Geneva moves ahead with utility improvements

Authored by Jim Langham on Oct 15, 2012

Even as the town of Geneva is finishing completion of an $830,000 wastewater treatment plant Clerk/Treasurer Bill Warren is investigating the possibility of acquiring a $700,000 grant for line improvements.
Currently, the town is in the process of installing a generator at the new $830,000 wastewater plant. That move was motivated by the massive June 29 storm this past summer that caused widespread power outages throughout the area.
"One thing I was calling for that we installed was a fine screen system," said Warren. "That helps remove wood, plastic and other items before they get into the plant."
Warren told those attending the Geneva Chamber of Commerce luncheon recently that other town goals include improving park baseball diamonds, working on the lines and other downtown improvements. He credited such entities as Geneva Proud, the Park Board, VFW Post and the American Legion for assisting with the upgrades.
"The wastewater utilities are funded by bills people get in the mail every month to pay for wastewater services," noted Warren. "It is getting harder and harder to meet standards mandated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management."
Warren said that when he and his family came to Geneva in 1987, they found it to be a very unique community. They immediately located on the Lake of the Woods and felt like they meshed into residential living at the Lake of the Woods.
"When we came into the downtown area, we saw right away that it had a very functional downtown," said Warren. "We are very fortunate that our merchants have found a way to survive. They keep people coming downtown. People are putting their effort to the betterment of Geneva.
"We used to have a school in Geneva, a Wabash Township School," Warren told those attending the monthly Chamber update at the town hall. "I was so impressed; before the wrecking ball even came to the old school, local residents had already decided what they wanted. They wanted to do a nice memorial to the school."
Warren said that one of the things city officials have had to adjust to is running such protection as police and fire department with 11.3 percent less revenue, thanks to property tax cap legislation.
"We had to take a look at services we provide and how we can cost effectively provide services we need and take out the service we don't need," Warren said.
"In the budgets 2010 through 2013, those four years, each year, we will have spent less money than any year since 2003. We would be hard-pressed to run the town services for any less.
"We have to keep moving forward," continued Warren. "Geneva has an excellent volunteer fire department. They are dedicated to donate their time to perform the services that are needed."
Due to the need to expand space for the fire department, the Hanni Building was renovated for fire services. The upstairs was restored into a meeting room. This year, the fire department roof was replaced.
One of the most beneficial organizations in bringing attention to Geneva has been South Adams Trails, Inc. Warren likes that Trails is bringing Geneva and Berne together geographically, he also praised the organization for accessing funds to totally renovate the old Ceylon Covered Bridge, which is to become a vital part of the emerging trail system.
"The bridge is a focal point about what's happening in this area," said Warren. "People are taking notice of what is going on around here. By falling under their umbrella, we were able to have improvements made at the bridge. That's only typical, it seems like every direction we look there is something new going on around Geneva and the surrounding area."

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