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Mayor, officials: Future bright under new consultant

November 14, 2018

GENOA – Joseph Misurelli cast a long shadow at the first Genoa State of the City meeting, since he died two days before last Chritsmas.

“Joe made time for everyone. He listened. He cared,” Mayor Mark Vicary said of the city’s long-serving late administrative consultant.

During the annual public luncheon at the Genoa City Hall on Tuesday, Vicary announced a new program that will honor Misurelli and his long commitment to Genoa, and provide an opportunity for Genoa residents to pay tribute to their own loved ones. The City of Genoa Tree of Honor Program will allow participants to purchase engraved golden leaves which will be displayed in the shape of a tree at Genoa City Hall.

A portion of the proceeds from the leaves purchased will be placed in the city’s tree fund to pay for the city to plant trees throughout the community.

Vicary described the time after Misurelli’s passing as a dark time for Genoa.

“The storm we weathered could easily have brought us down,” he said.

But, Vicary said, he was proud that, within two weeks of Misurelli’s death, the city had found a replacement in administrative consultant, Bill Nanek, who was hired at the beginning of 2018. Nanek provided an overview of the city’s finances Tuesday afternoon, detailing the ways the annual $7 million budget is divvied up between 17 separate funds.

Police receive 51 percent of the budget, with 17 percent going to streets and forestry, 13 percent devoted to garbage services, and 12 percent reserved for administration and finance.

“The city is dong a good job,” Nanek said. “I’m not finding there’s much, if anything, to trim.”

Next, Management Assistant Alyssa Seguss, presented the building projects that have come to Genoa in the past year or will be arriving in the next year. Most noteworthy, the Riverbend subdivision— which was abandoned, unfinished, roughly a decade ago, during the Great Recession—will be getting a new lease on life.

Seguss said the city has been approached by a developer about finishing the so-called “zombie subdivision.”

“If completed,” Seguss said, “this development would increase the city’s population by 10 percent.”

For reference, the city’s population, as of 2017, was 5,220.

Public Works Director Rich Gentile and Police Chief Robert Smith gave brief updates before the meeting’s close. Gentile outlined the department’s recent spending, noting that the Public Works department had spent $100,000 to build an equipment storage building where large equipment will be kept during the winter months. Smith outlined the Police Department’s recent hires, stating that one part-time officer had been bumped up to full-time, one auxiliary officer had been promoted to part-time and three new auxiliary officers had been hired.

The meeting closed with remarks from Vicary, who said the city was very pleased with the current state of things, especially considering how 2018 began.

“We’re simply beaming from ear-to-ear with the success we’ve had this year,” Vicary said, throwing a smiley face emoji up on the projector, “despite a rough start.”

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