October 18, 2011

Even with turbulence being commonplace here and around the state, the key concepts in the budget that I have proposed for Menasha in 2012 are stability, maintenance, and debt reduction. 

There are no new programs, no flashy projects, and no new employees.  What remains is a firm commitment to pay down debt, maintain our streets and infrastructure, and provide for the safety of our citizens.  This budget anticipates continued investment in roadways of almost $1 million, over $500,000 investment in equipment, and over $2 million in debt reduction.  These investments will position our community with the ability to provide services and maintain the quality of life important to our residents.    

The talented group of individuals which we are fortunate have chosen to work for our community have made all of this possible. They all continue to be more creative and to do more with less.  Most will see a decrease in their take home pay in 2012, and there will be three fewer people on the city’s payroll than the year before.  Because of their efforts the community has been largely insulated from massive service changes due to the steam utility debt load it is burdened with which increased $450,000 this year for a total of $1.5 million in 2012.

Menasha will see over $280,000 in reduced state revenues and $450,000 in increased debt payments mostly related to the steam utility in 2012.  Even with these monumental hurdles, the tax increase on a $100,000 home will be about $35.

On a brighter note, construction has begun and two development agreements signed to develop city owned land near Lake Park Villas.   The City of Menasha is poised to create a quality neighborhood for the future, while reducing debt for existing residents.   The new development will begin to reduce debt payments of over $680,000 annually currently born by citizens throughout the city beginning in 2013. Working with developers we will continue to attract new businesses, and help existing business grow.

Our Menasha budget for 2012 is calculated to maintain the vitality of the community while looking toward the future.  It recognizes the importance of both public safety and quality of life in achieving the balance that continues to make Menasha a good community to live in.