in 2020, passed the test they were presented with flying colors? I am not sure there is one.  

My best,

Kevin Burns
After State Moves To Phase 4, Geneva City Buildings Reopen To The Public
As part of the Phase 4 "Restore Illinois" plan, Geneva City buildings have reopened to the public. The public, however, is strongly encouraged to continue conducting City business by alternate means whenever possible.

All visitors are required to wear a face covering and complete a screening questionnaire prior to admittance to any City building. The public visiting hours for each building are:

Senior Hours
Phone Number
City Hall
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Finance Division
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Police Department
9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Public Works
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Fire Department
No public hours
No public hours 630-232-2530

The City recommends calling in advance of visiting any City building to determine if their business may be accomplished over the phone, email, online, U.S. Mail, or through the City's utility bill payment drop boxes. People can report non-emergency concerns and find a City staff directory online. Also, check out the story in this newsletter regarding submitting building permits.

In-person meetings for the Geneva City Council and other advisory boards have resumed in compliance with the state's Phase 4 guidelines. Individuals planning to attend a meeting will be required to wear a face covering and complete a screening questionnaire prior to gaining admittance to the meeting. Meeting agendas will list any additional special instructions/protocols that may be in effect for that particular meeting.

For the latest Phase 4 and coronavirus information, visit the City's COVID-19 response web page.

City Temporarily Suspends Municipal Utility Tax For Water
With the impact of the coronavirus putting a financial strain on both residents and local businesses, the City of Geneva will be providing some economic relief.

The City will be suspending the 5% Municipal Utility Tax for water on customers' monthly utility bills from July 15 through Dec. 14, 2020. The move will result in about a $15 per month savings for the average residential water customer. Businesses, who typically have higher levels of water consumption, will see a greater reduction in their utility bills.  

As a non-home rule community, the City is limited in opportunities to provide economic relief. Nonetheless, the Geneva City Council recognized COVID-19 has had a significant impact on its residents and business stakeholders alike.  

The action taken by the City Council on June 15, combined with refunding license fees paid by businesses, represents approximately $350,000 in unrealized revenue for the City's 2020-21 fiscal year budget. Based on preliminary estimates and a reduction in budgeted capital project expenditures, the City is positioned to offer the financial relief measures and maintain adequate financial reserves in the General Fund.

City Refunds License Fees To Businesses; Provides COVID-19 Resources
The City will be waiving renewal license fees for businesses during the current fiscal year, which runs May 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021. Businesses that have paid liquor or other license fees to the City this year will receive a refund. Applications for new licenses effective May 1, 2020, or later will require payment of the requisite fee.

The fee waiver, combined with the temporary suspension of the municipal tax for water on monthly utility bills, were approved by the City Council June 15 to help businesses that have experienced financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic.

As the state transitions through the phases of Governor Pritzker's "Restore Illinois" plan, pertinent information for businesses from the State and the City of Geneva will be posted on the City's COVID-19 Business Info web page. The Small Business Assistance page contains links to financial assistance and support. The sections are dated so that you can identify updates quickly.

Geneva Moving Forward With Stormwater Drainage Study

How You Can Participate     
The City will be hosting open houses to provide the public with opportunities to meet with WBK staff when guidelines for the COVID-19 response allow.  
In the meantime, WBK is working with the City to create an online portal where residents can express a concern and initiate dialogue with the firm. Please check the City's website for future updates.    
Geneva will be conducting a citywide stormwater drainage study this year, and public participation will be an important part of the process this summer.

In January, the City wanted to study the stormwater and drainage system throughout Geneva. 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 meetings with the community, to understand and document resident and business concerns.

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

WBK staff has actively been involved with responding to service requests sent to the City during the May 15 & 18 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.  

Geneva Garbage Rates Increase In July
Geneva's garbage collection rates have been adjusted starting July 1 as part of the City's contract with Lakeshore Recycling Systems.

