The Geneva Kiwanis Club has been granted permission to host a Soap Box Derby during Swedish Days that will be a qualifying event for the legendary international title run in Akron, OH.
At Monday night's City Council meeting, aldermen voted unanimously to close streets and provide support for the six-hour event, scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 22.
The club is seeking use of the public right of way and street closure of Second Street between Fulton and Campbell streets.
In a soap box derby, boys and girls ages 7 to 13 compete in gravity powered cars that travel at speeds of 10 to 15 mph.
"The purpose of the event is to foster a positive community environment that offers opportunities to engagethe youth and serve as a fundraiser to help benefit all the children of the Geneva community," said Geneva Director of Economic Development Ellen Divita in a report to the City Council.
The winner will compete for the international title at the76th annual All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, OH, on July 27.
The Geneva Chamber of Commerce, and all city departments have reviewed and believe the event can be safely executed, Divita said.
The request does not come without concerns, however. The three stakeholder groups that would be affected by the street closure include the Berry House tenants, the Geneva Lutheran Church, and residents who reside along Second Street.
Race organizers believe residents's concerns as well as the Lutheran Church members' concerns regarding their pancake breakfast have been addressed, Divita's report said, but some of the Berry House tenants aren't happy with the loss of about 50 parking spaces.