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Spring 2011

In This Issue
Brush Collection
Budget Update
Earth Day Apr. 16
2011 Ornaments
Street Improvements
South Historic District
Historic Preservation News
Call Before You Dig
ESDA Needs Volunteers
Fire Dept. Programs
Earthquake Preparedness
Fire Safety Tips
Mental Health Board News
Free Safety Inspections
Geneva Giving Program
City Seeks Committee Member
Economic Dev. News
Customer Service Survey
Audio Walking Tour
Beautification Fundraisers
Quick Links
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Channel 10 Info.
Residents can watch Comcast Cable Ch. 10 for City Council and Committee of the Whole meetings (broadcast live on Monday nights at 7:00pm and rebroadcast daily on the 7s & 1s) as well as 'on demand' at 
If you don't have Comcast cable, you can check out a DVD of meetings at City Hall. Call (630) 232-7494 for more info.
"City Stuff" Store
City-inspired merchandise/gifts are available for sale at City Hall Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm.  Stop in to see the assortment of gifts and trinkets. Items range from stadium cushion, pens, mugs, and baseball caps.
Mayor's Message 

Mayor Burns

Dear Neighbors,


In the immortal words of William Shakespeare, "Action is eloquence".  Therefore, whatever action we take speaks directly to our eloquence - or lack thereof - and our ability to convey our message, objectives, goals and vision. 


As the City of Geneva marches toward a new fiscal year, confident in its ability to provide the services we have all come to expect, appreciate and value, I for one will heed Mr. Shakespeare's words and take action to address the challenges and embrace the opportunities that come Geneva's way.   I will take measure in my words and deeds to ensure that such action reflects the character of our community and serves the best interests of our residents, businesses and guests.  


I invite you to join me in speaking eloquently about what matters most to you and take action to see it gets done.  Work alongside me, your Aldermen, the City's professional staff and your neighbors and participate in shaping your beloved hometown.  


Imagine the City of Geneva as a community pool.  There are those who dive right in regardless of the temperature of the water.  Others gingerly dip their toes so they know what they're about to experience.  Others still take advantage of the zero-depth design and slowly walk themselves into the water until the water is finally shoulder high.  And, lastly, there are those who simply sit on the pool deck and watch everyone else. 


The City of Geneva effectively displays an "Open Swim" sign and cordially invites everyone and anyone to enter the pool and enjoy the water.  Don't just sit on the pool deck. 


My best,  






Kevin R. Burns, Mayor 



Important Dates

April 14-16

Geneva Film Festival


April 16

Earth Day
11am - 3pm

RiverPark (River Lane north of Hamilton St.)


April 18

Public Hearing

2011/12 City Budget


City Hall (109 James St.)


May 6
First Friday Art Gallery Walk


May 14



May 30

Memorial Day Parade


steps off at Crescent & Third Street &

proceeds north to Wheeler Park


June 3

First Friday Art Gallery Walk


June 21-26

62nd Annual Swedish Days Festival


July 1

First Friday Art Gallery Walk


July 23-24

Geneva Arts Fair




Brush & Yard Waste Collection Resumes



West Side Collection Dates

(west of the Fox River):


April 4 and 18

May 2 and 16

June 6 and 20

July 4 and 18

Aug. 1 and 15

Sept. 5 and 19

Oct. 3 and 17

Nov. 7 and 21


East Side Collection Dates

(east of the Fox River)


April 11 and 25

May 9 and 23

June 13 and 27

July 11 and 25

Aug. 8 and 22

Sept. 12 and 26

Oct. 10 and 24

Nov. 14 and 28



Yard waste paper bag collection resumes April 1.  Yard waste bags will be collected on residents' regular refuse collection day.  Residents can find complete program details and requirements at: 

2011-12 City Budget Update & Public Hearing Information


budget coverThe City Council recommended approval of the proposed fiscal year 2011-2012 budget at their March 7 and March 14, 2011 Committee of the Whole meetings.  The budget will be presented at a public hearing, followed by a City Council meeting, on April 18, 2011 for formal approval.  The City's fiscal year begins on May 1, 2011 and the budget must be adopted no later than April 30, 2011 in accordance with state law. 


The City Council continues to respond to the current economic environment by reducing the General Fund another 10% in the proposed budget.  Last year, the City reduced General Fund expenditures by 1% and the year before that, by 20%.  The proposed budget for fiscal year 2011-12 includes holding the line on a reduced number of staff positions, fewer materials and supplies, and postponing the replacement of equipment, while committing to maintaining a superior level of customer service for our community.


