MENASHA (NBC 26) — Waterfront property is prime real estate, and Menasha is looking to highlight that.
In 2019, the City of Menasha finished plans to revitalize the Water Street corridor.
The plans make use of the waterfront property by repairing the shore wall and implementing a riverwalk. It also opens up opportunities for development down the line.
“People want to live next to trails, they want to have that outdoor activity that they can do, they want to be next to the water,” said Menasha Mayor Donald Merkes. “This allows you to walk and also lets you be in the water too.”
At Monday night’s Menasha Common Council meeting, the administration committee accepted a $2 million Neighborhood Investment Grant.
“The grants were really made to help with some of the impacts of Covid, and one of the things we noticed with Covid was that everyone was out using our trails,” said Mayor Merkes.
But these plans weren’t without resident concerns. Douglas Bodway owns a business on Water Street.
“The business has been around since back in the early 50s,” said Bodway, owner of Valley Marine Mart.
Bodway owns the land his business is on but leases an area across the street from the city.
“As long as they leave me with the ramp and the dock and stuff here, I can work around just about everything,” said Bodway.
Other residents were concerned that there are projects of higher importance.
“Everything can't be done at once, so we need to look for items that will add to economic development, will add to that story of what Menasha is and encourage more people to come here, and this is one of those,” said Mayor Merkes.
Now that the grant has been accepted, it could be implemented into 2023-2024 city budgets.
If the Water Street corridor plan is approved, construction would start in 2023 and be completed in 2024.
“What makes... Menasha different is that access to the waterfront,” said Mayor Merkes.