Spring 2015 

In This Issue
Route 38 Road Work Starts In Spring
City Adopts New Coyote Plan
Geneva Is 'The Best Of The West'
Route 31 'Road Diet' Update
New Parking Deck Tier To Open Soon
Celebrate Earth Day April 18
'Art On Fire' Program Returns
City Budget To Be Approved In April
GenevaMail Has A Brand New Look
May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
Share Your Spring Photos With Us
Fire Department News
Community Development Department News
Administrative Services Department News
Police Department News
Public Works Department News
Economic Development Department News
Giving Program 

Geneva residents wanting to make a donation to one of the City's volunteer committees and non-profit programs can do so through the convenience of their monthly utility bill. Customers should notice the donation checkbox on their bill along with a short explanation on that month's volunteer opportunity. Visit the City's website for more information.


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Thank You for Your Donation!
The City would like to thank the following donors to the Geneva Beautification Committee:


Marian M. Allen
AT Cord & Company, Inc. - Jay Moffat
Jean A. Beckmann
Pamela Burgeson
Colin and Glorianne Campbell
Carlson's Flooring, Inc.
Chuck and Judy Carroll
Susan L. Cherney
Jim and Judy Corfield
Greg and Irene D'Anna
Dan and Roberta Edwards
First State Bank
Ed and Cynthia Foster
John and Jean Gaines
Geneva Chamber of Commerce
Geneva Cleaners
John and Joanne Gerlach
G. Klemm Roofing, Co.
Marv and Linda Haseman
Havlicek Builders
Howard and Valerie Heidlauf
Stanley and Dianne Herzog
Sam and Carolyn Hill
Integrated Natural Medicine LLC
Jim & Peggy Ivers in memory of Tom & Dorothy Brelsford and John and Clara Anderson
William Karlblom
Dean Kilburg
Richard and Darlene Larson
Lynn P. Landberg
Richard F. Lewis, State Farm Insurance
Steve and Nancie Lillie
Ron and Marjorie Maier
Craig and Karen Maladra
Richard and Cheryl Marks
Chris and Joy Meade
Richard and Paula Nagel
Chuck and Barbara Radovich
Riley Drug Inc. - Tim Riley
Robert and Emily Rogers
Rotary Club of Geneva
Sacrey & Sacrey Dentistry, Ltd.
Carl F. Safanda, Attorney
SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits, Mary Claire Malloy
Mike and Nancy Simon
Tom Simonian
Ron and Marilyn Singer in memory of John Gaines
State Street Jewelers
Gerald and Patricia Stewart
Stockholm's Vardshus Inc. - Mike Olesen
Sharon Surrett
The Little Traveler
The Olive Mill
Valley Insurance Agency - Gordie Hard
Jim and Sherri Weitl
Fred and Carolyn Zinke 


For more information on the Beautification Committee, visit the City's website. 

Mayor's Message 
Dear Neighbors,


I proudly admit that I am comfortable (dare I say addicted?) texting and emailing as a quick, efficient and effective means of communicating with residents, businesses, professional staff and the City Council.

With the hectic lives we all live, utilizing the convenience of a 140 character note via text, or prompt response via email often achieves what used to require meetings which, I'm sure most will agree, are sometimes difficult to arrange.


Of course, phone conversations are also helpful and beneficial as they clarify tone and tenor that often escape electronic dialogue.


Best of all however is the old fashion, face-to-face conversation. Heck, what better format is there to convey emotions, make a point, understand different perspectives and achieve mutual respect than to engage in the time-tested but lost art of actually visiting with one another?


From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11, I invite everyone to join me at the City Hall Council Chambers for a little "411" (get it ... April 11 is "411") and share your thoughts with me in a casual, comfortable format.


So, if you are out and about in downtown Geneva April 11, swing by City Hall at 109 James St. to say hi, ask questions or merely catch up like we did in the "old days" ... by having a conversation face-to-face.


I look forward to seeing you and, yes, refreshments will be served. 


My best, 




Kevin Burns
Caution: Road Work Ahead For Route 38

road construction


Motorists traveling on State Street should expect daily lane closures in April as crews have started preliminary work on the Route 38 construction project, which will begin in earnest come mid-May.