The City's revenues have decreased over the past three (3) years while costs for goods and materials continue to rise.  To date, sales tax revenues remain flat, after a 15% decrease in FY2009-10, accounting for approximately 44% of the City's general operating fund next fiscal year.  Income taxes paid by Geneva residents, which are collected by the State, will account for approximately 9% of the general operating fund.  The General Fund supports fire, police, public works, and other core services.  State legislators are currently considering taking the City's distributive share of these funds away in order to balance its ailing budget.  As a result, these services could be in jeopardy without a funding replacement.  The Mayor and City Council have gone on record to state officials that the state's budget problems cannot be remedied on the backs of our citizens; particularly in light of the budget reductions that the City has made over the past three (3) years, as well as always meeting the statutory mandate to adopt a balanced budget prior to the beginning of each fiscal year.


The City has historically been conservative in its expenditures.  Reductions have been made in every department over the past several years to offset normal and abnormal increases in operating expenses including insurance, fuel and other commodities, as well as unfunded state mandates.


As the City begins the new fiscal year on May 1, the Mayor, City Council and staff continue to take a "maintenance" approach to services, especially within the operating budgets.  It is anticipated that the City of Geneva (like all other cities) will face a funding gap in future years if the State of Illinois follows through on its threat to seize municipal funds (such as income taxes, sales taxes and motor fuel taxes) in order to subsidize its own budget deficit.  Potential future funding gaps will be addressed by a continued reduction of City expenditures.  The City has, and will continue to, implement spending reductions such as leaving positions unfilled, decreasing equipment and vehicle purchases, limiting or eliminating overtime, reducing fuel consumption, and adapting to the challenges ahead.  Capital projects may be limited only to those necessary to address the safety and welfare of the community.  We are committed to a balanced and fiscally sound budget that will provide high quality public services, while managing the challenges of current economic times.


As in the past, City staff will provide monthly financial updates to the City Council and the public at City Council meetings.  A copy of the proposed 2011-2012 budget is available at City Hall, the Geneva Library, and online at the City's website at  Please contact City Administrator Mary McKittrick at with questions.


City of Geneva
Proposed Budget


General Fund: $14,655,725

Electric Fund: $32,464,975

Water/wastewater Fund: $8,513,380

Total Budget: $71,786,885

 General Fund Expenses: Decreased by 10%

Electric Fund Expenses:  Decreased by 3%

Water/wastewater Fund:  Increased by 0.3% 

Tax levy:  $6,333,349

Tax levy rate: $0.6005 per $100 of assessed valuation

City portion of homeowner's tax bill: Approximately 8% of the average tax bill



Visit RiverPark for Earth Day Activities April 16

recycle logo

Please join the Natural Resources Committee of Geneva for an Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 16th from 11am - 3pm.


This annual event is gearing up to be the best yet, featuring various local merchants, free bicycle tune-ups, electronic recycling, paper shredding, CFL handouts, and heirloom plants from Ball Horticulture (one per family).


This year's event will be held at RiverPark (River Lane north of Hamilton Street) of Geneva where tours will be given, visitors can learn about the geology that shaped the landscape around Geneva, and how native plants of the prairie ecosystem are an important aspect of our history. Within the park there will be games for children sponsored by the Geneva Public Library and the Geneva Park District. As stewards of the land, we all can play a part to help improve the environment both at the local and regional scale.

2011 City Ornament On Sale May 2!


The City's 2011 commemorative ornament will be available for sale beginning Monday, May 2 at City Hall.  This year's ornament (2nd in a series) depicts Geneva City Hall, built in 1912 by the Wilson Brothers, well-known architects from that era.  The pewter ornament comes in a velvet drawstring case and will be $12.00 (tax included) while supplies last beginning Monday, May 2, 2011.Sorry, no "pre-orders" will be taken before May 2.


2011 ornament
The ornament's front side depicts the James Street entrance to City Hall.  credit K. Kaulfuss

2011 ornament

2011 Street Improvement Project


This year's street program has an estimated cost of approximately $1,500,000. The expected bid opening date is in April. A public hearing will be held after the bid opening for those living near or on the project. Construction is expected to begin near the end of May or first part of June. The roads to be resurfaced under this project are as follows:








Kaneville Rd

Sterling Ave

Viking Drive


Schoop Drive

Fargo Blvd

Blackman Rd


Herrington Rd

Schoop Dr

Schoop Dr


Herrington Pl

Herrington Rd

Dead End


Fargo Blvd

Keim Circle

Western Ave


Charles St

Center St

West State St


Logan Ave

Peyton St

West State St


James St

Seventh St

Kaneville Rd


Ninth St

West State St

James St


Franklin St

River Ln

Third St


Franklin St

Fourth St

Seventh St


South St

Fourth St

Seventh St


Wall St

School St

Bennett St


Chalmers St

Nebraska St

Kansas St


Kansas St

East State St

Chalmers St


Sandholm St

East State St

Simpson St



Manchester Alley Reconstruction-Over the last several years, the city of Geneva has been replacing alleys with concrete pavement. This year the city will design and construct the next alley scheduled for replacement: the west half of Manchester Alley. This portion of the alley is estimated to cost $300,000 and runs along the southern edge of the Geneva East Subdivision from the middle of the subdivision to Geneva Drive.



