Winter 2020

In This Issue
Dispose Of Live Christmas Trees
Construction Projects Earn Awards
Respond To The U.S. Census Online
Adult-Use Cannabis Update
Move Your Car When Snow Arrives
See How Geneva Is Going Green
'Art On Fire' Hydrant Winners Honored
'Outstanding' Citizen Volunteer
Buy Wine, Cheese & Trees Tickets
Bus Stops Get A Splash Of Color
City Unveils New Video Series
County To Resume Fabyan Bridge Construction This Spring
MetroNet Project Winding Down
Metra Launches Railcar Survey
A Christmas Walk To Remember
Lights, Camera, Action In Geneva
New Businesses Call Geneva Home
Slow Down On The Roads This Winter
Keep Fire Hydrants Clear Of Snow
Limit Salt Usage This Winter
Parkway Tree Deadline Extended
Recycle Clothes & Electronics
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:

Henry & Judy Dienst
Mike Bruno
Keith & Virginia Smith Family Family Foundation
Ashland Ventures LLC
Clyde and Sharon Jones

Reinert Financial Services
The Crystal Bride
Dan and Roberta Edwards
AutumnFest-Geneva Merchants
The Home Court Real Estate-Joyce Courtney

The Little Traveler
Tim & Lori Kohorst
Carl F. Safanda Attorney
Lynn Landberg
JoAnn Creiger

Richard & Mary Sturm
SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits
Sam & Carolyn Hill
Marv & Linda Hasman
Ruth Rovelstad

Robert & Emily Rogers
Ken & Kathy McNeil
Steve & Nancie Lillie
Sheila & Steve Persinger
Dean & Linda Kilburg

Rebecca Smith
Christopher Meade
Terry & Dorothy Flanagan
Anne M. Flemming
Phil & Jane Page

Charles & Barb Radovich
Howard & Valerie Heidlauf
Richard & Cheryl Marks
Patricia & Gerard Steward
Richard Lewis-State Farm Insurance

Donations are as of Jan. 4, 2020. For more information on the Beautification Committee, visit the City's website.
Mayor's Message 
Dear Neighbors,

Welcome to 2020 and warmest wishes for a safe, healthy and happy new year.  

This year marks Geneva's 185th anniversary.

And, what on earth is an appropriate gift for a community celebrating nine-score and five-years?  

How about the pledge of ALL her citizens to participate in the most challenging yet rewarding civics lesson we are fortunate to be assigned - shaping Geneva to become more than what she is now and never less than what she can be.

Of course, the work required is not for the faint of heart nor the fair-weathered.  

For you know as well as I, sometimes the greatest obstacle is not resources but will; not energy but sustainability.

To borrow a phrase from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough."

So, in celebration of Geneva's 185th anniversary, let us engage in the practice of "seeing far enough;" which demands we force ourselves - however uncomfortable it may be - to see beyond our self-imposed and self-defined horizons to appreciate the generational impact of our work together.

I look forward to working alongside you in 2020 as we continue to design, build and shape Geneva's future.

My best,

Kevin Burns
Geneva's Live Christmas Tree Collection Starts This Week
Geneva residents will have several chances to dispose of their live Christmas trees during January.

Trees will be picked up for free on residents' regular garbage collection day the weeks of Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 by Lakeshore Recycling Systems, the City's waste hauler. People must place their live tree out with their garbage no later than 7 a.m. on their scheduled day. No refuse sticker will be required during this timeframe.

Lakeshore's collection will continue the week of Jan. 20, but residents will need to use a refuse sticker to have their tree removed.

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

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

For more information about Geneva's refuse services, call the City's Public Works Department at 630-232-1501 or visit the City's website.  
Two Geneva Construction Projects Earn American Public Works Association Awards

Geneva's Wastewater Treatment Plant facility update and South Street bridge replacement have been selected as "Projects of the Year" by the American Public Works Association Fox Valley Branch (APWA).  

The Wastewater Treatment Plant won in the Environment category for projects between $5 million and $25 million. The South Street bridge replacement took top honors in the Disaster or Emergency Repairs less than $5 million category. The APWA brand awards were judged on safety performance, environmental impact, project management, community relations, accomplishments under adverse conditions, and quality control/construction innovations brought to the projects.

This is the first time Geneva has been recognized for two projects in the same year.

Construction for a $12.5 million Geneva Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade - one of the biggest water-related projects in the City's history - got underway in 2018 to help bring the City in compliance with new state environmental regulations.  

