Summer 2021

In This Issue
City Facilities Reopen To The Public
COVID-19 Resources For Businesses
Garbage Rates Increase In July
Downtown Recycling Effort Underway
Survey: Geneva Makes The Grade
Mark Your Calendars For Fun
Write Now Contest Winners Announced
Emergency Management Agency Needs Volunteers
Try Out The New Friendship Chairs
Geneva Part Of Climate Initiative
Subscribe For Mosquito Spraying Alerts
Recycle Those Old Electronics & More
ComEd Trimming Trees This Summer
Check Out New Geneva Businesses
Police Social Worker Program Extended
Be Safe During Summer Events
Bike Rodeo Scheduled For July 10
Stay Connected To Local Developments
City's Street Improvement Updates
Subscribe For Peak Power Alerts
Keep Tabs On Outdoor Watering Rules
Monthly Brush Collection Schedule
Quick Links
Share Our Newsletter with a Friend!

Mayor's Letter
"Diversity is a fact. Equity is a choice. Inclusion is an action.  Belonging is an outcome."
                                                             - Arthur Chan
With these words in mind, and serving as our guideposts, the Geneva City Council unanimously approved the creation of the City's very first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force.
Through the development of the City's 2025 Strategic Plan and in subsequent goal-setting meetings, the City of Geneva affirmed its commitment to ensuring our community is one that is open, inclusive, and welcoming to all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, religion or abilities. To help advance this vision and amplify the voice of diverse communities within Geneva, the City Council established a DEI Task Force.  
The mission of the DEI Task Force is unambiguous - "The DEI Task Force will work in partnership with Strategic Plan Advisory Committee and City staff to coordinate outreach and develop recommendations to ensure Geneva is a welcoming and inclusive community. Through engagement and listening, this task force will work to identify issues and any barriers that may prevent friends or neighbors from fully participating in civic life."
We salute the nine people who have embraced the challenge of serving on the DEI Task Force. Please join me in thanking Gregory Albert, Luis Amaya, Kendra Bickhem, Ashley Nuzzo-Ericksen, Krystle Ann Forst, Silva Gramlich, Christine Kelly, Jeanine McMillen, and Denise Theobald, whose life stories and experiences provide our community the necessary foundation to strive to become a more welcoming community.  
Moreover, the DEI Task Force is also charged with identifying, recommending, and advocating for how the City itself (via operations, processes, and procedures) can be improved to capture the talent, passion, breadth, and depth of everyone who lives, works, and does business in Geneva.
Make no mistake, the DEI Task Force is not something undertaken so Geneva can pat itself on the back or merely check a box. Supporting the DEI Task Force, regardless of how difficult the discussion may become, is absolutely necessary if Geneva is to grow, improve and prosper.  
This journey has no end. On the contrary, it is a perpetual walk with the purpose to help Geneva become an even better version of itself.   
So, let us begin. With humility, respect, open-mindedness, compassion, and empathy.

My best,

Kevin Burns


City Of Geneva Facilities Reopen To The Public

Geneva's City facilities reopened to the public as of June.

The public is encouraged to conduct business virtually, over the phone, email, or U.S. Mail when possible. Residents can pay utility bills online, call the Finance Department at 630-232-0854, use the mail, or utilize one of the City's dropboxes (please no cash). People also can report non-emergency concerns and find a City staff directory online.

For those planning to visit a City building, facemasks are optional for people that are fully vaccinated. Masks are required for everyone over age 2 that have not been vaccinated. Scheduling appointments in advance with City staff prior to visiting would be appreciated.

More information regarding the City's COVID-19 response can be found online.

COVID-19 Resources For Businesses

In 2020, the City authorized expanded outdoor dining on public and private property to accommodate the needs of local restaurants and bars during the pandemic. Now that the State is fully reopened and capacity limits are removed, the City is taking steps to foster economic recovery following COVID-19 restrictions.

Restaurants may continue to use expanded outdoor dining on public property until Dec. 31, 2021, but they must submit a temporary license agreement with the City immediately. Restaurants who would like to continue to use expanded outdoor dining on private property can do so through the end of the year without additional steps. Businesses may contact the City's Economic Development Department for more information at 630-232-7449.

On-Street Parking
In response to the COVID-19 shutdown, Geneva restaurants and retailers have been authorized to reserve one on-street parking space per business to facilitate curbside service. Many business owners have used cones and signage to reserve a space.

With the State reaching the "Restore Illinois" Phase 5 plan with no capacity limits on restaurants and retailers, on-street parking must be returned to use by the general public. Cones and signage must be removed immediately so that retail customers, restaurant patrons, service clients, and event attendees have equal access.

Daily Fee Public Parking Extended
Daily fee parking in the City's Third Street Commuter Parking Deck and downtown commuter parking lots will continue to be free until Oct. 1, 2021.

