The City of Geneva Hires Lobbyist to Protect Its Status as a Leading CO2 Emitter and Completely Ignores Settler’s Hill and Midway Landfills’ Fugitive Methane (86 times more powerful than CO2 when it comes to global warming).
Today the Illinois Governor announced Rebuild Illinois grants totaling $106,000,000 to 50 fifty Illinois cities and villages. The Illinois grants are matched with Federal funds. The City of Aledo (population less than four thousand) will receive a grant of $6 million for “Roadway & streetscape improvements, including public plazas.” Geneva is not among the 50 recipients. Maybe Geneva needs a better lobbyist in Springfield, plus one in Washington, or none at all.
A year ago this month the City of Geneva (by a 7-1 vote, Swanson was the demurrer) agreed to a $78,000 contract with a lobbyist.
|RESOLUTION NO. 2021-66 A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH JLD CONSULTING GROUP, LLC|
Among the services to be provided were:
“Assist the City of Geneva in continuing to strengthen, maintain, and further engage with members of the Illinois Legislature, Governor’s Office, and other State Governmental bodies and authorities.”
“Work directly with City of Geneva officials and State of Illinois officials on mitigation proposals to reduce hardship potentially caused by new State energy policy.”
So as far as getting any of the $212 million in Build Illinois money to help get the long-stalled (since 2007) East Side Corridor started, the $78,000 “assist” netted zero. And Route 38 (State Street) is an Illinois State Highway and Designated Truck Route.
Woodstock is getting $6mil to rehab its Opera House. Apparently, the Governor is more fond of Woodstock groundhogs than Geneva’s lobbyist-backed chipmunks. Geneva’s historic Wrate Building has a crumbling foundation, and the Mill Race Inn site is as blighted as they come.
But the Mayor and the City Council spend their time looking for ways to give away local tax dollars through TIFs and LIHTCs, not looking for ways to get back some Geneva tax dollars from the state and feds. Then they fund consultants for charettes and for lobbying. Is it time for a reboot?
Even more ominous than the above for Genevan’s future budgets is the failure to rescue the largest Illinois CO2 emitter, Prairie State Power. Geneva has a long-term “take or pay” contract with this electric power disaster. Illinois’ Clean Energy Future Awaits Gov. Pritzker Signature (governing.com)The Governor went out of his way to disclaim any sympathy for the suckers like Geneva (northern Illinois denizens have been called suckers since the 1820s) who bought into PS.
Somehow “JLD’s” (the lobbyist) “regular reports” that are required by the Ordinance 2021-66 have not made it onto a single City of Geneva Agenda for discussion. Only the invoices show up with monotonous regularity in a search of the City website.
Meanwhile, Geneva pretends it does not have a landfill problem. This is even so after the groundwater east of Kirk Road recently became unpotable from 1-4 dioxane leaking from the landfills. (City of Geneva water has been provided to this area, but apparently, without requiring sewer hookup – have you looked at your City water/sewer bill?) But 1-4 dioxane is just a flea bite.
Settlers Hill has a methane capture system that generates electricity. Midway Landfill to the east (where the golf course is) has no liner or cap. Fugitive landfill methane is a major contributor to global warming. Until recently the magnitude of the landfill methane problem was underestimated. Geneva cannot solve this problem alone. However, Geneva’s legacy should not be “They fiddled while the world burned.”