November 04, 2014

The annual budget reflects our community’s values as it provides the resources to accomplish our goals as a city. This is where we express what is important to us and point the way to a solid future for Menasha. The 2015 budget is the result of countless hours of discussion, investigation, planning and collaboration among city employees at all levels. It represents our community’s values by funding the facilities and services essential to making Menasha an attractive choice for businesses, residents and visitors.
 
2014 was a momentous year for the City of Menasha. Years of effort on the part of both the public and private sector have resulted in a significantly accelerated pace of change and growth. We are attracting new development, new businesses, and new sources of funding for projects that will increase our tax base and bring jobs and opportunities to our entire population. We have demonstrated our ability to achieve financial stability as our debt continues its steady decline, our reserves continue to grow, and we maintain our infrastructure while continuing to fund capital improvements. All this has been accomplished with a property tax levy that has not increased for what will be the fourth year in a row.
 
This budget also initiates a CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) process to support continued management of our debt and to prioritize capital improvements. We will pay down over $2.8 million in debt in 2015 while improving miles of streets, supporting new development and parking in our downtown, and replacing essential public works equipment to enhance efficiency. We’ll continue to support our award winning public library by replacing its 40-year old roof, and contribute to the renovation of our Senior Center. These investments will enhance our quality of life for years to come.
 
Our primary goal is to leverage our considerable assets to attract innovative and energetic people to live, work, and grow their businesses in Menasha. To that end, this budget considers what sets Menasha apart from our neighbors: our abundant waterfront and parkland. We’ll center redevelopment and marketing efforts on these assets and continue to partner with grantors and the private sector on such projects as the new park on our east side, the river walk on the former Gilbert Mill property, youth recreation programming partnerships, and improvements at Koslo Field, the Trestle Trail and Clovis Grove tennis courts.
 
The health and safety of Menasha residents, visitors, and businesses is a core concern addressed in the budget through substantial investments in our Health Department, Police Department and Neenah Menasha Fire Rescue. Our Health Department will continue its partnership with the Menasha Joint School District to insure we have a population of students ready to learn while holding costs down; and provide health services that protect the public. Our police and fire rescue personnel will continue to maintain the highest standards of professionalism through ongoing training and maintenance of quality equipment and services. In addition to emergency response, both departments engage in educating the public and school children on personal and public safety, and work tirelessly to keep us safe.
 
Late in 2014 the Menasha City Council endorsed a ‘branding statement’ that expresses who we are as a community. It reads as follows:
Menasha has a rich industrial history... a heritage we owe in part to our advantageous location on Lake Winnebago, the Fox River and Little Lake Butte des Morts. These bodies of water have attracted energetic and innovative people to the city since its founding, and will continue to do so in the future.

Today, as our relationship to the water expands to a recreational focus, we welcome residents and visitors alike to experience and enjoy Menasha’s unique place on the water.

Menasha’s abundance of well maintained public waterfront access provides everyone living and working here the opportunity to enjoy a wide array of natural beauty, relaxation, and water recreation.

As a result, our city can boast of offering one of the most uniquely vibrant, colorful and active lifestyles in the entire region.

 
In 2015, we’ll apply this perspective to the marketing and promotion of our community as a destination for businesses looking to locate in the area, families looking for a home, and visitors seeking recreational opportunities. We’ll complete the work on a new web site that was begun in 2014 to provide us with a public presence on par with other communities in the region as we compete for new projects that will help us grow in numbers as well as quality of life measures.

You can read the entire budget here: 2015 Menasha Budget

 

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