Summer 2015 

In This Issue
New Aldermen Take Their Seats
New Garbage Rates Start July 1
West State Street Road Work Update
Summer Fun Is Around The Corner
Route 31 'Road Diet' Update
Vote For Your Favorite Garden
City Saves $300K On Power Contract
Parking Deck Expansion Finished
Relive Swedish Days Fun
Stay Connected With News & Info
Share Your Summer Photos With Us
City Administrator's Office News
Fire 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.


Quick Links


Share Our Newsletter with a Friend!
Thank You for Your Donation!
The City would like to thank the following donors to the Geneva Beautification Committee:


Blue Haven Capital, Donald Cummings
Lewis Caliento
Geneva Garden Club
Lorraine Kautz
Lions Club of Geneva
Neri Landscape & Maintenance
Philip and Kathryn Page honoring Dorothy Flanagan
The Paper Merchant 


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

Mayor's Message 
Dear Neighbors,

We've all seen the advertisements on television and heard them on the radio - messages inviting us to visit communities near and far. Millions are invested every year to woo people, purses and wallets under the rubric of "getting away" for a few hours or a few days. 

And while it is not my intent to come across as critical, it seems to me the efficient, most economical and effective effort has been to say simply "all are welcome."  Period.

For nearly 180 years, Geneva has displayed a welcome sign for anyone and everyone to visit our community and enjoy what makes our City special:

  • Unique shopping,
  • World-class dining,
  • The natural environment, and
  • The genuine hospitality of those who operate the businesses and the residents who call Geneva home. 

In its truest form, the word "welcome" means "well come" (i.e. one's arrival was pleasing) and that expanded to include such meanings as "pleasing" or "acceptable."

In Old English, welcome, which had the form "wilcuma" meant "one whose coming is pleasing" or applied to someone who was "acceptable as a visitor." It was formed from wil- or will- "will, desire" and cuma "comer, guest." The sense in you are welcome is one of "it was pleasing to me to do" whatever it was that you were thanked for.

To be less academic, the reality is Geneva has an 18-decade history of doing whatever it takes to make your visit pleasant.

As the summer unfolds in Geneva, and tens-of-thousands of guests descend on our community, we need not invest millions of dollars to prove we are a destination point.  We simply have to remember the etymology of a simple word that too often is taken for granted but has enduring impact - welcome.

Geneva is a welcoming community because we are sincere in wishing all who spend time in our City a "well come" and, if you will permit, a "well return" again and again.

Enjoy the excitement of the summer months ahead, and I look forward to seeing you around town.  


My best, 




Kevin Burns
Burghart, Radecki Join Geneva City Council


As the Geneva City Council bid a fond farewell to two longtime members, two new aldermen officially took their seats this spring.
First Ward Alderman Chuck Brown (left) and 4th Ward Alderman Dorothy Flanagan (second from left) were recognized for their decades of service to the community. Both chose not to seek another term in office during the April consolidated election.
Newly elected Aldermen Tara Burghart, 1st Ward; (third from left) and Jim Radecki, 4th Ward (right) took the Oath of Office with their families present May 4. Other incumbents that won uncontested races in April that were sworn in include Don Cummings, 2nd Ward; Dean Kilburg and Mary Seno, 3rd Ward; Craig Maladra and Tom Simonian, 5th Ward.
View Photo Gallery Of The Ceremony
How To Contact Your Aldermen 


New Garbage Collection Rates Take Effect In July


Geneva residents should take note that garbage collection rates have increased starting July 1 as part of the City's five-year contract with Advanced Disposal.


A garbage sticker now costs $3.11. However, people who purchased stickers at the previous rate of $2.98 can use that supply without paying the difference.


Prices for the three available refuse carts also will go up less than a dollar, according to the contract. For more information about Geneva's garbage collection program, visit the City's website.   


IDOT's Route 38 Construction Continues In Geneva



With the Swedish Days festival in the books, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is planning to start Route 38 road work in downtown Geneva this month.


Construction on West State Street between Seventh and First streets was supposed to begin in May but was pushed back several times by IDOT and its contractor. The City then requested the downtown work be put on hold to not conflict with the festival.


When the downtown work commences, there will be temporary lane closures and loss of parking along West State Street. Residents and merchants can subscribe for construction updates via email or text message via the City's website.


The state project called for resurfacing Route 38 between Route 47 to downtown Geneva. Paving operations between western Kane County to Seventh Street in Geneva also were ongoing as of late June. Work is expected to be completed in August, weather permitting. Any further schedule changes will be detailed through our online updates. 


Summer Fun Is Around The Corner In Geneva


Summertime in Geneva means festivals, events and a whole lot of fun.  


This July, the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission is proud to present RiverPark Concert Series and Shakespeare in the Park. Invite your friends and grab your blankets, chairs, boxed dinners and enjoy an evening of free top-notch entertainment right here in Geneva! 


