Welcome to Geneva, or as the online petition against the sign says “unwelcome” to Geneva.
“We’re a city that wants to show we are inclusive care about all of our residents not just the downtown business communities and I think it’s rubbing people the wrong way,” said Jim Meaney, who started the petition against the sign.
Meaney says because of the proposed location of the sign, it’s making some residents feel excluded from the ten million dollar “downtown revitalization initiative” The award from the state is slated to go to a bunch of different projects, including the sign which would be placed on lake and exchange streets.
“When you get off the thruway you come through a big portion of the city of Geneva and the lower income area and when you get to the edge of downtown then that’s where the big sign is it’s not welcoming people at the city limits, just the downtown area,” said Meaney.
City council members say that’s actually why that spot was chosen in the first place, because the state funding was allocated to revitalize the downtown area specifically.
“The sign is proposed to be at the entrance to downtown it’s part of the downtown revitalization initiative so that’s why the focus was in that area but it’s definitely not a done deal at this point,” said city council member, Steve Valentino.
Valentino suggests anyone with a problem concerning the location should contact their city council representative, and show up to the public meetings scheduled for January 3rd, because while the funding is less flexible, the location is not set in stone.
“Those dollars can not be re-allocated we have no way to do that, after we went through the process and vetted those projects, those initiatives are expected to be carried out,” said Valentino.