While not visible to the public, the Wastewater Treatment Plant project will have a significant long-term impact on the community. The City took a holistic approach on how to improve the facility from enhancing technology from the 1980s to the present-day and by reducing overall power consumption by 25%.

"We have modernized the Wastewater Treatment Plant for the 21st century that will serve the community well for generations to come," Public Works Director Rich Babica said. "By repurposing the building's existing footprint and not adding any new chemical processes, the City continues to do its part to protect the environment. I am very proud of the Public Works Water Division staff's dedication to make this project a success."  

The South Street bridge replacement unexpectedly materialized this fall after City staff discovered the crossing was damaged by a sinkhole. The roadway was closed immediately for safety reasons. Following the securement of project funding and engineering, demolition and construction took a month to complete before the bridge was reopened in November.  

Geneva's Public Works team will receive the awards Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the APWA Fox Valley Branch's meeting in Aurora. The Branch also will be submitting Geneva's projects for award consideration at the APWA Chicago Chapter level in 2020.

The City has previously been awarded the APWA Fox Valley Branch's "Projects of the Year" for the Third Street Commuter Parking Deck expansion (2016), construction of the Water Treatment Facility (2009), Third Street improvements (2002) and State Street improvements (1995).

The APWA is an international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies and individuals dedicated to providing quality public works goods and services. The Chicago Chapter is comprised of 1,500 members in five branches throughout the region.

Residents interested in learning more about the Wastewater Treatment Plant can schedule a facility tour by calling the City's Public Works Department Water Division at 630-232-1551.

Geneva Residents Can Respond To U.S. Census Online This Year

Geneva To Permit Adult-Use Cannabis Business Establishments

The City Council voted Dec. 9 to approve permitting cannabis business establishments in Geneva starting in 2020. This includes cultivation centers; craft growers; as well as processing, infuser, dispensing (medical and recreational), and transportation organizations.

State law allows for the sale, possession, and consumption of recreational cannabis for Illinois adults 21 and older beginning this year. The State also issues licenses for all adult-use cannabis business establishments. However, local governments were given various options to regulate cannabis businesses within their communities.

So What Does This Mean For Geneva?
The City approved permitting adult-use cannabis businesses subject to compliance with the following:

  • Limiting the number of recreational and medical dispensing establishments to one apiece;
  • Setting maximum hours of operation for dispensaries from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
  • Establishing a 150-foot separation from the property line of pre-existing schools, daycares and residential properties for craft growers and dispensing organizations; and
  • Businesses receiving a State license to locate in Geneva are considered a Special Use, meaning they must go through the City's development review process that includes final City Council approval.

What Will Not Be Happening In Geneva
The City will prohibit cannabis cultivation centers, both medical and recreational. The consumption of cannabis or infused products will not be allowed at any cannabis business establishment.

Sales Tax & More Info
In November, the City Council approved an ordinance imposing a 3% municipal cannabis retailers' occupation tax that will take effect for all sales of cannabis products in Geneva.

For more information, visit the City's FAQs page and online Development Projects Map.
Be Ready To Move Cars Off The Street When Snow Hits Geneva This Winter
Stay Connected   
During major snow events, find plowing updates on the City's website. Subscribe to receive those updates via "Notify Me" and selecting "Community Alerts."

 also will be posted on Facebook & Twitter.
When snowfall occurs this winter, Geneva residents should be prepared to move their parked cars off the street to ensure the City's plowing operations run efficiently throughout the community.

Parking is prohibited when snowfall reaches:

  • 2 inches - Posted "Snow Routes," which are highways and main collector streets with higher speed limits;
  • 3 inches - Residential roadways, including alleys, cul-de-sacs and dead ends.

The Geneva Public Works Department also can restrict parking based on the forecast from the National Weather Service or other weather agencies for snow, sleet or freezing rain. If weather conditions are predicted to be hazardous to motorists, a parking ban may be put into effect to promote public safety and welfare on the roadways. Access to snow routes and residential streets is important in providing emergency services to all residents and visitors as quickly as possible.

Cars left on the street during a parking ban risk being ticketed or towed.

The Public Works Department's primary objective during winter storms is to remove snow and ice to provide safe driving conditions for motorists and emergency vehicles. The Police Department works cooperatively with Public Works to enforce parking bans declared during significant snow events. With cooperation from residents and visitors, Public Works crews will be able to maximize the effectiveness of their snow removal operations.

