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Rusty shipping container escalates tension for neighbors on Water Street

rusty shipping container menasha
Posted at 12:23 AM, Oct 11, 2023
  • Asher Jacobson owns seven properties along Water Street in Menasha, and he says he wants to use his background in construction to renovate each space.
  • Jacobson says he has been storing his work materials in a shipping container, which he's kept on his property, but the container is not allowed by city ordinance.
  • Neighbor Bethanie Gengler says she and Jacobson have a long history of issues with one another, and this is only the latest problem.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

In Menasha, a dispute among neighbors made its way to a city court of appeals on Tuesday because of this rusty shipping container on Water Street.

"They are telling us it's not allowed to be kept on our private property. We tried to put it back as far as we could on the lot to make it as little visible as possible for the time frame that it was going to be here, and then we had our neighbor who disagreed with it being here."

"He has been harassing neighboring residents, putting garbage on his properties, and trash; he has now moved a storage container there."

One property owner is at odds with several of his neighbors over this shipping container at a property on Water Street.

The neighbors appeared at Menasha City Center because of their latest dispute.

Property owner Asher Jacobson says the container's purpose is to hold materials while he works to improve his properties.

"We're just asking for permission to hold the container for a specific time frame to do the work that we want to do to make them beautiful."

He says he wants to restore the properties that he's bought and has been renting out. In total, he has purchased about seven of them just along Water Street.

He says he is providing homes to tenants who don't normally find nice places to stay at affordable rates in the city.

"And he just really helps a lot of families out, and like, we're a family with seven kids and he rented it to us. And, I don't know, he's just been really good to us."

But not everyone is happy with him, including Water Street neighbor Bethanie Gengler.

Carey and Jason Halverson live near another one of Jacobson's properties on Racine Street, and they also spoke out about their experience.

"Be very wary of him."

"Because he talks and can present himself very well, but he's forked on all the way."

"Just tell him no a couple of times and then you'll see what happens."

"See exactly what goes on."

The container's location is against city ordinance, and a board heard his request for a two-year period to keep the container on his property while he works.

The board asked him why he didn't keep materials in an existing garage at the same location, and he said there had been issues with theft in the past.

Ultimately, the board denied Jacobson's appeal, so the container will have to be moved.