Wheeler Park Water Main Extension

The city is designing a water main extension to run from Eklund through Wheeler Park to Route 31. This main will help loop the system allowing for better water quality and water pressure in the area along Route 31. The project is expected to be bid out for construction and built in the late Fall.


Parking Lot Construction

This year the city will reconstruct the Block 50 lot lying between James and West State and Third and Fourth streets. The city will also build a new parking lot in the block lying between Campbell and James and Third and Second. Both projects are expected to be constructed in the late summer/early Fall.


Elm Street Culvert Replacement

The city has plans to replace the culvert at the curve lying along 6th and Elm streets. This project is expected to be constructed in late summer/early Fall.


Third Street Parking Garage Third Level

The city is currently working with Metra to construct a third level on the parking deck. A construction date has yet to be decided.


Illinois 38/Kautz Road Overpass

IDOT has plans to construct an overpass at the IL Rte. 38 and Kautz road intersection over the Union Pacific Railroad. The city is working with IDOT on the relocation of several of the city's utilities. Construction is expected to begin summer of 2011 but is subject to change.


Contact Pam Broviak, Asst. Dir. of Public Works/City Engineer at (630) 232-1501 with questions. 



City To Hold Neighborhood Meeting on Potential South Geneva Historic District



The City of Geneva and the Historic Preservation Commission will host a Neighborhood Informational Meeting on Thursday, May 5th at the Public Works Training Room. 


What is historic district designation?


What does designation mean for property owners?


What alternative designation methods are available?




During the meeting, the Historic Preservation Commission and City Staff will present information on the South Geneva Study Area.  Catherine O'Connor of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency will also present her agency's perspective on historic landmark and historic district designation. 


Please join us!


For more information please visit the special projects section of the Historic Preservation Commission page of the City of Geneva's website at: 


Questions?  Please contact Karla Kaulfuss

630-938-4541 or



Historic Preservation Month - May 2011



Every year in May the City of Geneva joins communities throughout the nation to celebrate Historic Preservation Month.  The theme this year is "Celebrating America's Treasures."  Please join us in any of the events celebrating Historic Preservation Month.  All events are free and open to the public. 


To start off the month's activities the Historic Preservation Commission is hosting an Informational Meeting regarding the South Geneva study area - a potential historic district - on Thursday, May 5th at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Works Training Room, 1800 South Street.  Refreshments will be served. 


On Tuesday, May 10th, the HPC and Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley are hosting a presentation by architect Tom Bassett-Dilley featuring a Historic Energy Retrofit of a historic house in Geneva.  The presentation will be at 7:00 p.m. at the Geneva History Center, 113 S. Third Street, Geneva.  Refreshments will be served.


In addition to the events above, several walking tours are planned but dates and times are yet to be finalized. 


Watch for more information on the City's website or contact Preservation Planner Karla Kaulfuss at 630/938.4541 or for more information. 


Information about Historic Preservation Month will be available on the Historic Preservation page of the City of Geneva's website by mid-April at: 



Call Before You Dig!


811 logo


What is 811?

 811 is the national number designated by the Federal Communications Commission to help protect homeowners and professional excavators from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while working on digging projects - large and small.


Why Call 811?

 Every digging project requires a call to 811. Hitting an underground utility line while digging can harm the environment, cause serious personal injuries, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood and potentially incur fines and repair costs.


When Should I Call 811? 

- Installing a rural mailbox

- Putting in a fence

- Planting trees or shrubbery

- Building a patio or deck

- Excavating a new garden area



How does 811 work? 

- One easy phone call to 811, prior to digging, starts the process of getting your underground utility lines marked for free.

- When you call 811 from anywhere in the country, a representative from your local one-call center will answer your call. Local one call center representative will ask you for the location and description of your digging job, and will notify affected utility companies, who will then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines within a few days of your call.

- Once your underground lines have been marked, you will know the approximate location of your utility lines and can dig safely.


- Please visit, in the "state specific" area of the website, for more information about the one call center in your area.


What happens if I don't call?

Approximately 170,000 underground utilities are damaged each year by digging.

- One out of every three incidents is caused by someone who did not call 811 before digging.

- Knowing approximately where underground utility lines are buried before each digging project helps to prevent these situations.