Geneva Garbage Collection Rates Increase In July

Garbage Pickup

Geneva's garbage collection will take place on Friday and Saturday, July 9-10, one day later than normal due to the Independence Day holiday.

The normal Thursday-Friday schedule resumes the week of
July 12

Geneva's garbage collection rates were adjusted starting July 1 as part of the City's contract with Lakeshore Recycling Systems.

A refuse sticker now costs $2.97. However, people who purchased stickers at the previous rate of $2.84 can use their remaining supply without paying the difference. Prices for optional garbage cart subscriptions also have increased by less than a dollar per billing cycle, according to the contract.

Even with the rate adjustments, Geneva residents continue to pay less for refuse stickers and cart service at the conclusion of the Lakeshore contract in 2023 than they did in spring 2018.

Other optional refuse products and services that have seen new prices beginning in July include:

  • 20-gallon bags - $2.28; and
  • 65-gallon yard waste carts - $28.53 monthly fee

For more information about Geneva's refuse and recycling program, visit the City's website.

City Rolls Out Downtown Recycling Pilot Program

Downtown Geneva went "green" with new dedicated blue recycling containers installed on South Third Street this spring as part of a new pilot program.

Shopping and dining patrons can conveniently recycle empty bottles and aluminum cans at each cross street from James to South streets. The Third Street containers - five decorative blue metal cans and five Lakeshore Recycling Systems carts - include signage to notify the public that the receptacles should only be used for recycling.

Cups, liquids, soiled food containers, pizza boxes, and other refuse need to be thrown into the trash to avoid contaminating the recycling containers.

Following discussion from City leaders and Geneva's Natural Resources Committee earlier this year, the City Council approved a pilot program to add the recycling containers to the Third Street corridor. The program, developed with input from the committee, helps the City advance important aspects of the environmental stewardship objectives included in the City's 2025 Strategic Plan.  

City staff and the committee are evaluating the program's effectiveness. If the downtown recycling endeavor proves to be successful, the Geneva City Council could consider additional funding in the future.

Geneva Makes The Grade With Daily Herald Readers' Choice Survey

Geneva was recognized as a top community for dining, shopping, entertainment, and more as part of the 2021 "Daily Herald Readers' Choice" survey.

Geneva ranked second for both the best city to live and the best downtown atmosphere categories. Geneva Commons garnered third-place honors for best neighborhood shopping center.

Numerous restaurants, stores, attractions, and more were named some of the best in the Chicago suburbs. You can view the entire "Daily Herald Readers' Choice" survey online.

Thank you to the residents, merchants, Geneva Chamber of Commerce, and numerous stakeholders who all work hard to make Geneva a great place to live and visit. 

Three Cheers For The Return Of Summer Events In Geneva  

Geneva Classic Car Show
5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays in July & August
Kane County Courthouse
Geneva Arts Fair
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 24-25
Downtown Geneva

RiverPark Summer Concert Series
6 p.m. Sundays, July 11 & 18
River Park
Shakespeare In The Park
6 p.m. Saturday, July 17
Island Park

Geneva French Market
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays
Fourth & South streets
Concours d' Elegance
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 (Tentative)
Downtown Geneva

For the latest information on City-sponsored events and festivals, check the City's website.

Geneva Write Now Short Story Contest Winners Announced 

The City's Cultural Arts Commission announced the winners of the inaugural Geneva Write Now short story contest.

The contest invited budding and experienced Geneva writers - both adults and students in middle school and high school - to share their original work. The contest theme was Geneva in the year 2020 or 2021. Family-friendly fiction or nonfiction stories with a maximum 1,200 words were accepted.

Paula Garrett, first place; Todd Hertz and Elysse Toma, second-place tie; and Mary Pastorello, third place

High School
Grace Cieslikowski, first place.

Middle School
Evelyn Barrett, first place; Elena Ramirez, second place; and Tullia Pastorello, third place

The winning stories are available on the City's website. Thank you to everyone who shared their creative writing to make this new program a success.

City Of Geneva Emergency Management Agency Seeking Volunteers

The City of Geneva Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) is seeking volunteers to join our team. Volunteers can expect to respond to community emergencies that include severe weather events, major fire and police activities, traffic management, festival assistance, and other emergency-related tasks.

The agency assists the Geneva Fire and Police departments, as well as key community organizations including the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Geneva Park District. GEMA also works with emergency management agencies at the municipal, county, state and federal levels.

The City is seeking like-minded, community-oriented volunteers. Members must be at least 18 years old, a high school graduate (or GED), have a valid Illinois driver's license, live within close proximity of Geneva, and be able to pass an in-person interview and background check. Other expectations include regular attendance at monthly planning and training meetings, and volunteer participation for a majority of the agency's emergency call-outs and planned events.