A refuse sticker now costs $2.84. However, people who purchased stickers at the previous rate of $2.72 can use their remaining supply without paying the difference. Prices for optional garbage cart subscriptions also have increased less than a dollar per billing cycle, according to the contract.

Even with the rate adjustments, Geneva residents will continue to pay less for stickers and cart service at the conclusion of the Lakeshore contract in 2023 than they did in spring 2018.

For more information about Geneva's refuse and recycling program, visit the City's website.

Geneva Named One Of Illinois' Safest Cities
Geneva ranked in the top 8% of Illinois' safest cities, according to a recent study by SafeWise.

To identify the cities with the best safety records, SafeWise looked at the number of crimes in the 2018 FBI Crime Report, the most recent data available. The company calculated the number of violent and property crime incidents per 1,000 people in each city.

Geneva moved up five spots to be listed as the 22nd safest city out of 251 Illinois communities included in the study. Geneva has a violent crime rate of 0.3 per 1,000 people and a property crime rate of 7.0 per 1,000 people.

For comparison purposes, other communities ranked:

Violent Crime
Property Crime
Homer Glen
Glen Ellyn

Thank you to the Geneva Police Department for working hard to make our community one of the safest in the state.

SafeWise is a resource for all things safety and security. The company tests out various safety products to figure out how they work and whether or not they are worth the money. The full survey can be found on the company's website.

Get The Latest On The Summer Road Construction Scene In Geneva

Both the Illinois and Kane County departments of transportation agencies have big projects already underway this summer on some of Geneva's major highways. Stay a step ahead of the latest lane closures by subscribing to receive " Notify Me" road construction alerts from the City.  

State Street Bridge
Agency: IDOT

Details: Crews began the State Street (Route 38) bridge resurfacing project in late May. Two lanes of traffic, one in each direction, will remain open throughout construction. Work is being done in two phases with operations beginning in the outside lanes and then later shifting to the interior lanes.

Target Completion Date: August

More Info: Visit the City's State Street construction page for more information and how to receive project updates. 

Kirk & Fabyan Intersection
Agency: Kane County

Details: Traffic was shifted to a single lane configuration for both Kirk Road and Fabyan Parkway for about six weeks beginning June 13. The shift pushed vehicles into one lane in all directions in order to prepare and pour the permanent concrete pavement for the intersection improvement project.

Target Completion Date: Late September

More Info: Read the County's June 12 news release and subscribe to "Notify Me" updates.

Peck & Bricher Intersection
Agency: Kane County

Details: Starting the week of June 15, construction began at the intersection in northwest Geneva. The work consists of roadway widening, resurfacing, new traffic signals, drainage, pedestrian accommodations, and landscape restoration.

Target Completion Date: Late October

More Info: Read the County's June 10 news release and subscribe to "Notify Me" updates.

COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Geneva's Summer Events Calendar

Summer in Geneva is typically filled with community events for residents of all ages to enjoy. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into many of those plans.

Signature festivals such as Swedish Days, the Geneva Arts Fair ( see "A Window Into Art" alternative) and the Concours d'Elegance car show have been canceled for 2020.

The popular RiverPark Summer Concert Series and Shakespeare in the Park events, sponsored by the City's Cultural Arts Commission, also have been sidelined. Fans of Shakespeare in the Park should stay tuned for a virtual performance that will be coming to the City's website later this month.

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.

For the latest event details and information about the City's COVID-19 response, visit the City's website.
Report Mosquito Problems, Subscribe For Spraying Alerts This Summer

Geneva residents can report standing water issues or high mosquito population levels to the City's abatement contractor from the convenience of their laptop or phone. Visit Clarke's website and fill in the details.

Do you want to be notified of nighttime adult mosquito applications?

People can sign up to receive alerts from Clarke or the City of Geneva. When a spraying has been scheduled, subscribers will be the first to know.
ComEd's Summer Tree Trimming Continues In Geneva

Commonwealth Edison's ongoing tree trimming operations will continue for several more weeks primarily near Western Avenue in Geneva.

