Monday, October 22, 2012
City staff says it's prudent to OK a 3.43 percent increase in the estimated non-debt-related portion of the tax levy, for two reasons: (a) the final levy cannot exceed the estimation and (b) it allows the city to "capture" new growth.
City of Geneva staffers are asking the City Council to recommend an estimated tax levy in the amount of $6,526,710. That's an increase of about 3.91 percent over the previous tax levy. But staffers underline that it's only prudent to do so. The primary reason is that the final levy cannot exceed the estimated tax levy, so it's to the city's advantage—in terms of total dollars the city receives to run its operations—to estimate on the high side. The danger of estimating low is that the Kane County extension can—and likely will—lower the final levy, in which case the city might have to make major budget cuts to operate. It's also a scary time for municipalities as the state of Illinois continues to hold off payments and examines ways to …
Monday, August 27, 2012
Geneva's City Council Committee of the Whole recommends the special use for a drive through at the historic Pure Oil Building following discussion Monday night. Here's the full agenda.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The city of Geneva's Committee of the Whole is evenly divided on whether to support an ordinance to allow backyard hens.
Probably every person who has ever typed up a story on the topic of backyard chickens has written or been tempted to write a lead that involves the age-old question of "What came first: the chicken or the egg?" But rarely has it been more appropriate than the city of Geneva's discussion Monday night. Members of the City Council split right up the middle, 5-5, in a straw poll on whether they would be in favor of creating an ordinance similar to one approved by Batavia in May 2011 that allows folks in the city limits to keep chickens in their back yards. Since the city of Batavia said OK to its chicken ordinance, just seven residents have applied for a permit, Geneva officials said. Geneva resident Kate Bennett was the person who asked the …
Friday, June 29, 2012
The Geneva City Council Committee of the Whole votes 9-1 to recommend the rate increase that starts ASAP.
The city of Geneva's Committee of the Whole voted 9-1 Monday to recomend a three-year, 5 percent increase in water rates and 6 percent increase in sewer rates. The first rate increase is to take place almost immediately—July 2012, Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns said. Fifth Ward Alderman Ralph Dantino cast the dissenting vote. Prior to that motion, Dantino made a motion to advance "Alternative 2" of the three options suggested by the city's consultants, Municipal & Financial Services Group. Burns said Alternative B included a 2.5 percent increase in water rates and 3.5 percent increase in sewer rates, and included $300,000 in capital improvements through 2014. The motion failed 7-3. "The committee acted in the best interests of the integrity of…
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Property owner's appeal denied amid strong opposition to plan that included demolition of historic building.
Upholding Geneva's historic integrity still outweighs the financial issues faced by the owner of the Pure Oil property on State Street. The City Council's Committee of the Whole sent that message Monday night when it upheld the Historic Presentation Commission's February decision to deny developer Joe Stanton's plan for the land at 502 W. State. The committee, after more than three hours of testimony and debate, voted 7-3 to back the HPC decision, with aldermen Sam Hill, Richard Marks and Dawn Vogelsberg unsuccessfully voting to move the appeal to the City Council. Stanton has proposed a move to put a bank drive-through on the property and, in doing so, tearing down the Pure Oil Building. The HPC shot down the idea in a 5-1 vote, …
Monday, March 26, 2012
Meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at City Hall.
The City Council's Committee of the Whole will hear an appeal tonight on the rejected plans that include demolition of the Pure Oil Building. Last month, the Historic Preservation Commission rejected a developer's plans to tear down the building in the 500 block of West State Street to make way for a bank. Click here to see the entire agenda for tonight's meeting. The 129-page background information packet can be found here.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Four-year contract calls for increases of 3.5 percent, 2 percent, 3 percent and 3 percent.
The city of Geneva is poised to accept a four-year contract with its police union that calls for a 3.5 percent pay hike the first year, and hikes of 2 percent, 3 percent and 3 percent in the following three years. The Geneva City Council Committee of the Whole will take its first public look at the agreement during its 7 p.m. Monday, March 12, meeting at City Hall. According to the summary provided in the COW's agenda packet, the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council (FOP) Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) ha been tentatively agreed upon by union representatives and the city's management team. Union members have ratified the proposed contract. The CBA is a four (4) year agreement with the following wage proposals: The management team…
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
A good example is the southeast planning area—where DuPage Airport investment is acing out Geneva's chances to gain more light industrial.
It's really a chicken-and-egg nightmare for city leaders. On the one hand, the city's tax base is way too heavy on the housing, too light on the industrial and commercial. Someone at Monday's special Committee of the Whole meeting—I think it might have been Mayor Kevin Burns—said a healthy balance is about 50-50 between residential uses and business uses. And think-tank analysts have determined that municipalities spend more than a dollar on services for every tax dollar brought in from residential development. But the services for industrial and commercial businesses cost less than a dollar for every tax dollar they generate. The upshot is that Geneva—which is more in the range of 75 percent housing—needs to double its light industrial …
Monday, January 30, 2012
The City Council Committee of the Whole looks hard at some budget challenges—one of the biggest being the downtown business district, where assessed values have dropped dramatically, according to estimates by the Geneva Township assessor.
Geneva's downtown, already under siege with more vacancies than at any time in a generation, is seeing an unexpected and unprecedented 15 percent drop in its estimated assessed value. What that means for downtown property owners is the prospect of having to pay a higher share of the costs for city services. What it means for city officials is a complex problem: What services do you cut or what revenue sources do you increase to make up the estimated shortfall? The downtown Special Services Area No. 1 was the No. 1 topic in an open-ended discussion Monday night at a special meeting of the the City Council's Committee of the Whole. Community Development Director Ellen Divita presented the council with a PowerPoint presentation that showed …
Monday, December 12, 2011
The Geneva City Council bucked the staff-recommended levy total Monday night, passing an ordinance that asks for essentially the same levy number as last year.
In a lot of ways, Monday night's City Council vote to hold the line on the 2011 tax levy was as much symbolic as it was an indicator of how much cash you'll have in your wallet next year. When it comes down to it, the difference between the amount OK'd by the council and the amount previously recommended by staff translates to about $10 a year for the owner of a $300,000 home. For the city itself, it means about $72,000 less to play with in next year's budget. But for the aldermen who voted on the levy—and for a lot of residents feeling the pinch of a down economy—it meant much more. "Where I come from, ($72,000) is not a drop in the bucket," said Russell Lefevre, a Keim Circle resident who adressed the council Monday night. "Drip by drip…