Individuals interested in learning more about the Geneva Emergency Management Agency may contact Dale Warfel by calling 630-232-9555 or sending him an email.

City, GHS Create Friendship Chairs For Graham's Patio

During their next visit to Graham's Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream in downtown Geneva, patrons will be able to enjoy that sweet treat in the two decorated "friendship chairs" on the patio.

Last year, the City's International Cultural Exchange Committee (ICEC) approached Graham's about painting Adirondack chairs to highlight the committee's mission and Geneva's partner city Croissy-sur-Seine in France. With the blessing from Graham's, the committee sponsored a painting design contest titled "Chaises d'Amitie / Friendship Chairs" with Geneva High School's National Art Honor Society students.

The double chair design, a combination of two submissions from junior Lydia Kelly and senior Molly Carlson, represents international friendship with hands reaching out around the world.

The single-chair winner was from junior Maddelena Baggio, who painted a 13th century chapel of St. Leonard in Croissy-sur-Seine.

The students painted at home during the winter, and the chairs were officially unveiled on Graham's patio this spring. Pictured in the photo were Graham's General Manager Bonnie Pechous, Lydia Kelly, Geneva High School Art Teacher Megan Kelly, and Baggio. Carlson was unable to attend.

The City of Geneva would like to thank the ICEC, Graham's Chocolates, teacher Megan Kelly, and the students who turned this project into a reality.

Geneva Participating In Regional Climate Change Initiative   

Geneva is taking an active role in helping launch one of the first regional climate action plans in the United States.

The public is invited to attend the virtual July 13 launch event. Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns will serve as one of the guest speakers.

The program is free, but registration is required.

Report Mosquito Problems, Subscribe For Spraying Alerts This Summer  

Geneva residents can report standing water issues or high mosquito population levels to the City's abatement contractor from the convenience of their laptop or phone. Visit Clarke's website and submit your information.

Do you want to be notified of nighttime adult mosquito applications?

People can sign up to receive alerts from Clarke or the City of Geneva. When a spraying has been scheduled, subscribers will be the first to know.

Kane County Hosting Annual Recycling Extravaganza  

Kane County will be conducting its annual recycling extravaganza from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 10 at the Kane County Circuit Clerk's Office, 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

The program will be accepting electronics, aerosol products, latex paint, holiday light strings, fluorescent lamps, clothing, styrofoam, propane canisters, books, and more. Full program regulations, including fees for select items, are detailed in Kane County's news release. Paper shredding will not be part of the collection event.

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

ComEd Tree Trimming Continues This Summer  

Commonwealth Edison has begun its summer tree trimming operations in various sections throughout Geneva.

Starting in June and continuing in July, ComEd crews will be performing critical work that could include trimming work ranging up to tree removal to protect its electric infrastructure near:

  • Chalmers, Kansas and Nebraska streets just north of the Union Pacific Railway, and
  • South of Fargo Boulevard from Dunstan Road to Western Avenue.

ComEd will be conducting its regular tree trimming program in July generally along Kirk Road, Fabayn Parkway, the Geneva business park, Illinois Prairie Path, and unincorporated areas south of the Allendale subdivision.

While the City of Geneva owns and operates its own electric utility, ComEd runs power lines through the community to our substations as well as neighboring municipalities. The company states its vegetation management program helps ensure electrical reliability since tree branch contact with power lines is a leading cause of outages.

ComEd notified affected residents about tree trimming taking place in their neighborhood. Maps and more information also can be found on the City's website.

Residents who have questions or concerns with ComEd's program can call the company at 800-334-7661.

Economic Development News: Check Out Geneva's Newest Businesses

We love it when new businesses want to call Geneva home. Check out the latest additions on the City's New Business Map. Looking for other business information? A comprehensive online Business Directory and the City's Explore Map are handy resources to find restaurants, shops and experiences in Geneva.

Police News: Geneva Police Social Worker Program Extended  

After conducting a successful eight-month pilot program, the City has continued its partnership with the Association for Individual Development (AID) to provide a part-time, on-site social worker at the Geneva Police Department.

AID social worker Mekayla Anderson joined the Geneva Police Department this winter and is working eight hours a week following up on cases and police officer referrals, making home visits, and training officers.

Anderson has a bachelor of social work degree with a minor in criminal justice/psychology and recently earned her master of social work degree from Aurora University. In her new role, she is assisting the public in accessing local resources for mental health services, crisis intervention, emotional support, funeral preparations, legal advocacy, safety planning, and more.

The City's partnership with AID works to complement the Geneva Police Department's existing Crisis Intervention Team, which is comprised of officers who have received specialized training to assist residents with mental illness. Bringing a social worker on board is a vital addition to the department to offer important community resources to those in need.

