Winter 2014

In This Issue
Christmas Tree Disposal Schedule
Parking Deck Expansion
Snow Parking Regulations
Downtown Master Plan
Art on Fire
Ride in Kane Fare Increase
Website Photo Gallery
Paint A Rain Barrel For A Good Cause
Fire Department News
Community Development Department News
Administrative Services Department News
Public Works Department News
Economic Development Department News
Do Not Feed Coyotes 

Winter is a time when coyotes become more prevalent. We have useful tips on our website on how to make your neighborhood less desirable for these wild animals. Click text for more info.
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Thank You for Your Donation!
The City would like to thank the following donors to the Geneva Beautification Committee for the fourth quarter of 2013 (as of Dec. 27):

Marian M. Allen
Madelon C. Clymo
Jim and Judy Corfield
Crystal Life Technology, Inc.
First State Bank
John and Jean Gaines
Geneva Chamber of Commerce
Gen Hoe Restaurant
Gerald and Jane Grupe
Marvin and Linda Haseman
Havlicek Builders
Jim and Peggy Ivers
W. Clyde and Sharon Jones
Lynn P. Landberg
Scott and Ann Loehrke
Craig and Karen Maladra
Ken and Kathy McNeil
Christopher and Joy Meade
Miscella Real Estate
Richard Ognie
The Olive Mill
Charles and Barbara Radovich
Sandra Webster Ltd.
SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits
Michael Simon and Nancy Sohn
Ron and Marilyn Singer
The Smith Family Foundation
Mitzi Strike
Bob and Dana Teichart
Jim and Sherri Weitl
The Wellington Group, Inc. 



Mayor's Message 
Dear Neighbors,

As we collectively turn the page on 2013 and begin creating the narrative for the new year, I'm proud to be among the growing chorus of friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances who wish you a happy, healthy, successful and enjoyable 2014. 
It's typical to reflect on all that has transpired over the course of the last 12 months; and equally typical to wonder what may happen in the 12 months hence.


But, in doing so, we too often ignore that what "has happened" and what we hope "will happen" is often the result of what we ourselves were and are willing to do to make things so. In other words, we can wish things were different and hope things will be different but without working to make it so, we're surrendering the results to happenstance. 
So, in 2014 join me and others who feel as I do and contribute your time, talent and treasure to make what matters most to you and Geneva become reality.
There are ample volunteer opportunities at the City, schools, Park District, Library, township and countless nonprofit organizations who can benefit from our service.


Perhaps lending a hand to help beautify Geneva, ensure our parks are clean, help students succeed in the classroom, teach kids and adults to read, raise money for life-changing and life-saving research or any such worthwhile program, your talent will be appreciated and your contribution can truly make a difference. 
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2014 is the year of the horse. As such, the spirit of the horse is recognized as making unremitting efforts to improve themselves and the community in which we belong. 
So, to carry the theme forward, let's all "saddle-up" and charge ahead to make Geneva an even better place to call home in 2014 by investing our energies and enthusiasm for the benefit of the more than 22,000 people who share this plot of land we call home.
Happy New Year.  


My best,




Kevin Burns
Live Christmas Tree Collection Schedule

Geneva residents will have two weeks to dispose of their live Christmas trees for free starting in January.      
 christmas tree pickup

Trees will be collected on people's normal garbage collection day the weeks of Jan. 13 and Jan. 20 by the City's refuse contractor, Advanced Disposal. Residents must place their live tree at the curb no later than 7 a.m. on their scheduled collection day.

No refuse stickers will be required for this service.

Ornaments, tinsel, garland, hooks, nails, tree stands and other hard materials should be removed from the trees prior to disposal.

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

For more information, call the City's Public Works Department at 630-232-1501.


Commuter Parking Deck Expansion



Commuter and downtown parking will get a boost in 2014 as plans move forward to construct a third tier to the Third Street parking deck.

The project would provide an additional 180 parking spaces to the existing structure. Construction is scheduled to start in spring or summer and is anticipated to take six months to complete.

The deck is being expanded in order to accommodate more parking that will be lost as part of Metra and Union Pacific's future plans to add a third rail line, which will remove some existing surface parking lots. Metra will reimburse the City the entire $5.5 million cost for the parking deck project.

During construction, the parking deck will be closed. The City has made temporary arrangements for a park-and-ride program at the First Baptist Church East Campus, 2300 South St., and for the baseball field parking lot east of the Public Works Department, 1800 South St. The park-and-ride lots and the shuttles, which will operate during rush hours to and from Geneva's Metra Station, will be free.