The ComEd work zone is in an area bounded by Fargo Boulevard, Western Avenue, Allen Drive, and Dunstan Road as well as along Western Avenue south of Cheever Avenue. Operations began in June and should be finished this month.

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: Chief Passarelli's Messages To The Community
I have been asked many questions by members of our community as it relates to the heartbreaking and incomprehensible death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis, Minn. police officer.

I have been asked to explain how an incident such as this will be prevented here in Geneva and how we will assure that all people will be treated fairly, with dignity, compassion, and empathy at all times. We share in the outrage of our nation as we watched another person of color lose their life at the hands of a police officer.

A police officer who took an oath to serve and protect all people, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. We stand with those in our community, and throughout the nation, who strive to enact positive change by making their voices heard through peaceful demonstrations.

Read the Chief's full June 2 letter to the community

Read the Chief's June 12 message responding to questions

Eric Passarelli
Geneva Police Chief
Economic Development News: Check Out Geneva's Newest Businesses
Even during a global pandemic, several new businesses now 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: City Expands Services For Permits, Inspections
The City of Geneva continues to modify its procedures for permits, inspections and plan reviews in response to the guidelines provided in the Governor's "Restore Illinois" plan.

The Department and City's Building Division have posted submission requirements online. The City also is offering remote virtual inspections for certain eligible projects.

The changes increase the level of City services while still obeying recommended state health guidelines. Questions can be directed to the City's Building Division at 630-262-0280.

Code enforcement activities also have resumed. The public can report concerns to Code Enforcement Officer Jim Forni by calling 630-262-0284 or via email.

People interested in staying connected with the Geneva development scene can view the City's Development Projects Map and subscribe for updates when new information is posted online.

For other coronavirus information, visit the City's COVID-19 response web page.

Public Works News: City Offers Voluntary Electric Load Reduction Program

With summer in full swing, Geneva residents can provide some relief to the City's electric operations - and their own utility bills - by reducing their power consumption for a few hours in the afternoon.

The City offers a voluntary electric load reduction program to all customers by alerting them via Twitter and our website to cut down power usage during peak hours of the day.

The program is strictly voluntary, has no penalties and requires no reporting or tracking of usage. The benefits of reducing energy are making Geneva a greener community and keeping future electric costs down. The Geneva electric system has plenty of capacity and reserve to serve all its customers.

People wanting timely updates of when to reduce electricity consumption in a home or business during peak power days can:

*    Follow the City on Twitter @CityofGeneva
*    Visit "Notify Me" on the City's website and subscribe to the "Peak Power Day Alerts" in the "Alert Center."

After an alert has been issued, the easiest ways customers can reduce electric use is by adjusting their thermostats a few degrees, running major appliances later in the evening and turning off lights in empty rooms.

The City issues about 20 alerts to customers during an average summer. 

Keep Tabs On Geneva's Outdoor Watering Schedule
As Geneva residents fine-tune their summer watering schedules, they should take note of the City's sprinkler regulations.

Water sprinklers are permitted between 6 to 9 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. on designated days. Residents with an even-numbered street address can water their lawns on even-numbered days and vice-versa for odd-numbered addresses.

People are allowed to use a hand-held hose at any time to water flowers, gardens, trees, shrubs, cars, lawns and wading pools that are 50 gallons or less.

For those placing down sod or watering seed, a $25 permit is required through the Public Works Department, 1800 South St. Sod and seed lawns can be watered for the first day for a maximum of eight hours.

During the next nine consecutive days, the lawn can be watered from 6 to 9 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Afterward, the property owner must abide by the City's regular lawn watering schedule.

For more information, visit the City's website or call the Geneva Public Works Department Water Division at 630-232-1551. 
City's Brush Pickup Continues This Summer
Full bush 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.