ESDA Looking for Volunteers


ESDA 1Providing much-needed help to families or individuals in crisis is one of the most generous, selfless gestures you can offer to people in your community. In 2010, volunteers from the Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA) responded to 12 events in Geneva ranging from traffic control for public events, severe weather watches, complex traffic accidents, and structure fires.  "Our volunteers are on the front lines of the services provided to the residents and visitors of Geneva by assisting our police and fire departments as well as local community groups. Volunteers are the lifeblood of ESDA," stated Mayor Kevin Burns.  "ESDA is an integral part of our emergency response protocol. The volunteers are vital to our ability to assist the public during emergencies," said Chief of Police Steve Mexin. "We presently have about six active volunteers in Geneva. If we can recruit more from Geneva and the surrounding communities, we will improve response time and efficiency," stated Fire Chief Steve Olson.


To learn more about the organization and how you can contribute to your community call Fire Chief Steve Olson at (630) 232-2530.




Fire Dept. Offers First Aid and Risk Watch Programs


GFD logoFor children ages 14 and under, the number-one health risk isn't drugs or disease: its injuries. Each year, unintentional injuries kill more than 5,000 kids and injure more than 6 million.  Every time a child is injured or killed by an unintentional injury, everyone suffers - the child, his or her family, classmates and friends, and the entire community. Sadly, the vast majority of these injuries are not random "accidents" - they are predictable and preventable. With education, motivation, and the support of caring adults, we believe that children can learn to be much safer.

Join the Geneva Fire and Police departments for our annual Risk Watch Summer Camp.  The program is for Geneva kids entering first grade.  The program consists of a 2 hour session using fun activities and lessons to teach the kids how to avoid preventable injuries.  The dates for the program are as follows:

Session #1:  July 11, 2011 - July 15, 2011 from 9:00am until 11:00am

Session #2:  July 11, 2011 - July 15th, 2011 from 1:00pm until 3:00pm

Session #3:  July 18, 2011 - July 22, 2011 from 9:00am until 11:00am

* There is a $20 non-refundable deposit for the class.  If you would like more information, or would like to sign up for the program please feel free to contact Officer Frangella of the Geneva Police Department at (630) 232-4736.


CPR Classes at Geneva Fire Department

The Geneva Fire Department is pleased to announce their 2011 schedule for upcoming CPR certification and recertification classes.  

All classes begin promptly at 6:30 pm at Station #1, 200 Eastside Dr.

Heartsaver CPR/AED: For the average "layperson" with no medical background.  Class covers Adult, Child & Infant CPR and use of AED. 

Heartsaver CPR/AED: This type of CPR is for the medical professional.  Usually required by employer.  This group includes, Fire Department, Police Dispatchers, Nurses and Doctors

Upcoming Dates

Heartsaver Classes:  April 13*, April 27, June 8*, June 15

Heathcare Provider: May 18, May 25*, July 20, July 27*

*Recertification class



Earthquake Preparedness Information


Are You Ready to Shake Out?


With more than 40 million people living and working in the central United States, a major earthquake could cause unprecedented disruption and devastation. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like afterwards. With earthquakes an inevitable part of our future, we must act quickly to ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes.


200 years ago, three major earthquakes happened right here in our area! These quakes shook half the country and created Tennessee's largest natural lake! In 1811 there weren't many people or buildings here - the city of Memphis didn't even exist - but today a big quake would be much more dangerous. Learn more about being prepared by joining over a million people in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut on April 28th* at 10:15am.


The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut later this month will involve more than one million people through a broad-based outreach program, partnership with media, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. This event is being organized by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium and the states of:  Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The 2011 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill will be held at 10:15 AM local time on April 28, 2011 (April 19 in Indiana).


To find out more, visit


What Should You Do If An Earthquake Occurs?

Drop, Cover, and Hold On! It is the safest action to take during ground shaking. There are 3 steps:


ˇ DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)


ˇ Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and


ˇ HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.


If there isn't a table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then if possible move to an inside corner of the building. Be in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and be ready to move if necessary, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table-you are more likely to be injured if you try to move around during strong shaking.


These are general guidelines for most situations. Depending on where you are (in bed, driving, in a theater, etc.), you might take other actions. The main point is: Immediately protect yourself as best as possible where you are. Do not move to another location. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl; likely knocking you to the ground where you happen to be. You will never know if the initial jolt will turn out to be the start of the big one. You should Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately! More information is available at

Fire Safety Tips


Thinking about applying a coat of stain to the deck in your backyard or re-finishing a piece of furniture or a hardwood floor? The Geneva Fire Department wants you to remember two important words: Be Careful. 