Permit users also can also park in any of the three City-owned lots (see map). Daily fee parking will be available in the overflow lot off of Route 31. Normal fees apply for these lots.

The parking deck is primarily designated for commuters, but free parking is available starting at 4 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends. No overnight parking is permitted in the deck starting at midnight.

Once completed, the expanded deck will provide parking for about 540 vehicles. More information will be available in the coming months on the City's website.


Snow Removal Operations & Parking Regulations
The City of Geneva would like to remind residents about parking regulations to ensure plowing operations run smoothly and efficiently throughout the community.

When road conditions become hazardous, streets that are posted with "Snow Emergency Route" signage are cleared of snow and ice first. Snow emergency routes are typically streets that have a large volume of traffic and higher speed limits. Parking on all snow routes is prohibited when the snowfall exceeds 2 inches or more.
snow plow
Once snow emergency routes have been cleared of snow and ice, crews will then target secondary roadways, alleys, cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets. Parking is not permitted on secondary streets when there is a snowfall of 3 inches or more.

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

It is strongly recommended residents remove their cars from the streets when a snow storm is forecasted to avoid being ticketed or having their vehicles towed. Parking is not permitted on secondary streets at any time within 12 hours following a snowfall of 3 inches or more or until a street has been plowed to the curb.

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

Geneva plows 244 total lane miles during a snow storm. Residents concerned about plowing on a particular street can contact the Public Works Department directly through the City's online request tracker.
The City has been providing updates on the Public Works snow removal operations on Facebook, Twitter and our website during major weather events. Residents also can receive community alert updates via email or text message from our website.
Downtown Master Plan Sets Vision For Positive Growth & Change




The Downtown Master Plan, adopted by the City Council in 2012, is used to guide decisions on land use and development, public improvements, local government facilities, and open space.

A two-year planning process involving residents, merchants, and local government officials produced the plan. Here are some plan highlights.

1) Stress preservation of downtown's authentic historic character. Buildings that are important to downtown's historic character are recommended for preservation. Some buildings and sites that do not possess historic or architectural merit are recommended for potential redevelopment. 

2) Emphasize downtown as the City's central business district by recommending areas for commercial redevelopment, including properties near the Geneva Metra Station, and along portions of West State Street, Hamilton Street and East State Street. 

3) Reinforce downtown as the civic heart of the City with government presence. The plan recommends expansion of some government facilities, and relocation of other facilities to alternative downtown sites. Some facilities are recommended for adaptive reuse. 

4) Encourage diversified housing stock by recommending locations for new townhouses/row-houses, apartments and condominiums. Multi-family housing is suggested along portions of North First Street, North River Lane, Hamilton Street, James Street, East State Street, and in the vicinity of the Metra Station.   

5) Improve transportation/pedestrian flow. Recommendations include:

* Pedestrian signals.
* Expansion of sidewalk areas at intersections along West State Street.
* Extension of Seventh Street north to Stevens Street.
* Construction of two new pedestrian/bikeway bridges across the Fox River.
* Construction of a roundabout (traffic circle) at Third Street and Route 31.
* Two new commuter parking lots south of the Union Pacific tracks between Third Street and Route 31 and a second site east of Route 31.
* New diagonal on-street parking along West State Street between Fourth and Seventh streets. 

More information on the plan's recommendations is available on the City's website.



Take A Tour Of Our 'Art On Fire' Hydrants



You may have seen decorated fire hydrants in the downtown and other areas throughout Geneva and now you can view all of them online with our new interactive map.

"Art on Fire" was a program initiated by Mayor Kevin Burns to have individuals "adopt" and paint fire hydrants last fall to display creative artwork throughout Geneva. All 41 painted hydrants were judged by the City's Public Arts Advisory Committee and Cultural Arts Commission.

Three Geneva residents were honored by the City Council for their artistic contributions to the City's inaugural hydrant design program. Cecilia Holinger won first place for her "Courthouse Owls" design located at Third and Fulton streets. Meghan McKenna's "Color Storm" (State and Third streets) and Lorraine Ochsner's "Santa" (Fifth and Campbell streets) hydrants earned second and third place respectively.

For more information about the "Art on Fire" program, visit the City's website.