Geneva residents who would like to make an appointment with Anderson can call the AID Crisis Line at 630-966-9393, send her an email or call the Geneva Police Department at 630-232-4736 during her Wednesday office hours.

Conversations with Anderson are kept confidential unless a person expresses they are going to harm themselves or others. Additionally, social workers are mandated reporters and would be required to disclose physical abuse or neglect to authorities.

The social worker program runs through April 2022, but the City hopes to continue this initiative going forward as part of its annual budgeting process.

The City has contracted with AID since 2014 to provide 24-hour outreach and assistance to victims of crime or trauma, people in crisis or struggling with substance abuse, and individuals dealing with mental health issues that cannot be resolved by police intervention alone. Last year, the Geneva Police Department and AID worked together to offer services to 229 people through the on-call program and referrals. AID Victim Services has more than 14 years of experience working with local police and fire departments.

Safety First Blog: Stay Safe With The Return Of Events Season This Summer   

With the State of Illinois moving into Phase 5, special events are beginning to make a return to Geneva.

With Swedish Days last month and more events on tap this summer, Geneva will certainly be busier than last year. It is important to remember that with the resumption of community events, 5K runs, and marathons, comes increased traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular. To assure a safe return to events season, it is important to follow some basic safety guidelines.

  • Watch for pedestrians and stop for them in the crosswalk;
  • If you are a pedestrian, make sure motorists see you prior to stepping out into the crosswalk;
  • Do not use electronic devices when driving unless they are hands free. Even then, it is recommended that you do not utilize your phone when driving in heavy traffic or near pedestrians;
  • Wear your seat belt;
  • Be patient when driving through the heavier than normal traffic;
  • Be alert for temporary parking restrictions; and
  • Do not drink and drive. There are a multitude of alternative transportation options available.

Thank you for partnering with us to make the 2021 summer safe and memorable.

Eric Passarelli
Geneva Police Chief

Geneva Police To Participate At Summer Bike Rodeo Event    

Community Development News: Our Project Map Keeps You Connected

Geneva residents can follow development projects from application submission to City Council approval - and everything in between - by visiting the City's Development Projects Map. People also can subscribe to receive updates every time the City modifies the map.

Public Works News: Summer Road Work Season

Good news! A majority of the City's 2021 street improvement program has been completed. The last remaining project is a water main replacement/road reconstruction taking place on Andover, Normandy and Greenwich lanes.

Residents can keep on top of the latest road work taking place in Geneva by visiting the City's website and subscribing via Notify Me.

The City posts regular updates regarding its annual residential street improvement program and other City-related projects. When the Illinois Department of Transportation or Kane County share information with us about road work on Geneva's highways, subscribers will be the first to know. 

Residents Can Participate In Voluntary Electric Load Reduction Program

When the weather heats up this summer, 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.

The City offers a voluntary electric load reduction program to all customers by alerting them via Twitter and our website to cut down power 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. The Geneva electric system has plenty of capacity and reserve to serve all its customers.

People wanting timely updates of when to reduce electricity consumption in a home or business during peak power days can:
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 lights in empty rooms.

The City will issue about 20 alerts to customers during an average summer.

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

Keep Tabs On Geneva's Outdoor Watering Schedule

As Geneva residents look to keep their lawns looking green this summer, they should take note of the City's sprinkler regulations.

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

People 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, visit the City's website or call the Geneva Public Works Department Water Division at 630-232-1551.

Geneva's Brush Pickup Continues This Summer

Brush pickup 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 Tree Specialists will not collect material produced by a private contractor.

The brush program divides the City into two zones with each zone being collected one time per month through November. A schedule, regulations and a collection progress map that will be updated weekday mornings can be found on the City's website. Residents living on any of the border streets detailed in the map are included in Zone 1.

Since collection days can vary, residents should place brush and limbs on the parkway by 7 a.m. Monday on their designated week. Crews will not return to a neighborhood until the next scheduled pickup.

Tree branches must be stacked with the cut ends facing in one direction toward the curb or edge of the pavement - not in the street. Branches and stumps cannot exceed 12 inches in diameter, and tree limbs should be less than 12 feet in length.

Residents should not tie bundles of branches with rope or wire. No foreign materials, such as construction debris, fencing, lumber, wire, grass, flowers, and garden waste will be collected.

For more information about Geneva's refuse and recycling services, visit 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. The City's character is found in its distinct architecture, historic buildings and picturesque natural areas. With festivals and events year-round, Geneva is a special destination for unique and award-winning shopping, restaurants, galleries and more. Home to excellent schools, library, parks and a vibrant cultural arts scene, Geneva continues to be one of the premier cities in the Chicago area to live, work, play and raise a family. For the latest news, visit the City's website.