If you are not careful and don't follow the directions on the container the stain came in, what started as a simple home project could end up with the fire department paying an unscheduled visit to your home. In fact, the Geneva Fire Department has had an increase in the number of fires that have started because of the improper disposal of oily rags. Rags that are soaked in oils and are not disposed of properly can spontaneously start to burn and this can happen within a couple of hours after disposal. While this is a common cause of fires nationwide, it's also a situation that can easily be prevented by following a few simple safety precautions.


Homeowners frequently are incredulous when firefighters have explained the spontaneous combustion issue. "Just think of high school chemistry," said Fire Chief Steve Olson. "Oils cure by a process called oxygen polymerization, which is fancy terminology for oxidation. While the rags containing stain or oils are drying they generate heat that can ignite the rags and any combustible or flammable materials nearby. This process can occur with various types of materials such as gasoline, stain, varnish, and different types of household chemicals."


The good news is that this situation is easy to prevent. To dry soaked rags properly, lay them out in a single layer, or drape them over the edge of a trash can, clothesline, or anything that will allow enough air flow to properly dry the rags, and to dissipate the heat they generate. Once they are completely dry, usually within 24 hours, all of the material has cured and they can be disposed of properly without fear of starting a fire.


A second method is to place the rags in a tightly sealed metal container, such as an empty, clean gallon can of stain or paint, and then place the container in a cool well-ventilated place away from any combustible surface such as wood, plastic, paper or others. Do not store the container in your home, garage, or a storage shed.


If you have any questions regarding this or any other issues please call the Geneva Fire Department at (630)232-2530 or you can visit our web site at

News from the Geneva Mental Health Board

The Geneva 708 Mental Health Board has completed its 2010 Mental Health Survey.  The Mental Health Board, established in 1989, evaluates community mental health services, submits plans to the City for providing these services, and awards grants to service providers of these services.   Mental health services include services for alcoholism, drug rehabilitation, and developmental disability.  In addition, the Board has reserved funds for capital projects.  Last fall, the survey was sent to over 700 randomly selected households in the City. Overall, the respondents in the survey seemed largely unaware of local mental health services or did not know how to use these services. 

However, the responses from local providers of these services-who were provided with the same survey, indicate that the current level of mental health services available to Geneva residents is "poor."  According to the first responders, in the area of substance abuse, more programs are needed for substance abuse treatment, and there are insufficient inpatient and outpatient placement and support options. For people with developmental disabilities, waiting lists of many years for residential funding for adults who have aged out of special education is a tremendous hurdle for them and their families. For the population with mental illness, patients without insurance may wait so long for an inpatient bed, that by the time they are assessed they no longer meet the criteria for inpatient care.

The data from the first responders indicate that although residents struggle with serious mental health problems, the failure to acknowledge mental health challenges in our community has given the Tri-Cities the moniker "Valley of Denial." The Mental Health Board has resolved to address the lack of community awareness in the coming year. We welcome your ideas to achieve this. Send a letter to the Mental Health Board chair Victoria Davidson-Bell, in care of City Hall.

In the meantime, should you become aware of a mental health problem in your family, at your workplace, or in the community, one place to access help is at This guide lists local non-profit agencies providing treatment and support.

City Offers Free Home Safety Inspection Program

In 2009 there were 2,695 fire deaths, 14,740 injuries in 480,500 structure fires in the United States.  82% of all fire deaths occurred in the home.


Fire can happen in any home.  Understanding what you can do to improve fire safety in your own home could help save most of the lives and prevent the injuries that otherwise would occur.


Are you aware that the Geneva Fire Department offers free residential home inspections as valuable service to the residents of Geneva?  You can have your home inspected at no charge by a Geneva firefighter.  A professional inspection can help save lives and property.


Your home inspection will cover many areas of potential hazards and will equip you with the knowledge to keep you and your family safe year around.


In addition to an inspection, additional information is provided on home safety.  Family safety information provided includes home escape plans, smoke detector testing and fire extinguisher use.


A written report is left with the homeowner at the end of each inspection.  Your inspector will point out areas of concern and may recommend corrections to be made.  You may receive a recommendation to consult with a qualified professional with experience.  You should seek a professional with the proper certifications, insurance, bonding and references.


This program is completely voluntary.  No copies of your inspection will be kept at the fire department and no reinspection will be made unless you request one.  If areas of concern are found, they will be pointed out to the homeowner.  The goal is to make you, the homeowner aware of dangers in their homes and to provide options to correct these dangers.


Residential inspections are conducted by appointment only.  The visit to your home will be scheduled at your convenience which typically is in the early evening or weekends.