When road conditions become hazardous, "Snow Routes" are cleared of snow and ice first before crews will transition to residential neighborhoods. Parking is not permitted on residential 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 a major snowstorm, residential streets will receive one pass in each direction to provide access for motorists and emergency vehicles. After the snowfall has ended, all streets will be plowed curb-to-curb.

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

Geneva plows 244 total lane miles during a snow storm. For more information about Geneva's snow plowing operations, visit the City's website.

Check Out All The Ways Geneva Is Going Green
It is not easy being green, but the City of Geneva is going the extra mile to set an example for residents and neighboring communities on how to be responsible environmental stewards.

The City is excited to announce the launch of an Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability web page on the City website. The web page will serve as a central location for residents to learn about the City's green initiatives and track progress in the advancement of community-wide sustainability goals.   

In 2017, the City Council passed a resolution endorsing the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus' Greenest Region Compact (GRC). The GRC offers a companion framework to be used by local governments to assess current sustainability efforts and begin aligning them with common regional, state, national and global objectives.

To date, 127 communities have adopted the GRC to improve the quality of life for more than 6 million residents, making it the largest regional sustainability collaborative for municipalities in the country. The GRC offers strategies that can be taken by communities, regardless of size, to attain consensus goals in any of the 10 sustainability categories outlined in the compact, including climate, economic development, energy, land, leadership, mobility, municipal operations, sustainable communities, water, and waste & recycling.

Municipalities that adopt the GRC are making a commitment to support the consensus goals that have been developed. Specific actions are prioritized and monitored by communities to best suit their own objectives and abilities.

City Honors 'Art On Fire' Hydrant Design Winners
The Geneva City Council recognized talented artists who showcased their creativity in the City's 2019 "Art on Fire" hydrant design competition.

Tatiana Hamilton and Natalia Bork won first place for their "Please Don't Eat The Daisies" hydrant located on Lincoln Avenue (pictured). Melissa Price's "Light It Up Blue" hydrant at First and Peyton streets, and Faith Petersen's "GHS Marching Vikings" at Logan Avenue and Center Street earned second and third place honors respectively.

The City of Geneva, in collaboration with the Cultural Arts Commission, has sought artists to adopt and paint fire hydrants throughout the community. More than 100 hydrants have been painted the past seven years as part of "Art on Fire," and the program has been well received by residents and visitors who have taken notice of the artwork in the downtown and surrounding areas.

You can watch the "Art on Fire" recognition ceremony during the Oct. 7 City Council meeting or take a virtual tour of all our painted hydrants.

Thank you to all the artists who participated in this year's contest.

Jay Womack Named Outstanding Citizen Volunteer Of The Year

Jay Womack's life has been devoted to nature, environmental education and conservation. In recognition of this devotion, he has been named the 2019 Outstanding Citizen Volunteer of the Year by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD).

The award, which was presented at the IAPD's annual Best of the Best Awards Gala Nov. 1, recognizes citizens' volunteer efforts to enhance a park district, forest preserve, conservation, recreation or special recreation agency program, service, parkland, open space or facility. The Geneva Park District and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County both nominated Womack for the award.

In nominating Womack, a career landscape architect and chair of the City's Natural Resources Committee, the Geneva Park District and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County detailed his extensive contributions to their organizations.

You can read about Jay's community accomplishments in a joint news release from the Geneva Park District and Forest Preserve District of Kane County.   
Tickets On Sale For Geneva's Wine, Trees & Cheese Fundraiser

The City's Natural Resources Committee and the Geneva Park District Foundation are teaming together to sponsor this year's Wine, Cheese & Trees fundraiser to help plant more trees in the community.

Wines will be paired with cheese, appetizers and desserts from local merchants. The evening also will feature live music, a silent auction, drawings, a "wine wall" and live auction.

Tickets can be purchased for $30 per person online. For more event information, contact Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jay Womack at 630-299-9945 or via email.

Student Artwork Decorates Randall Road Bus Shelters
Great job by the Geneva Community High School art students who created two new entries for the City's "Gimmie Shelter: A Bus Shelter Art Program" along Randall Road.

"The Colossal Octopus" was designed by Abby O'Connor, and "The Sea Turtle" was created by Zoe Steele. The "Gimmie Shelter" program is sponsored by the City's Cultural Arts Commission.

