Throughout Geneva’s more than 178-year history, the debate about “east v. west” has often taken center stage among elected officials, residents, business owners and even students.
Shortly after I was elected mayor of Geneva in 2001, I suggested and secured buy-in from the City Council to put to rest the friendly, but sometimes fierce, discussion about the differences between Geneva west of the Fox River and Geneva east of the Fox River.
With the support of the City Council, professional staff, Chamber of Commerce and business owners and residents throughout Geneva, the traditional definition of Downtown Geneva being River Lane west to Seventh Street was amended to reflect new boundaries — East Side Drive west to Anderson Boulevard — and new opportunities.
Moreover, the City Council implemented policies designed to buttress our strategy by affording business owners, landowners and prospective new enterprises east of the Fox River to participate in funding opportunities, marketing opportunities as well as zoning improvements/changes to better serve the unique and underdeveloped East State Street Corridor.
As a result of this “new thinking”, the East State Street Corridor has experienced new development and redevelopment including senior housing on the northeast corner of Rt. 25 and Rt. 38 , a newly designed shopping/convenience center that houses the iconic Munchie P’s, substantial physical and aesthetic improvements to Malone Funeral Home, a new Dairy Queen, Riganto's Italian Restaurant, Valley Animal Hospital, CVS Pharmacy and Aldi grocery store, to name a few.
In addition, right-of-way improvements that include brick ribbons when new sidewalks are installed, holiday decorations along the East State Street Corridor and lighting standards that reflect the character of “old Geneva” and the availability of Façade Improvement Grants are but of few of the initiatives carried out to make this important business/residential district special.
So, in short, the area east of the Fox River has seen new opportunities because the City Council, professional staff, Chamber of Commerce and others have embraced the new boundaries of Downtown Geneva.
As a result, our historic, vibrant and venerable downtown continues to be the example other communities strive to replicate. I respectfully ask for your vote for mayor on Tuesday, April 9, and, together, we’ll continue to embrace the opportunities that make the East State Street Corridor a vital part of Geneva’s downtown.
Kevin R. Burns
Mayor of Geneva & Candidate for Reelection
LEADERSHIP STEWARDSHIP COMMITMENT