If you have any questions regarding this or any other issues please call the Geneva Fire Department at (630)232-2530 or you can visit our web site at  


Geneva Giving Program

Helping Geneva retain its beauty and accessibility with the addition of trees, benches, bike racks and more.

treeWhat better way is there to create a memorial than to help beautify our surroundings?  The Geneva Giving Program is an endeavor by the City of Geneva to improve public areas with functional amenities while supporting the various and valuable activities of our volunteer groups.  Individuals and corporations have the opportunity to donate trees, benches, bike racks or contribute financially to the City of Geneva. Potential donors can pick up a brochure at City Hall (22 S. First Street) and the Finance Office (15 S. First Street) or call City Administrator Mary McKittrick at  (630) 262-8495 with questions.

Strategic Plan Advisory Committee Looking for New Member

Want to make a difference in your community but don't know where to start?  The City of Geneva's Strategic Plan Advisory Committee (SPAC) is a group of Genevans who believe that their collective energy can be a catalyst for the common good throughout the community.  SPAC is an advisory board that gives life to the City's strategic plan by prioritizing community goals, sharing them with City staff and elected officials, and assisting in their implementation.  If you are dedicated to preserving our city's charm, cultivating its sense of community, and helping to shape the future - then SPAC is for you.   SPAC is currently accepting applications for appointment in May 2011 to serve a three-year term.  For more information contact Stephanie Dawkins at , 630.938-4540 or Brad Koontz at

News & Notes from Economic Development

Geneva Film Festival Set for April 14-16 at Riverside Receptions        


film festHave you ever heard of One Revolution, Bright, Boys of Bonneville, Swing?  These are some of the top films being shown at this year's Geneva Film Festival.  Come see these and other great independent and short films at Riverside Receptions on Thursday and Friday nights and all day Saturday.  You can check out the screening schedule, movie descriptions, audience ratings, and see some previews at  The admission price per each screening will be $3 with some animation films having a reduced fee.  Tell your friends.  Plan a fun evening out.  Support the arts in downtown Geneva and attend the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission Geneva Film Festival!


Fall in Love with Downtown Geneva Winner


Lauren Lusted of Aurora is the winner of the 2011 Fall in Love with Downtown Geneva grand prize. Lauren

Business Development Specialist Paul Evans congratulates "Fall in Love" winner Lauren Lusted.
will enjoy a one-night stay at the Herrington, a $50 gift certificate for flowers at Town & Country Gardens, a $50 gift certificate for chocolates from Grahams, and dinner for two at the new Table 38 restaurant located at 330 W. State Street.  



Lauren entered the contest at Strawflower Shop while she was in Geneva for the Wedding Walk on February 27. Lauren said she has never won anything and was excited to hear all the certificates included in the grand prize. She loves shopping in Geneva and plans to return here soon.  Congratulations to Laura on winning and her upcoming wedding!  


And thanks to everyone who visited downtown Geneva in February and entered the "Fall in Love with Downtown Geneva" promotion.  Your support of downtown businesses will keep our downtown vibrant.


Dancing with the Geneva Stars Is another Hit for the Arts and GAF



credit: Megan Kelly

 Left to Right:  Ralph and Nancy Dantino (Swing); Anne and Matt Cesarone (Salsa); Amanda and Adam Law (Cha-Cha); Jane and Peter Cladis (Waltz); Jeanne and Donald Cummings (Tango); Therese and Steve Davison (Paso Doble)


Nearly 400 people attended the 2011 Dancing with the Geneva Stars fundraiser on Saturday, February 5 at Eagle Brook Country Club.  Six couples took eight dance lessons from State Street Dance Studio and performed a variety of dances for the sold out crowd.  Jane and Peter Cladis won the event by raising the most dollars.  The gala event generated over $16,000 for the Geneva Cultural Arts and the Geneva Academic Foundation.  Event Chairman Carolyn Hill is already planning next year's event.  If you'd like to get involved with the planning, please contact Paul Evans at City Hall, (630) 845-9654, or  Cultural Arts welcomes new volunteers for each of their programs.


Cultural Arts Center Feasibility Study


The Geneva Cultural Arts Commission has been undertaking a feasibility study on the cultural arts needs and available resources for cultural arts in Geneva.  To that end, the Commission has hired Public Research Group to compile a study based on phone surveys, mail surveys and on-line surveys as well as conducting a public meeting and organizing a Delphi group to gather a wide range of opinions.  A final report on the results is expected to be presented the City Council in May. 


Snow Sculpting Winners



The Geneva Cultural Arts Commission sponsored their 3rd Snow Sculpting exhibition at Geneva Commons January 19-22, 2011.  Four adult professional teams and three high school teams (Batavia, Kaneland and Marmion Academy) competed.  Business participation was up with about a dozen businesses, both on Randall Road and downtown, contributing food or coupons for gift bags. Mermaids by the Batavia High School won the first place for the High School teams and Sea Horses by Joe Gagnepain (shown at left) and team was chosen for the first place professional award.