People can view Geneva's other public art projects on the City's website
This Will Only Take A Minute: City Unveils News Video Series
Geneva News Minute - Jan. 6, 2020
Geneva News Minute - Jan. 6, 2020

We know you are busy with family, work, errands and just life in general. But this will only take a minute.

The City started a new video series this fall called the "Geneva News Minute" that highlights news and happenings taking place in your favorite community. New episodes are running about twice a month on Geneva Broadcast Network, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Friday edition of GenevaMail.

The show is perfect for those always on the go. Our latest installment is featured above, and the series archive is available to watch on YouTube. We hope you tune in and feel free to share your feedback with us. 

Kane County To Resume Fabyan Parkway Bridge Project This Spring

The Fabyan Parkway bridge construction operations ceased in November for the winter, according to the Kane County Division of Transportation.

The bridge will remain in the current two-lane configuration for the next several months until work resumes in the spring. The County provided more details in a news release last fall.

Questions or concerns should be directed to Kane County at 630-584-1170 or via email.

MetroNet Construction Winding Down In 2020

MetroNet is nearing completion of installing its fiber-optic network throughout Geneva after starting construction in 2017. Work begins this month in the Eagle Brook subdivision, the last remaining residential area in the community. Construction is expected to last six to eight weeks, weather permitting.

Get more details on the City's Pardon The Progress blog.

Metra Launches Survey About New Railcars
metra station
Metra is about to purchase some new railcars, and the agency wants customer input prior to placing the order.

Metra is seeking cars that increase capacity and optimize passenger amenities, which is where commuters come into play. People can respond to Metra's online survey through mid-January.

She Said Yes: Grab A Seat For A Geneva Christmas Walk To Remember
Christmas Walk Revisited    

Geneva ushered in the holidays in style with the annual Christmas Walk Dec. 6. Relive all the memories with our:

Facebook photos

The annual Christmas Walk celebration creates memories for thousands of people each year. But for one Geneva couple, it will be one they never forget.

When Mike Brant and Kandace Powers started dating, they would frequent Third Street in downtown Geneva, oftentimes going to Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream and sitting on the benches during the summer.

Fast forward to this year, Brant contacted the City's Public Works Department about purchasing two downtown benches to be installed on Third Street near The Little Traveler. Through the City's Giving Program, people can purchase/dedicate benches and bike racks to improve public areas with functional amenities. Donations also can be made through the program to support City-sponsored activities led by the Geneva Beautification Committee, Cultural Arts Commission and Strategic Plan Advisory Committee.

Benches include personalized plaques. Brant had the first plaque engraved with the couple's initials, engagement date and included text to insert their future marriage date. The second bench plaque contained a verse from Powers' favorite poem from E.E. Cummings.

The benches were installed by the City in mid-November. Brant then surprised Powers during the Christmas Walk Dec. 6 using the benches for his proposal. She, of course, said yes!

And this happy story will come full circle. Brant said the couple plans to get married by their new benches in downtown Geneva. Congratulations Mike and Kandace, and thank you for letting us be part of your special day.

Economic Development News: Your Place Could Be In The Movies

Have you ever wondered about the homes and buildings in movie sets? Most of the time, the spaces are rented by the film industry by the day. The owner is typically paid the price of one month's mortgage, which can be quite helpful if you are not too inconvenienced by it all. The Illinois Film Office maintains a database of sites to help film industry scouts find that perfect backdrop. With a few simple steps, your property could get a little Hollywood attention.

To be considered for the database, property owners need to submit contact information and a brief description to the Illinois Film Office.

Sites of all kinds are welcome, including homes, industrial sites, storefronts, scenic properties, and areas of blight or decay. The City is enhancing its photos of Geneva streetscapes and property in the database, hoping to draw the film industry back to town. You may recall when the "Road to Perdition" film crew shot some scenes here in 2002 (pictured above). It was loads of fun for residents and gave Geneva some worldwide publicity.

Geneva is fortunate to have a great number of beautiful homes and buildings with character. It is easy to picture these special places, big and small, in the movies. We hope you will consider this opportunity. Read more about how Geneva has made film history in the Shop, Dine, Experience Geneva blog.

Check Out New Geneva Businesses
Several new businesses now call Geneva home, and you can check out the latest additions on the City's  New Business Map. Want to plan a fun outing, day or weekend in Geneva? Find a comprehensive Business Directory online and visit the City's Explore Map for a handy guide to restaurants, shops and experiences in Geneva.