Ride in Kane Transit Fare Increases $1 In 2014
Geneva senior citizens and disabled residents who utilize the Ride in Kane transportation service will have to pay $1 more per ride starting this year.

Since its debut in 2008, the regular fare for rides within 10 miles has been $3. However, due to escalating fuel costs, the basic fare will increase to $4 starting in January. The rate change is necessary to provide the same quality service for riders.
The cost for rides exceeding 10 miles will remain the same price at $1.50 for each additional mile. Riders are not required to tip the driver.
The City sponsors the Ride in Kane program for seniors age 65 and older and disabled residents. Due to increased program demand, the City instituted additional regulations starting in September, including:

* All Geneva clients are now serviced by Pace buses (no taxi rides);
* Use is restricted to a maximum of 30 one-way rides each month per rider; and
* The program service area is limited to Kane County.

For more information, call the City's Ride in Kane Coordinator, Sherri Weitl, at 630-232-7494.
Check Out Our Website Photo Gallery


You can relive the memories of the Christmas Walk last month by visiting the online photo gallery located on our website. We also have a gallery from our Student Government Program Day, where Geneva High School students toured our facilities and learned about our government operations. We'll be posting more photos throughout 2014 on all the great events and happenings around Geneva.



Natural Resources Committee Seeking Talented Artists To Decorate Rain Barrels

The City of Geneva's Natural Resources Committee (NRC) is looking for a few good artists to put their creative mark on the upcoming 2014 Rain Barrels on Parade campaign.

The NRC is offering rain barrels for artists willing to donate their time and talents by painting a barrel that will be showcased around Geneva next summer promoting the importance of water conservation.

The decorated barrels then will be auctioned, and money collected by the committee will go straight toward the planting of more trees. 

The NRC's mission is to promote awareness and conservation principles in Geneva. During the past several years, the group has raised money through Rain Barrels on Parade and another successful community fundraiser, Wine, Cheese and Trees. Money from those events supported the NRC's "Greening Geneva" initiative - a reforestation program for City parkways.

The NRC presented the City with a $10,000 donation in September to purchase 30 new trees for downtown Geneva.

Artists interested in painting a rain barrel should contact Jay Womack, Natural Resources Committee chairman, at [email protected]



News & Notes from the Fire Department

City Offers Free Home Safety Inspections 


Fires can happen in any home at any time. Understanding what you can do to improve fire safety could help save lives and prevent damage to your home.


The Geneva Fire Department offers free home inspections as a valuable service to the residents of Geneva. A home inspection will cover many areas of potential hazards GFD logoand will equip people with the knowledge to keep you and your family safe year round. 


The inspector will review and make recommendations on:
* Fireplace and chimney maintenance and safety
* Gas appliances and flues
* Safe use and storage of fuels and flammable liquids
* Safe use of space heaters
* Utility shut-off locations and how to shut off utilities in an emergency
* Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
* Fire extinguishers
* Electrical safety
* Family safety and safety concerns for children


A written report is left with the homeowner at the end of each inspection. Inspectors will point out areas of concern and may recommend corrections to be made. The program is completely voluntary.


To schedule an appointment, call the Geneva Fire Department at 630-232-2530. For more information, visit the City's website.




Keep Fire Hydrants Cleared Of Snow This Winter


You would not let your friend stand buried in snow at the curb in front of your house, would you? Of course not! However, if your house was on fire, a fire hydrant could be the best friend you have. 


A fast and adequate water supply for the Fire Department can make the difference between minor damage and major destruction. The Public Works Department is aware of the hydrants and tries very hard to avoid covering them with plowed snow. However, and especially in cul-de-sac's, this is very difficult to do since there is not much space to pile the snow between driveways, mailboxes and fire hydrants.

If you are fortunate enough to have a hydrant in front of your house, do the Fire Department and yourself a favor by clearing the snow away and making hydrants visible from the street.



News & Notes from the Community Development Department

Homes For A Changing Region: Next Steps


A community housing analysis that started last summer and will be finished in 2014 has revealed a great deal about our community.

Housing is considered to be affordable when a household spends less than 30 percent of its income on housing (or less than 45 percent on housing and transportation costs). The housing analysis for Geneva shows demand exceeds supply of affordable owner-occupied housing now and in the future (2040) for income groups earning less than $75,000, and for those earning above $150,000. Also, demand exceeds supply of affordable renter-occupied housing for those earning less than $35,000. 