RiverPark Summer Concerts

RiverPark concerts are held at 6 p.m. Sundays at RiverPark, located at North River Lane in downtown Geneva.


July 12
Live Radio Theatre
Need to Be Seen Radio Troupe
July 19
Country Western Rock
Penny Mae Dixon Band
July 26
Lively Celtic
Logical Fleadh



Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park will feature the performance "Twelfth Night." The event will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 18 at Geneva's idyllic Island Park, 2 E. State St. Seating begins at 5 p.m.  



Geneva Classic Car Shows
Thursday evenings in July and August
RiverPark Summer Concerts
July 12, 19 & 26
Shakespeare in the Park
July 18
Geneva Arts Fair
July 25-26
Geneva Concours d'Elegance
Aug. 23
Fox Valley Folk Music Storytelling Festival
Sept. 6-7
Festival of the Vine
Sept. 11-13


Route 31 'Road Diet' Project Expected To Be Finished In July

The Illinois Department of Transportation's (IDOT) Route 31 resurfacing project is entering its final month of construction from Elizabeth Place south into downtown Batavia.


Inclement weather during June has pushed back the scheduled completion date to the end of July. Crews will be putting down the final surface, pavement marking installations and finishing punch list items in the coming weeks. Motorists should expect lane closures throughout the rest of the project.


Once the resurfacing is done, the Route 31 "road diet" plan will be implemented. Initiated by a citizen group working with their ward alderman, the plan will reduce the number of traffic lanes from four to two (plus a center turn lane) on South Batavia Avenue. IDOT has agreed with the Geneva City Council's recommended "road diet" boundaries from Elizabeth Place to just south of Forest View Drive.


For more information about the state project or to subscribe for updates, visit the City's website.


City's Local Street Improvement Program Underway


Residents also can stay on top of the City of Geneva's annual street improvement program, which started in June. Sign up for regular updates via the City's website


Vote For Your Favorite Downtown Garden While Supporting Geneva Beautification

People who enjoy the downtown flowers can now cast their vote for their favorite garden as part of the Geneva Beautification Committee's Tour des Fleurs contest.

Ten gardens are featured in the inaugural contest/fundraiser that will run through Monday, Aug. 31. Garden photographs, a map and voting information can be found on the City's website. Participating downtown gardens also are marked with signage.

People can vote for their favorite Tour des Fleurs garden in the form of a donation; each dollar donated counts as one vote.

Voting for multiple gardens is encouraged, and the winning entry will receive a trophy.

The Geneva Beautification Committee consists of organizations, businesses, families and volunteers that adopt and maintain planting beds and flower boxes throughout the City's central business district.

Questions about the Tour des Fleurs contest can be directed to Beautification Committee Chair Sherri Weitl at 630-232-7494. 


City Saves $300K Through Power Contract Negotiation; Helps Defer Future Electric Rate Increases


The City of Geneva was able to negotiate a $301,046 savings on its current power purchase contract with NextEra Energy Power Marketing, LLC.


Purchasing energy contracts allows Geneva to take advantage of low market prices and covers electric requirements not covered by the City's other power sources. The current purchase agreement runs through 2016.


This power contract is just one component of the City's diverse electric portfolio. Other sources of power come from the City of Geneva's Generation Facility, Waste Management Renewable Energy at Settler's Hill and Prairie State Energy Campus.


The City Council approved a new three-year power purchase agreement with NextEra for 2017-19, which has an average price per MWh that is about 4 percent less than the original price on our current agreement.


What does this mean for residents? While many of the utility's other costs are rising, the savings generated from the NextEra purchase agreements will likely allow the City to defer future electric rate increases on customers' utility bills.


For more information about Geneva's electric operations, visit the City's website, watch educational videos on the City's YouTube Channel or call the City's Public Works Department Electric Division at 630-232-1503. 


Parking Deck's New Third Level Expansion Opened This Spring


The Third Street Commuter Parking Deck's capacity officially increased by 180 spaces with the opening of the new third tier expansion.


Mayor Kevin Burns (center) and other dignitaries celebrated the opening in May.

Construction on the $4.5 million project began in August and was funded entirely by grants through Metra. The structure was shut down for six months before work was substantially completed in late January. The first two levels reopened to commuters and downtown visitors Feb. 1, and the third tier was finished in May.


The parking deck's daily fee remains $2. Parking is free during the evening and weekends.


The total deck capacity is now 540 spaces. The facility 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.


Union Pacific has performed soil testing in the area and has begun preliminary engineering on the project. No construction timetable has been presented to the City regarding the third rail line.


For more information about parking in downtown Geneva, visit the City's website.   