Police News: Winter Driving Safety Tips

For the most part, Geneva has been spared from heavy snowfall during the fall as 2019 wound down to a close. However, living in the Midwest, we all know weather forecasts can change quickly during the winter. The Geneva Police Department thought it would be a good time to provide some basic safety reminders.
  1. While we all prefer to get into a warm car every day, leaving an unattended vehicle running is creating an opportunity to have your car stolen. Each winter season, many motorists have their vehicles stolen in the suburbs. While Geneva is an extremely safe community, we are not immune. If you are going to warm up your car, consider the use of a car starter.
  2. When driving on snow-covered or icy roadways, assure that you leave sufficient time to reach your destination.
  3. If you are driving when snow removal operations are in progress, please leave a safe distance between you and the plow truck. The snowplow operators are driving large vehicles that need more time to stop. Due to the important work they are trying to accomplish, they frequently drive more slowly than other traffic.
  4. Assure that you have emergency supplies in your vehicle and that your cell phone is completely charged when you leave home. Some helpful supplies might include a shovel, blanket, and a flashlight.
  5. Be mindful of black ice on bridges, which tend to freeze more quickly. It is very common for the Geneva Police Department to respond to accidents on the bridges in our community during snowy and/or icy weather.
  6. If possible, communicate travel plans with family members or friends. 
Fire Department News: Residents Urged To Keep Fire Hydrants Clear Of Snow

When snow falls this winter, 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 News: Protect Local Waterways From Excessive Salting
Winter salting of driveways and walkways can be necessary to prevent ice and fall hazards. However excess salt dissolves and enters the City's storm drain system and local waterways.

Deicing salt contains chloride, which when dissolved in snowmelt and stormwater runoff, is released into our local waters and ecosystem. Chlorides can reach levels high enough to impact fish and degrade local ecosystems.

For example, 1 teaspoon of salt is enough to contaminate 5 gallons of water to toxic levels for fish and other aquatic organisms. Salt can also negatively affect the composition of the soil, affecting plant growth.

More salt does not necessarily mean more effectiveness. Follow these steps as a best practice for winter salt use: 
  • Shovel your sidewalk or driveway of snow before you apply salt. Never put salt on top of snow.
  • Use the proper deicer for the conditions: typical driveway salt will not melt ice below 15°F.
  • Spread the salt sparingly and only where necessary.
  • Sweep up any leftover salt for reuse.
The City of Geneva utilizes multiple strategies to combat winter weather.

Prior to a snow or ice event, the City applies a salt brine solution (white lines) to the roads as conditions allow. Salt brine is a combination of salt and water mixed to 23% salinity. Anti-icing uses less salt and helps cover more ground. The solution prevents ice and snow from bonding to the roadway and provides an added benefit of having to use less salt on the back end of the storm to get the streets cleared to bare pavement.

The City is utilizing a pre-wet salt strategy in all storms. Pre-wetting the salt starts the chemical reaction to create a "hot salt" before it even hits the pavement. The pre-wet salt reduces bouncing and scattering to allow more salt to stay on the street. Again, this strategy cuts down on the amount of salt needed to clear roads from winter's worst weather.   
Still Time To Place That Parkway Tree Order

Geneva residents desiring a new parkway tree to be planted this spring can still place their order after the City extended the application deadline to Friday, Jan. 10.

People can find a list of available tree species, details about the City's cost-sharing program, an application form and more information on the City's website.

Kane County Offers Clothes/Textile Recycling
How To Recycle Old Electronics     

Got the latest and greatest digital gift but not sure what to do with your old devices? Here are two ways to recycle those electronics.
Kane County is offering a new opportunity for people to recycle clothing and textiles through the County's electronics recycling drop-off sites or collection events.

The nearest drop-off location is 517 E. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Information for the West Dundee drop-off location and 2020 recycling events held in St. Charles can be found on Kane County's website.

The program accepts clean clothing, paired shoes, bedding, towels, and other household textiles in any condition (clean please); toys, accessories, and purses. Items not able to be reused are turned into cleaning/painting rags, insulation, packing material or carpeting.

Kane County's electronics recycler, eWorks has partnered with RewearAble to collect clothing and textiles for reuse and recycling. Both organizations are non-profits that provide sustainable employment for adults with disabilities.

For more information, contact Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland at 630-208-3841 or via email.

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.