Sam's club
Rainbow over Batavia

City of Batavia advances proposals on how to proceed with budget after Sam's Club closing

Some cuts. Some progressive actions. 

• Dropping an employee tuition-reimbursement program, which had been cut during the 2008 recession and resumed Jan. 1.
• Banning out-of-state travel for employees.
• Paying for police Tasers over five years, rather than one year.
• Delaying $25,000 worth of fire department equipment purchases.
• Having a pancake breakfast instead of the planned dinner (it alternates by year).
• Putting off buying furniture for the police records office.
• Eliminating an $8,000 increase for professional services for economic development.
• Not hiring a summer intern for the community development department.
• Delaying the purchase of a police administrative vehicle.
• Eliminating the purchase of anti-vandalism cameras that were to keep an eye on the Wilson Street bridge.
• Canceling the police subscription to the Lexipol management software sooner than planned.
The delays and cuts would amount to about $576,000.

Read the entire story in the Daily Herald Business Ledger. 

Batavia Radon Event

Batavia Environment Commission hosts indoor
air quality event February 10

Brrrrr! Batavia sure is cold in February! Have you thought about your indoor air quality lately?Come warm up with hot soup an cocoa while we enjoy a FREE MOVIE presentation about Radon from the Batavia Environmental Commission and the Kane County Healthy Places Coalition! Food and Drinks included!

Saturday, February 10 at 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Speak Up flier

Batavia Public Library hosts SpeakUp! event to generate ideas and feedback for the future

Speak Up! Library seeks input from residents  
The Batavia Public Library will host “Speak Up!” — a series of town-hall community engagement sessions — over the next four months to find out what library district residents like or dislike about the library and what they want from their library in the future.
The first session of “Speak Up!” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., February 1, in the Batavia High School cafeteria. Long-time Batavia residents Kathryn Hubbard and Daniel Russo will serve as co-chairs of four sessions. Subsequent sessions will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on March 1, April 12, and May 10, also at the high school. Each session will begin with a brief presentation followed by discussion.
At the February session, Library Director George H. Scheetz will offer an overview of the library today its programs, services, funding, collections, and challenges — to district residents seated in small groups at tables. After Scheetz’s presentation, participants will be given two to three questions to initiate dialogue at the table. Before the conclusion of the session, table groups will be asked to share highlights of their discussion with the group at large.
Hubbard, Russo, Scheetz, other community members, and library personnel have been working behind the scenes to prepare for the community engagement sessions.
“We’re hoping for a large turnout,” said Scheetz, “The success of “Speak Up!” relies on participation from a broad-based representation of community members. The Board of Library Trustees wants to hear from as many people as possible, and we want residents to hear what other residents are saying. Information gathered from the workshops will serve as the basis for a community-wide collaborative vision that will inform the decisions for future Batavia Public Library programs and services.”
All Batavia residents are invited and encouraged to participate in “Speak Up!” An RSVP is appreciated (but not required) for planning purposes at

Gift Wrapping

Batavia Mainstreet Unwraps its 2018 Calendar of Events

The 2018 Batavia Mainstreet Calendar is here. Plan your year with Mainstreet! We'll see you there!

Composting image

How to mulch your way through gardening season

Now that the New Year is here, getting your garden ready is probably the last thing on your mind. And Batavia, like every other Midwestern town in the United States, isn’t having the best weather to start up our gardens. In fact, the ground has been so cold that digging wouldn’t be an option anyway.

Still, there is nothing wrong with planning ahead of time because, before we know it, spring will hit Batavia and its surrounding communities, and the time will be to plant. So why not be ready?

This year, we are giving our residents some insights on why mulching might be a good practice for your household.

What Is Mulch?

In short, mulch is pretty much anything that is placed on top of the soil in a garden or landscape. They are very helpful to gardeners if they want their landscapes to be low-maintenance.

There are all types of mulch available, both organic and inorganic. Some examples of good mulch are shredded bark chips, compost and manure, grass clippings, shredded leaves, straw, and even newspaper. Organic selections will decompose, which means you will have to add more mulch after time, but the benefits are amazing.

Dry Mulch

It’s up to you how dry or wet your mulch will be, but the truth is that when mulch is dry, it decomposes at a slower rate. This might be great so you don’t have to keep adding mulch but the nutrients in the mulch won’t be getting to the soil where they are needed.

Wet Mulch

If you choose a wood or bark mulch, it’s important that you water it well right after you install it. Not only will it amp up the decomposition of the mulch you laid down, it will prevent the high-temperature tolerant microorganisms found in some mulches after they are stored. They will die when they are cooled down. If left to their own devices, these microorganisms will group tougher in the mulch and create a surface over your garden that repels water.

One thing you will need is a good garden hose. If you have a garden and a few landscape bushes you plan on mulching, then a quality hose will make your job of wetting it all down all the easier. Check out these garden hose reviews by The Sleep Judge if you feel your current hose won’t be able to live up to the job.

It’s all about the base

When it comes time to lay down your mulch it is important that you remember not to overwhelm the crowns of your plants or the bases of your trees. If the mulch is placed close enough for contact with trunks or stems moisture linger and your plants and trees can develop crown rot.

It can also be a great place for rodents to hide while waiting to eat your plants. As a rule of thumb you should keep a few inches between your crowns and stems and your mulch.
While you are at it, watch how thickly you lay down your mulch as well. Mulch made from wood can decompose in high temperature storage and dry out. Again, you wouldn't want to be dealing with those microorganisms that can create a water repellent barrier.

Mulch that is too deep can prevent the water in the soil to evaporate, which can cause more problems with the roots and stems. They can also be deprived of oxygen if you put too much mulch down. Try to not go any higher than 3 inches.


Before distributing the mulch, it’s a good idea to add a nitrogen source to the soil. Those same microorganisms we keep mentioning love nitrogen and can deplete the soil if some is not added, which would be unfortunate for annuals and perennials. You can tell your plants are suffering from a nitrogen deficiency when their leaves start to turn yellow. There are several sources of nitrogen you can add like urea, blood meal, and high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer.


There are a great many benefit to adding mulch to your garden. It provides slow release nutrients while preventing vitamin deficiencies in your plants. Mulch will retain moisture for your soil, which will lessen the time you need to spend watering your garden. It will create a preventive barrier between your garden and weeds while still increasing the biological activity.

Mulching creates soil conditions that are excellent by binding soils that are more like sand and open up soils that have a clay consistency. You will save your energy and time because you won’t need to cultivate your soil and the nutrients you add to your soil won’t leach out due to the three inches of mulch you just laid down.

By adopting this practice, you will help protect your plants from frost and the surface will remain, which is great when you want to harvest the fruits and nuts that fall from the trees. Soil will drain well and the mulch will help support your garden.


The benefits of mulching are indisputable, and we think it’s something everyone that lives in Batavia, as well as residents of other communities, should take full advantage of it. Your plants will thank you for it and so will your back, when it doesn’t hurt from all the extra work mulching will save you.

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