The Illinois Department of Transportation's (IDOT) contractor has begun road construction preparation work that includes adjusting manhole cover frames, street patching and curb improvements. This work, which is expected to be completed in four to six weeks, is taking place during daytime hours on Route 38 in both directions from Route 31 west into Kane County.


Two lanes (one in each direction) will remain open for drivers at all times on State Street, but people wanting to avoid the construction zone can take Fabyan Parkway as an alternate route.


After the prep work is completed, IDOT plans to resurface Route 38 from western Kane County to Route 31 in downtown Geneva this spring. The paving work will be broken down into two sections - Route 47 to Peck Road and from Peck to First Street. Resurfacing in Geneva is not expected to start until mid-May at the earliest, but construction schedules still are being finalized between IDOT, Kane County, Geneva and St. Charles.


Geneva will be providing construction updates so people can plan their commute accordingly. Visit the City's project webpage and subscribe to receive information via email or text messages. 


City Adopts Coyote Management Plan, Provides Community Training
Solving Problems with Coyotes in Geneva
Geneva Coyote Awareness Workshop - March 30, 2015



The City of Geneva is taking a proactive approach toward educating the public about coyotes living in suburban communities. Please take time to review the educational resources available on our website about how to deal with these wild animals. 


Lynsey White Dasher of the Humane Society of the United States was the featured guest at a coyote community awareness workshop held at our Public Works Department March 30. If you could not attend the session in person, you can watch her presentation above on YouTube. 


The Geneva City Council also approved a new coyote management plan in March that provides background on coyote behavior, hazing techniques and appropriate response levels when these animals encroach on backyards or neighborhoods.


'West Suburban Living' Readers Love Geneva



The City of Geneva was ranked the number one place to live by readers of "West Suburban Magazine's" 19th annual "Best of the West" survey.


Readers were asked which town (other than their own) would they like to live in as part of the survey, and Geneva edged out Naperville, Glen Ellyn and Hinsdale for top honors.


The "West Suburban Living" survey was published in March ranking reader's favorite places to visit or things to do while in the western suburbs.


A number of Geneva's restaurants, businesses, parks and more garnered "Best" honors in the survey. Several of the City's community events - Festival of the Vine, Swedish Days and the Geneva Arts Fair - also earned top recognition from readers.

Route 31 'Road Diet' Project Scheduled To Start In May

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will resurface South Batavia Avenue (Route 31) from Elizabeth Place in Geneva south into Batavia starting in May.


Work will require lane closures during the project, which is expected to be completed by July. Residents can view the tentative construction schedule and sign up for email or text alert updates on the City's website.


Once the road is resurfaced, IDOT plans to restripe a segment of Route 31 as part of the "road diet" concept that was submitted by the City to the State last month.


After initially proposed by neighbors in 2014, the Geneva City Council approved a resolution this winter recommending Route 31's traffic lanes be reduced from four to two (plus a center turn lane) from Elizabeth Place to the 1500 block of South Batavia Avenue. Neighbors believe the lane reconfiguration would enhance safety on the state highway. You can read the full "road diet" study on the City's website.


IDOT still is finalizing details on the "road diet" area as this newsletter was distributed. Please check back on the project webpage listed above for more information.  


Parking Deck's New Third Level Expansion To Open Later This Spring



The new third level of the Third Street Commuter Parking Deck is anticipated to open by May 31, which will bring the facility's total capacity to 540 spaces.

The first two levels of the deck reopened in February after substantial construction was finished on schedule. Construction crews are waiting for warmer weather to complete some temperature sensitive work such as painting, caulking between the panels, cleaning the panels, landscaping/restoration, the trench drain across Second Street, stall striping and parking space numbering.  


During the coming weeks, crews will be installing stairway handrails, doors, light fixtures and finishing any other punch list items. 


The parking deck is expected to remain open during the remainder of spring construction. You can stay on top of the latest progress by visiting the construction project webpage


The $4.5 million third tier expansion will provide an additional 180 parking spaces and is being funded entirely by grants through Metra. The deck was expanded in order to accommodate parking that will be lost as part of Union Pacific's future plans to add a third rail line, which will remove some existing surface parking spaces.


Mark Your Calendar For Geneva's Earth Day Celebration




Leave Your Artistic Mark On One Of Our Fire Hydrants


Geneva residents can leave their artistic mark on our community this spring by participating in the "Art on Fire" hydrant design program.


