A very small number of residents attended the two Town Hall meetings for the purpose of discussing possible downtown improvements on Thursday, February 12. The meetings took place in two sessions—the first began at 5:30 p.m., at the Heartland Bank Conference Room, and the second session began at 7 p.m., in the same conference room.
The meetings dealt with the second round of CDBG funding the city is scheduled to receive. The first round of CDBG funding added historic street lighting to the city’s downtown center. The sessions discussed possible uses of the new grant funding, which is expected to be in the $350,000 range.
JEO Consulting Group, Inc., staffers facilitated the sessions, which featured a memorial water feature and a plaza concept being constructed in the northern section of the East Bull Pen area in Geneva. The front entrance to the area would be on G Street, while the back entrance would have parking. The concept would include a veteran memorial element with a reflecting pool; an amphitheater, event space and relaxation areas. Attractive lighting elements and outdoor seating would also be located in the area.
Various ideas on what the veteran memorial could be were discussed including plaques, ‘wall of honor’, honoring specific military branches or honoring specific conflicts/wars. As presented, the JEO concept would carry a price tag of $900,000.
“It’s important to know this is just a concept,” said Steve Parr with JEO at the second meeting session. “Is this something that is good…Is this something you want…Is this something that you like?”
Parr also said that the project could be split into different segments to allow for funding to come in by increments. With a city match, $480,000 could be available with the CDBG funding. Pursuing grant money and foundation grants were also discussed. The possibility of starting a capital campaign was also mentioned. Also, local service groups, Legions and VFW posts might want to get involved separately in raising the funding for the veteran memorial elements to the project.