Geneva Community Celebrates Swedish Days
2015 Geneva Swedish Days Parade
2015 Geneva Swedish Days Parade



Want to relive the excitement of the 2015 Swedish Days celebration from last week? View our online photo gallery highlighting all the food, fun and entertainment that produced another successful festival.


Many thanks to the Geneva Chamber of Commerce for organizing the event. 


Stay Connected With Geneva News, Information & More




Summer is here, and we understand you might have big plans and vacation on your mind. Geneva has made it easy to stay in the loop with a host of online services.


Notify Me - Subscribe for alerts, news, event, road construction updates to be sent via email or text message


Report A Concern - Contact any of our City Departments to report issues or non-emergency problems online.


Shop the Geneva Store - Do you love Geneva? Peruse our online store.


Online Bill Pay - You can save a stamp and pay your monthly utility bill on our website.


Social Media - Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


GenevaMail - Sign up for our weekly eblast highlighting news and notes from your favorite community. 


Share Your Summer Photos With Us
Having a good time on a Geneva staycation or did you capture that pretty scenic shot of our community? We want to see it. 

We are seeking your photos for our "Geneva: A Picture Perfect Community" summer gallery. 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.

Take a look at the spring gallery of your photos.

This photo was taken by Amanda Wallace while eating outside one evening at one of our great restaurants on downtown Third Street.

City Administrator's Office News: Make Your Voice Heard In Springfield With 'Protect My Town'



The City of Geneva is urging residents to visit to voice their opposition to Illinois leaders regarding Governor Bruce Rauner's proposal aimed at taking local revenue to fix the state's budget problems.


Attempts to take local income tax revenue from the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) to close budget gaps at the state level is spurring municipal officials across Illinois to fight to maintain control of these funds. If the state proposal became a reality, Geneva would lose $1 million annually.


The LGDF returns tax dollars to Illinois communities, including Geneva, to fund essential services such as police and fire protection, street maintenance and snow plowing. If the local revenue is reduced, Geneva will have to make up for the funding shortfall by cutting services.


"I echo the sentiments of my colleagues throughout Illinois by strongly objecting to the Governor and State Legislature trying to right their financial ship by sinking ours," Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns said. "Let's work with each other instead of against each other."


Designed to stop the LGDF cuts, allows residents to directly voice their opinion and tell lawmakers to make the tough decisions necessary to balance their own budget - as Geneva has done since the 2008 recession - without taking money away from local communities.


After logging on to, it only takes three easy steps to directly contact state officials: 1) Review the letter; 2) Fill out the contact information; and 3) Hit the "Take Action" button to complete the form. Residents can also forward and share the website through social media to their friends to join the movement.

Read More About The Potential Impact Here In Geneva
 Fire Department News: Sparkler Safety & Fire Pit Regulations

Sparklers light up a summer evening with their crackling glow and glowing trail of light. Children of all ages are in awe of the sparks that fly around Fourth of July celebrations.

However, would you allow a child or even yourself to handle something that was hot enough to melt glass (900 degrees) or aluminum (1,200 degrees)?  Novelty sparklers can burn at up to 1,800 degrees.

Sparklers are often thought to be safer than fireworks and during the holiday excitement, it is easy to overlook their hazards.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports about 16 percent of all consumer fireworks injuries are caused by sparklers burning hands and legs. Young children account for the majority of sparkler injuries.

The Geneva Fire Department recommends only children over age 12 be allowed to have sparklers, and close supervision still is recommended.  

Have fun using sparklers safely by following these tips:

  • Never hand a lit sparkler to another person. Give them an unlit sparkler and then light it. If a child is holding the sparkler, have an adult light it. Only light one sparkler at a time and hold one sparkler at a time.
  • Those using sparklers should stand at least 6 feet away from each other. Never use a sparkler when sitting down or holding a child.
  • Be aware that sparks can ignite clothing, so avoid loose fitting clothes that could catch fire. Closed-toe shoes help prevent foot burns.
  • The sparkler wire stays hot long after the flame has burned out, so drop the used sparklers directly in a bucket of water.




Make Safety A Priority When Using Fire Pits This Summer
Fire pits are known to be a great source of warmth and ambience. But, with the popularity of fire pits increasing, fire safety has become even more important. 
There are many things you should consider while setting up and using a fire pit. The City Council revised the open burning regulations to allow fire pits on private property with very specific rules for how, when, and where a pit may be used within the City. Here are a few important points from the approved changes:
Where can you have a recreational fire?
Portable fire places must be located on a hard, noncombustible and level surface when in use. This includes but is not limited to, concrete, paver bricks, dirt or asphalt and must be at least 10 feet from the nearest property line. This means you cannot use a portable fireplace on your wood deck.

What kind of fuel can you use?
You can use untreated, unpainted, clean, seasoned, dry wood and manufactured fire logs. Propane and other similar gases may also be burned as long as the device is rated for that type of fuel. In all instances the burning of processed wood or landscape waste is strictly prohibited.