The City of Geneva, in collaboration with the Cultural Arts Commission, is seeking artists to "adopt" and paint fire hydrants. More than 50 hydrants have been painted the past two 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.


With more than 1,800 fire hydrants throughout Geneva, plenty of "blank canvas" remains for artists to submit new entries this spring. "Art on Fire" was established by Mayor Kevin Burns in 2013 as a way to showcase Geneva's artistic talent and bring art into the community.


The program is free and open to the public, but participants need to submit an application to the City by Friday, May 1. The application can be found on the City's website or picked up at Geneva City Hall, 22 S. First St. 


"Art on Fire" does not mandate a specific theme, but the program encourages artists to incorporate the character of the hydrant's surrounding environment into their design. City staff reviews and approves all application designs to make sure they do not compromise the visibility of the hydrants for firefighters in an emergency. Artists will be allowed to paint their hydrants during the month of May.


The City's Public Arts Advisory Committee and Cultural Arts Commission will again judge the hydrants and award prizes to the top three design winners in June.


People can take a virtual tour of all the decorated hydrants on an interactive map posted on the City's website. 

City Committed To Conservative Fiscal Approach With 2015-16 Budget

After recommending approval in March, the Geneva City Council is prepared to formally adopt the 2015-16 fiscal year budget Monday, April 6.


The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the public hearing and meeting April 6 to offer comments or ask questions regarding the proposed budget. The City's fiscal year begins on May 1, and the budget must be adopted no later than April 30, according to state law. 


The City's "budget" is actually a combination of 36 budgets, all having different purposes and different legal restrictions. Although the City has historically been conservative in its expenditures, additional reductions have been made in every department in recent years to offset normal and abnormal increases in operating expenses, including insurance, fuel and other commodities, as well as unfunded state mandates. For comparison, the City has again taken a fiscally responsible approach with the General Fund less than last year's budget and more than $1 million less than the 2008-09 budget.


The City plans to continue investing in its water/wastewater and electric distribution systems along with working on several projects, including an outdoor event pavilion, streetscape for East State Street and new City welcome signs. Funds to pay for these projects include donations, grants and restricted funds that can only be used for infrastructure and development.


The City continues to monitor the situation regarding the Governor's proposed state budget cuts (Income Tax funds collected by the State from Geneva residents and then distributed back to the community for public services), which could affect funding of public safety, street maintenance and snow plowing. 


Elected officials and staff are committed to a balanced and fiscally sound budget plan that will provide high quality public services while managing the challenges that each new year brings to Geneva. 


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 2015-16 budget is available at City Hall, the Geneva Public Library, and on the City's website. Please contact City Administrator Mary McKittrick with questions. 


Sign Up For The New Look GenevaMail

If you enjoy staying in the loop with the latest and greatest news about your favorite community, you need to subscribe to the City's weekly GenevaMail eblast. Sent to your email inbox on Friday afternoons, GenevaMail provides readers a summary on the week that was and what is on tap in our City in the weeks ahead. We also recently debuted a new, sleeker format. Some of the redesign highlights include:

  • A featured story box at the top to give readers the most important information of the week right away;
  • A right-hand rail listing upcoming City meetings and other helpful links;
  • Geneva Broadcast Network videos section; and
  • A quick reading experience with bigger headlines and story summaries.


Subscribing to GenevaMail is simple - just one easy click on your preference settings if you already receive our quarterly newsletter. 

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

The City of Geneva's Mental Health Board supports efforts in our community that encourage positive mental health through funding advocacy and education. 

During the month of May, the Board will have a mental health display at the Geneva Public Library featuring books, materials and resources individuals may find informative. Awareness campaigns will use green ribbons to acknowledge and inspire people to start a conversation about ways to maximize mental health. The Library also will have additional resource materials available during May.

Mental Health America, a non-profit organization, is promoting National Mental Health Month's theme "B4Stage4," which encourages prioritizing your overall mental health by becoming familiar with prevention and treatment options. Please join this national effort to help spread awareness here at home.

Learn more about the Geneva Mental Health Board by visiting the City's website.  


Share Your Spring Photos With Us
We are starting our "Geneva: A Picture Perfect Community" spring gallery, and we want to see your photos enjoying this great weather.
Have a nice shot of trees or flowers in bloom? Or maybe a fun picture of your family visiting the Fox River or the downtown? We want to see it. Here is how you can share your great photos with us:


We will post your pictures on these outlets - plus our website photo gallery - to showcase all our community has to offer.