Energy Grant Making City Buildings More Energy Efficient


Last September, the City of Geneva received an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant for energy efficient equipment at the Police Station and both Fire Stations in the amount of $59,216. The intent of the grant program is to make the City more energy efficient and reduced its energy consumption by installing more efficient energy equipment.  The A/C pre-cooling project could reduce summer peak energy cooling bills by 25-30% and extend the life of the equipment.  The status of these energy projects are as follows:


 ˇ         HVAC equipment for the Police Station - new equipment installed, awaiting payment paperwork

 ˇ         Radiant heater system for Fire Station #2 - new equipment installed, reimbursement pending

 ˇ         A/C pre-coolers for the Police and Fire Station #1 - contract approved, construction to take place in April or May

 ˇ         Condenser Corrosion protection for the Police Station and Fire Station #1 - contract approved, construction to take place in April or May


Kane County Small Cities Grant


In 20010 the City received assistance for a South East Planning Study, via the Kane County Small Cities Grant program.  The project is underway. The Plan is intended to guide business development of the undeveloped lands in the southeast corner of the City's planning jurisdiction (approximately 300 acres).  This sub-area plan would be an amendment to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan which currently recommends the southeast corner of the City's planning jurisdiction to be developed as light industrial with a small area around the perimeter to be commercial use (supporting the already contiguous recreation, lodging, and industrial uses).  A survey is being prepared to send to businesses within the planning boundary and immediate area.  A Public Meeting has been tentatively set for June 16th.  A website will be created with connection from the City website to keep the public informed. Questions on the planning process can be directed to Ellen Divita at (630) 232-7449, or


Upcoming Special Events to be held in Geneva


The City continues to receive applications from local groups and organizations wishing to host a special event and/or fundraiser in the City.  Any group wishing to use public right-of-way, or requesting special City services must obtain permission from the City Council.  Contact Ellen Divita at, or (630) 232-7449 for a special event application.  Applications should be received 60 days in advance of the event.  Here's a list of events already approved for 2011:


  1. Lions Club Diabetes Day fundraising May 13-14, 2011
  2. Gardenology May 14, 2011
  3. Child Advocacy Center walk -  May 21, 2011
  4.  MMTT Kidd's Triathlon at Delnor May 29
  5. Lions of Illinois Annual "Walk for Sight" for Sunday - June 5, 2011
  6. Kane County Health Department Fit for Kids 5K June 11, 2011
  7. Fox River Trails 5K Run July 27, 2011
  8. Swedish Days June 21-26, 2011
  9. SuperWeek ICC Bike Race Saturday July 9th or Sunday July 17, 2011
  10. Geneva Art Fair - July 23-24 
  11. Concours d'Elegance - August 28, 2011
  12. Festival of the Vine - September 9-11, 2011 
  13. Fox Valley Marathon Sunday, September 18, 2011
  14. Black Hat Day - October 1 and October 2
  15. Christmas Walk - December 2-3  

Gather ideas and dreams for your garden!
















Shops and restaurants in downtown Geneva will host the 3rd annual Gardenology on Saturday, May 14 from 10:00am - 4:00pm. Gardenology advisors and vendors will bring their best ideas and garden-related products to jump-start your gardening season. Experts in every horticulture field including farming, landscape design, weavers, local nurseries, a dog trainer, College of DuPage's Horticulture Dept. and others will be on hand to answer your questions. 


What's your cup of tea?

Is it an afternoon tea Atwater's or the Little Traveler? Or skip right to dessert and take a Geneva chocolate tour. Enjoy a true bounty of delights with Sunday brunch at Wildwood or Oscar Swan County Inn. To learn about these and many more events check out the Calendar section of


Geneva History Center offers fun for all ages


A skyscraper made entirely out of LEGOS, a movie in your imagination and stories from everyday Genevans  -- these are just a few of the exciting happenings going on at the Geneva History Center, 113 S. Third Street. The Northern Illinois LEGO Train Club brings their colossal LEGO Show to town on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1. Through June, you can catch 24 interviews of everyday Genevans in the History Center's StoryCorps exhibit.


City Accepting Applications for Economic Development Commission


The City of Geneva seeks members for the newly created Economic Development Commission (EDC). The role of an EDC is to understand the needs of business so that their viewpoint can be taken into consideration as public policy is developed. An effective Economic Development Commission is comprised of community leaders able to ascertain and distill opinions from business across a wide range of industries, and also willing to leverage their own resources to help the community achieve its long term economic vision. The Commission is charged with providing recommendation to the Council on business climate related policies. Commissioners must be willing to assist in identifying community issues and vision, and assist in economic development activities such as business retention and recruitment. Commissioners will hold staggered term limits with a maximum of 2 terms, and will meet at least quarterly. Members should represent a wide range of industry sectors and geographic locations within Geneva. A minimum four of the seven members will be Geneva residents; up to three may work in Geneva but reside elsewhere. In selecting members for the commission, consideration will be given to sectors including, but not limited to: banking, building trades, health care, industrial, retail, real estate and real estate development, tourism/hospitality, and workforce development/education.