Geneva is partnering with Batavia, North Aurora, and St. Charles to craft a multi-community housing policy plan (Central Fox Valley Housing Plan). The purpose of the plan is to identify national, regional, and local trends that shape housing supply and demand, define housing needs, and identify strategies to achieve a balanced housing mix across the entire age and income spectrum.


The final plan will include recommended housing policies and strategies for each municipality, as well as recommendations on how the municipalities can work together to address housing needs. 

Since last June, work on the housing plan included an analysis of each municipality comparing the type and price of the housing stock to the age, income and housing tenure (rental or owner-occupied) of the population. Future housing needs were projected, and the capacity of each municipality to meet needs was determined.

Community workshops were held to share information and gather ideas and preferences from residents on the future of housing. Draft plan recommendations will be presented at public meetings early in 2014, and the plan is scheduled to be completed this summer.

Assistance in creating the plan is being provided by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Metropolitan Planning Council, Metropolitan Mayor's Caucus, and Kane County Development Department. For more details on Geneva's housing analysis, visit the City's website.


News & Notes from the Administrative Services Department
City Relocates East Side Utility Bill Payment Drop Box 


Residents who utilize the City's east side utility bill payment drop box will find its new home in front of the Geneva Fire Department Headquarters, 200 East Side Drive.

The box was relocated after the U.S. Bank closed its east side branch facility at 1009 E. State St. in 2013.

The City has three other utility payment drop boxes, including behind City Hall, 22 S. First St.; the City's Finance Division, 15 S. First St.; and Fire Station No. 2, 2530 Fargo Blvd. Residents need to include both their check and payment stub in the envelope so they do not get separated.

Residents also are encouraged to pay their utility bills online at the City's website or set up an automatic payment via their checking account. More information about both options can be found on the City's website.



City's Budget Team Honored With GFOA Award
For the fourth consecutive year, the City of Geneva has earned national recognition for its budget.


The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded the City the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, recognizing how well the fiscal 2013-14 budget was developed and implemented. The awards program is the only national honor for governmental budgeting.


The GFOA established the awards program in 1984 to "encourage and assist state and local governments to prepare documents of the very highest quality," according to its website.


"Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America," the GFOA said in a statement.


In spite of the ongoing fiscal challenges the past six years, City officials continue to take proactive steps to manage increasing costs and declining revenue streams. The City's Budget Team will be busy the next few months finalizing the 2014-15 fiscal year spending plan, which starts May 1. 



 News & Notes from the Public Works Department
Recycle Those Old Electronics, Christmas Lights 
Geneva residents looking to get rid of their old electronics and holidays lights can safely and conveniently recycle them at the Public Works Department, 1800 South St.
The Public Works Department has a large container just inside the gate area on the west side of the building where you can place your used electronics. The site is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, excluding holidays.

This is a self-service program. Residents should take their items directly to the large container and stack their equipment inside.

To review a list of accepted items, visit the City's website or call the Geneva Public Works Department at 630-232-1501. 
Hazardous Household Waste Collection Right At Your Front Door
Geneva residents looking to safely dispose of motor oil, old paint cans or other hazardous household waste materials can now conveniently schedule to have them collected right at their front door.
The City has contracted with At Your Front Door Special Collection, a division of Waste Management, to provide free home pickup of unwanted hazardous household materials. Each household may schedule one collection per year as the City's budget allows.
Residents will be able to dispose of paint products, pesticides, motor oil, household batteries, automotive products, garden chemicals, household cleaners, fluorescent tubes and more. A complete list of accepted items can be found on the City's website.
Liquid materials must be in a sealed, labeled container that is 5 gallons or less.

Biological waste, appliances, ammunition, asbestos, tires, medicines, swimming pool chemicals or radioactive materials will not be accepted. The program is for residential customers only, and no business materials will be collected. 
Residents can schedule a collection by calling 800-449-7587 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, making an online appointment at or by emailing [email protected]
Once an appointment has been scheduled, a 30-gallon kit bag, labels and instructions will be mailed to the homeowner.
Choose The Right Light Bulb To Meet Your Needs
Did you know that CFLs produce six times as much light and last 10 times longer? Today, in choosing the correct light bulb, our Electric Division offers a few tips: 

  • Look for Lumens in selecting a bulb for brightness. The more lumens in a bulb, the brighter it will be. Watts is a measure of the units of power to light a bulb.
  • Look for Color of Light ranging from cool to warm.
  • Cool lights have higher Kelvin temperatures and better for visual tasks because they increase contrast.
  • Warm lights have lower Kelvin temperatures and generally are used for living spaces for a more complimenting appearance.  
News & Notes from Economic Development

Tickets Now On Sale For Eat Your Art Out! - Feb. 20 at The Herrington Inn & Spa
After wrapping up a fifth season of the lauded Dancing with the Geneva Stars in 2013, the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission is excited to introduce its new annual gala event, Eat Your Art Out!