Check out this great shot from Michael Gruetzmacher and family having fun along the Fox River in mid-March. 

 Fire Department News: Fun & Safety Highlight Annual Risk Watch Summer Program

Geneva children who will be entering first grade this fall can learn important safety-first lessons as part of the City's annual Risk Watch summer program this July.


Presented by the Geneva Fire and Police departments, Risk Watch is a weeklong educational session that provides children with fun activities designed to promote safe decision-making skills. Some of the topics covered in Risk Watch include bike and pedestrian safety, personal safety, fall prevention, water safety, electrical safety, and fire and burn prevention.


The cost of the class is $20. Registration forms will be sent home with current kindergarten students at all Geneva elementary schools. The forms, which also are available on the City's website, are due by Sunday, May 31. Registration can be dropped off at Fire Station No. 1 or mailed to the Geneva Fire Department, 200 East Side Drive, Geneva, IL 60134.


Space is limited, and sessions fill up quickly. For more information about Risk Watch, please contact Lt. Rod Johnson.

Community Development Department News: Downtown Zoning Update

downtown generic 1


The City of Geneva is nearing completion of a draft update to the downtown zoning regulations, which were originally created in 1995.


The Geneva Downtown/Station-Area Master Plan, adopted in 2012, recommends multiple locations for new moderate and high-density residential and residential/commercial mixed-use redevelopment. Many of the recommendations in the plan were not part of the City's vision for the downtown two decades ago.


The current zoning regulations conflict with the downtown plan and act as barriers to redevelopment. Updating the zoning regulations to accommodate planned downtown redevelopment demonstrates the City is serious about implementing the downtown plan.


The conflicts/problems between the adopted downtown plan and current zoning regulations are substantial. For example, the type of residential development envisioned in the downtown plan includes compact, two- to four-story buildings located close to public sidewalks and streets, which cannot be achieved under the City's existing residential zoning districts.


In some instances, planned residential development exceeds the allowable building height, lot coverage, and setback requirements of current zoning. While the current regulations contain planned unit development (PUD) provisions that offer the potential for regulatory flexibility, the uncertainty and risk developers face going through an open-ended PUD review process discourages them from pursuing projects.


The focus of the downtown zoning update is on creating plan-based regulations that are easier to understand and use. Consensus needs to be built on how best to balance the predictability desired by developers on zoning regulations and review processes, versus the regulatory control needed by the City to achieve high quality development.


The City plans to schedule several public meetings over the summer and dialog with stakeholders to gather their ideas and build their support.   


Administrative Services Department News: City Earns Another Financial Reporting Award 

The City of Geneva's 2013-14 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) received the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.


The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada has awarded Geneva with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. The award "represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management," according to the association. The City's report was released last fall and was reviewed by the association this year.


The CAFR represents a broader report from the past annual financial documents that used to be prepared. The report contains the City's financial statements and records from the past decade, property tax and debt data, and general statistical information about Geneva. The report can be found on the City's website.


Geneva's comprehensive financial report has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the association's program, including demonstrating a constructive spirit of full disclosure to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users to read the report.


The Government Finance Officers Association is a non-profit organization serving about 17,500 government finance professionals. The association also presented the City with a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award in December. 


Police Department News: When To Call & When To Report Issues Online
Geneva PD logo

In the age of technology, reporting issues to the City and Police Department online has become a modern convenience. But sometimes picking up the phone the old fashioned way is the most effective method to report certain problems.

The City of Geneva's website Request Tracker offers people the ability to notify authorities about parking issues, neighborhood issues, traffic safety concerns, confirmed coyote sightings and miscellaneous police-related concerns.

When a request is initiated through the website, specific personnel within the Geneva Police Department receive the request via email. While Request Tracker is not monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we do our best to respond in a prompt manner to the citizen's concern. Once we take action on the request, an email is subsequently sent to the citizen advising them of the solution. The return email also includes the email address of the police personnel who handled the concern.

Request tracker can be convenient, but it is not efficient for reporting emergencies or issues that require immediate police attention. Examples where people should call instead of reporting online are:

Call 911 for any crime in progress. This would include loud music complaints, complaints of loud or underage parties, suspicious vehicles or people, suspicious noises and other similar issues.