Interested individuals should visit the City Website and complete an application which is found at: Questions may be directed to the City Director of Economic Development, Ellen Divita at (630) 232-7449.

Downtown Business Development News


Yes, we've unfortunately seen three long time Geneva businesses close their doors in downtown Geneva - Geneva Hardware, Mill Race Inn, and Viking Office Supply but we invite you downtown to celebrate all the exciting changes downtown.  And, what a difference a year has made!  Have you visited downtown lately? 


The new face of State Street is most evident with the relocated About Face and Body, Bicycle Heaven Core Fusion Studio, Cradles and All, Janeen Home Décor, Denim Loft, The Great Frame Up and the new remodeled Merra Lee.  Plus in the past year we've welcomed these new businesses to State Street: Bali Imports, Carlucci Brothers Pizza, El Molcajete Galena Garlic, Geneva Ale House, Geneva Running Outfitters, Monterrey Place Pizza, Morrison Art Galleries, and Table 38 Restaurant.  We've seen the expansion of Anew Consignment Boutique, Bien Trucha, and Great Harvest Bread now offers soups and sandwiches.


Also relocating downtown: About Home, Home Accessories and Gifts, and Stone Tower Properties.


We've welcomed these new businesses: Anna Ariel Interiors, BB Interiors, Dene Gallery, Denisa's Crepes and Fondue, Denise's Home Adornments, Floral Wonder, Jane Pabon Boutique, Peaceful Parlour, Pet Pals Market, Preservation Bread and Wine, Silver and Gems (in the Berry House), Spice Curls, Split End, Hair Salon, SRNTY Bridal, Strut In Style women's boutique, and Strut In Stuff women's boutique. Persimmon Tree has been transformed into JST4U, DeMarco Designs, DeEsse, and other shops at Shoppes at 127.

All in all, quite a list with more to come.  Downtown Geneva welcomes you!




Please welcome the following new businesses:

Must Love Dogs, 2111 S Randall Rd, located within Home Depot

Geneva Smiles, 477 S 3rd St, Dentist


New Locations:

About Face & Body, 313 W State St, Beauty Products

Bicycle Heaven, 124 W State St

Dolak Law Office, 401 E State St Ste B

La Toccata d' Italia Inc, 101 S 3rd, South Wing, Home Décor


Congratulations on Your Expansion:

Anew Consignment Boutique (now featuring bridal and special event wear), 27 W. State

SRNTY Jeweler and SRNTY Bridal, 228 S. Third Street


Coming Soon:

4M Supplies & Installation, 2202 Gary Lane, Electric & Lightening Rod Installation

Americas Best Contacts & Eyeglasses Inc, 1415 S Randall Rd #A

Chelios Pub, 1996 S. Kirk road

Five Below,1900 S Randall Rd, Retail

Five Guys, 1314 Commons Dr, Restaurant

Forever Vogue Vintage Jewelry, 313 W State St #2B

Nora's Shoe Shop, 12 N 2nd St

Northern Illinois Food Bank, 273 Dearborn Court

Pink Hippo, 500 S 3rd St, #123

Sephora, 406 Commons, Beauty Products

Unique Rug Gallery, 715 E State St

Aggati, Minta's division of fine women's accessories from famous Italian design house called Gattinoni- 500 S. Third St, Suite 117


Relocating Soon:

Minta Interiors, 500 S 3rd St, #105 Home Décor


City Customer Service Survey Online

The City offers an online customer service survey for our residents. 

Please visit to view and/or submit a form.
Take an Audio Walking Tour - "The River & Beyond"

River ParkThe City has created an audio walking tour entitled "The River & Beyond" that residents and visitors alike can take advantage of free of charge.  The files, along with a route map can be downloaded from the city's website at the following link:

Geneva Beautification News
Geneva Beautification 

The Geneva Beautification Committee is a volunteer group of residents and businesses that plant and maintain over 50 gardens in the historic business district of Geneva. The Committee relies solely on volunteers to plant and maintain the gardens. Visit their web site at to find out more about what you can do to help.

About Geneva


courthouseThe City of Geneva, population 21,450, is located 40 miles west of Chicago in the Fox River Valley.  Geneva's character is found in its historic architecture, adaptive re-use of historic buildings, mature landscapes and open space with over 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, it continues to be one of the premiere cities in the Chicago area to live, work, play, and raise a family.