For the first time in Geneva, art will be paired with food and wine as The Herrington Inn's Executive Chef, Jason Tsoris, creates culinary masterpieces inspired by fine local art.


The inspirational art will be on display throughout the evening and available for purchase during an  exciting live auction. A number of silent auction items will also be available. 
Mark your calendars now to save the date. Seating is limited for this exclusive event.
Eat Your Art Out! is presented by the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission as a fundraiser for their many cultural art programs and their mission of creating diverse arts experiences for the residents of Geneva and its neighbors.


To purchase tickets and for more information, visit the City's website





Geneva Bank & Trust Honored with Mayor's Choice Award


Geneva Bank & Trust was recognized this fall with the second annual Mayor's Choice Award for Business Investment by demonstrating community leadership and preserving the historic character of their new home, the former Pure Oil Company building at 514 W. State St.


Mayor Kevin Burns presented the award to Darla Yhost, vice president/bank manager, Nov. 15 at the City's annual Holiday Kick-off Breakfast at the Herrington Inn and Spa.


"In choosing Geneva Bank & Trust as this year's recipient, we considered investment in Geneva in terms of their building as well as investment in the community," Mayor Burns said. "The bank continually steps up to take a leadership role; this year as a sponsor of the Geneva Folk Festival, sponsoring music in the downtown Saturday prior to the Festival and as an organizer of the 2013 Shop Local/Bank Local promotion currently underway."


The Pure Oil Company station, an "English Cottage-style" building constructed in white brick with a blue roof and trim, was opened in 1937 along the historic Lincoln Highway during a time when these businesses began developing their own, unique architectural styles as a way to brand their name and product. 


The former station serves as a significant piece of Geneva's history, which was preserved after becoming the home to Geneva Bank & Trust in March. The bank's sign post is a genuine Pure Oil sign that was found in West Virginia. The bank also was able to replace the blue terra cotta roof tiles by tracking down the original manufacturer, who opened a production line that had not been used in 40 years.


During the presentation, Mayor Burns noted the bank renovation has garnered state and national recognition from historic preservation agencies.


Geneva Bank & Trust is involved in 26 community organizations and has performed more than 600 hours of community service in 2013. The bank had 47 Geneva merchants participate in the Shop Local/Bank Local program campaign, contributing more than $2,200 in gift certificates and merchandise.





Name Change
Niala Conte Boutique, 207 S. Third St. #200 & 210 

Benjamin Ryan Productions, LLC, 330 W. State St. #2 
Chervon North America, 407 S. Third St. #220 
Re Lux Vintage, 316 Franklin St., Building 2
Hair Designs by Amie, 612 W. State St.
Flourishing Finish Interior & Event Design, 830 E. State St.
The Gaming Goat, 715 E. State St. #1
Pure Barre, 500 S. Third St., #123 
Prairie Path Wood Renewal, 204  Dearborn Court #103
Suburban Laboratories, 1950 S. Batavia Ave.
European Wax, 1056 Commons Drive #7
Geneva Acupuncture, 500 Lark St. #B
U Break I Fix, 1096 Commons Drive
McGleam Studios, 227 S. Third St. #105
Tai's Beauty Lounge, 507 S. Third St. #H 
Edwards Jones, Cynthia Miller, 2172 Blackberry Drive #108
State Street Jewelers, 230 W. State St.
Prettiest Star, The Berry House, 227 S. Third St. #103
America's Treasures Antiques Furniture & Gifts, 10 N. Third St.
About Geneva


Located 40 miles west of Chicago along the Fox River, Geneva is home to 21,495 residents and serves as the seat of Kane County government. Geneva's character is found in its historic architecture, adaptive re-use of historic buildings, mature landscapes and open space with more than 700 acres of park land. With festivals and events year-round, Geneva is a place to connect with others for shopping, dining or browsing art galleries. Home to excellent schools, library and parks, Geneva continues to be one of the premier cities in the Chicago area to live, work, play and raise a family. For the latest news, visit the City's website.