Call 630-232-4736 (police non-emergency number). Examples would include a car blocking a driveway or fire hydrant. 


To recap, Request Tracker is a helpful feature but does not necessarily provide a means for an immediate police response similar to calling 911.  


If you are certain that your concern is not an emergency and you are uncomfortable calling 911, call the police non-emergency number. Our records staff will be able to transfer your call to the 911 dispatch center if needed.

Public Works Department News: Brush Collection, Snowfighting Award & Hydrant Flushing


Geneva residents looking to tidy up their yard this spring should take note that the City's 2015 brush collection starts in April.

The monthly brush program is intended for the disposal of tree limbs and branches that are removed by the property owner for normal maintenance and upkeep, not for lot clearing. Kramer crews will not collect material produced by a private contractor.

The 2015 collection schedule is the weeks of:


West of the Fox River
East of the Fox River
April 6
April 13
May 4
May 11
June 1
June 8
July 6
July 13
Aug. 3
Aug. 10
Sept. 8
Sept. 14
Oct. 5
Oct. 12
Nov. 2
Nov. 9


For full program details on how to prepare your brush properly, visit the City's website.




snow plow

City Wins 'Snowfighting' Award For Second Straight Year   
Geneva was one of 63 communities in the United States and Canada to be named a 2014 Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award winner from the Salt Institute.

The City has received national recognition for the second consecutive year for excellence in environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage of winter road salt.

Geneva again earned high marks on the Salt Institute's checklist that graded safety and service, equipment, materials usage, snow plowing performance, tactical operations before and during a storm, storage and safety, and environmental measures.

The City had plenty of opportunities to put those procedures into practice in 2014 with one of the worst winter seasons on record. The Public Works team plowed more than 70 inches of snow during 40 various winter weather events last year. Plow operators used 3,700 tons of salt to keep Geneva's 244 lane miles safe for motorists.

To learn more about the City's snow removal operations, watch our "At Your Service" video on the City's YouTube Channel.



Geneva Will Be Flushing Fire Hydrants In April

The City of Geneva will be flushing fire hydrants throughout the community for a six-week period starting Monday, April 6 as part of an ongoing maintenance program.


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


Residents are urged to limit their water use if possible and refrain from laundering their clothes during this time period to avoid staining from rusty water. In the event rusty water discolors clothing, residents should keep the garments wet and call the Geneva Public Works Department at 630-232-1501 to request a rust-removing solution packet.


Signs will be placed in neighborhoods to remind residents that the program is underway in their area. Work is expected to be completed in mid-May. Residents can track the City's progress with our online map that will be updated weekdays on our website. Once crews have finished hydrant flushing in a certain neighborhood, residents can wash their clothes without restrictions.


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


For more information, contact Bob VanGyseghem, City Superintendent of Water and Wastewater, at 630-232-1551 or via email.

Economic Development Department News


Gardenology Is About All Things Gardening 

Gardenology will be held in downtown Geneva from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. Gardenology advisors and vendors will bring their best ideas and garden related products to jump-start your gardening season. This is a great event for the entire family with expert speakers, children's activities and more.  





Festival of Arts Showcases Local Talent
The Greater Geneva Art Guild will present Festival of Arts Friday to Sunday, May 29 to 31. On May 29, local artists will stroll through Geneva painting whatever scene strikes them. During the weekend, the artists will be displaying and selling their work in an art festival along the Courthouse lawn on Third Street. 





Spring Means The Return Of The French Market
The French Market brings farm fresh produce, fresh flowers, baked goods, artisan jewelry and crafts to downtown Geneva on Sundays through mid-November. The first market of the season will kick-off on Sunday, April 26. The market is held rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Metra Train Station at Fourth and South streets. 




Bring Your Work Home
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Check our Database of Available Sites for a list of available retail and office spaces in Geneva. The Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College offers free Entrepreneur QuickStart sessions. These counseling sessions are designed to help those who are in the beginning stages of starting a business. Or if you are just looking to get out of your home office or for a place to meet clients, check out one of Geneva's newest businesses at 25N Coworking.





Plan Your Special Day In Geneva
From bridal and baby showers to rehearsal dinners and birthday parties, Geneva has the perfect venue to hold your next event. Check out our Meeting Venues Guide to find the room and amenities you need to make your event extra special. 

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.