Who can supervise a recreational fire?
You must be over the age of 18 and constantly supervise the fire until it is extinguished.

When can you have a recreational fire?
Recreational fires are prohibited between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. 
How long can a recreational fire burn?
You may maintain a recreational fire for no more than 4 hours in any 24-hour period of time.
For a more information about open burning regulations, please visit the City's website

Police Department News: Do Your Part To Prevent Crime In Your Neighborhood
Geneva PD logo

With summer finally upon us, the Geneva Police Department would like to take this opportunity to remind you of some important crime prevention tips.

Most property crimes are crimes of opportunity. Those looking to commit crime are generally looking for the path of least resistance. They will take advantage of valuables being left in cars with the car doors being unlocked or windows being left down. The usual targets are GPS devices, money, computers, etc. They will also take advantage of garage doors being left open with valuables left in plain view, including tools and bicycles.  


We recommend the following to help prevent some of these crimes: 


  • Lock your car doors.
  • Do not leave valuables in plain view. If you must leave valuables in your car, be sure they are hidden.
  • Leave outside lights on and consider installing motion detectors that activate outside lighting.
  • Make sure that your garage door is closed at night and do not leave your keys in the car.
  • If you should observe any suspicious activity, please call 911. This affords police an opportunity to quickly investigate the situation and prevent crimes from occurring.


By following these simple steps, you are taking away opportunities for those looking to commit crime. Thank you for your assistance and have a safe and happy summer.

Public Works Department News: Electric Load Reduction, Mulching, Brush Collection, Water Conservation

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

electric meter

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

The program is strictly voluntary, has no penalties and requires no reporting or tracking of usage. The benefits of reducing energy are making Geneva a greener community and keeping future electric costs down.

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

During an average summer, the City will issue about 20 alerts to customers.

For more information, call the Public Works Department Electric Division at 630-232-1503.




Yard Tip: Do Not Volcano Mulch Your Trees 

Mulching helps promote root growth and better survival for shrubs, plants and trees.

However, our Public Works Department has been noticing a common mistake: a volcano of mulch. If mulch is applied against the tree base, moisture will build up creating ideal conditions for insect pests and diseases. Girdling root symptoms also may develop.

Proper applications should include spreading mulch to a depth of 2 to 4 inches around the tree or planting bed. Extend the mulched area for trees to the drip lines of the branches or at least covering a 4- to 5-foot diameter area around the trunk.

Visit the City's website to learn about additional benefits of mulching.




Mark Your Calendars For City's Brush Collection Program 


Geneva residents looking to tidy up their yard should take note that the City's 2015 brush collection continues this summer.

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 remaining 2015 collection dates are the weeks of:


West of the Fox River
East of the Fox River
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.





City Reminds Residents About Lawn Watering Regulations

June provided more than enough rain, but summer often serves as a good reminder to residents to familiarize themselves with the City of Geneva's lawn watering sprinkler regulations.


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

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

For those placing down sod or watering seed, a $25 permit is required through the Public Works Department, 1800 South St. Sod and seed lawns can be watered for the first day for a maximum of eight hours. During the next nine consecutive days, the lawn can be watered from 6 to 9 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Afterward, the property owner must abide by the City's regular lawn watering schedule.

For more information, including water conservation tips, visit the City's website or call the Geneva Public Works Department Water Division at 630-232-1551. 


Economic Development Department News: New Businesses & Special Events



Welcome! In the past few months, the City of Geneva has been pleased to welcome many wonderful new businesses to Geneva. Below is a list of retailers and restaurants that are new or coming soon. Visit our New Business Activity page for a complete list. 


Buttermilk Restaurant
7 W. State St.
Caroline DeVillo
312 S. Third St.
Charlotte Russe
522 Commons Drive
Copters & Coins
705 E. State St.
Elegant Evenings
209 W. State St.
219 W. State St.
Finishing Touches
316 Franklin St.
Forever Yogurt
507 S. Third St.
HACHE Moderne Brasserie
524 W. State St.
Hot Tub Tony's
2526 Keslinger Drive
McAlister's Deli
1492 S. Randall Road
Rascal's Tavern and Grill
207 S. Third St.
Robin's Nest
220 S. Third St.
School of Art Chicago
1772 S. Randall Road
School of Rock
15 W. State St.
Thai Express
2401 Kaneville Road
407 S. Third St.



Special Events 

The Economic Development Department is responsible for processing in excess of 50 Special Event Applications per year. In addition to the "big" festivals and events, there are a multitude of community fundraisers, charitable runs and business uses that go through the application process. You can view the approved events on the City's website


About Geneva


Located 40 miles west of Chicago along the Fox River, Geneva is home to 21,495 residents and serves as the seat of Kane County government. 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.