Frequently Asked Questions


[FIRE] [PARK & REC] [STREET] [UTILITY]

FIRE DEPARTMENT

Do you charge for fire response?
The Town of Menasha Fire Department does not charge residents for any type of fire response with the     exception of false alarms.  The Town Fire Prevention Code allows the fire department to submit an invoice  for payment when a resident or business has more than one false alarm in a 12-month period. 

 Do you charge for emergency medical responses?
Because the Town of Menasha Fire Department does not operate a transporting ambulance service, we do not charge for medical runs.  Any invoice you may receive for emergency medical services will be from an ambulance provider.

Do you charge for Carbon Monoxide Checks?
The Fire Department does not charge for responses when you call about your Carbon Monoxide Detector sounding.  Carbon Monoxide detectors have made good improvements in quality over the year, but whenever any family member has flu like symptoms when they are home and no symptoms when they are out of the house, there may be a chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Don’t hesitate to call us to check for carbon monoxide.

When should I call the fire department for help?
The Town of Menasha Fire Department wants to be called whenever you need our help or smell or see smoke or fire or for medical emergencies.  Regardless of how much or little smoke or flames or regardless of how really bad you feel, we are here to help you in any type of emergency. 

Should I call if I had a small fire that I extinguished myself?
Always, always call whenever you have any size fire in your residence or business, even if you think it is extinguished.  The fire department will respond one engine to check to make sure the fire has not extended into a space out of your sight that could result in a fire loss later.  Additionally, by contacting us we can see what type of fire incidents are happening in the community and provide public education programs that address the specific issues.

Why does the dispatch center ask so many questions when I call for help?
The Winnebago County Emergency Communications Center has skilled dispatchers whose responsibility is to ensure that the proper help is sent to any emergency call.  Although it may seem like it takes a lot of time to answer questions, the information you give to the dispatcher is relayed to the responding units; preparing us to better serve you immediately upon arrival.

Why does it take the fire department so long to get to the scene?
When there is an emergency time slows down to a crawl.  What may seem like 20-minutes for us to arrive actually is much less.  However, keep in mind that your actions when you discover an emergency situation greatly impact our response times.  If you wait until after you have attempted to extinguish a fire unsuccessfully to call the department, we have lost valuable time in our ability to respond and suppress the fire.  Always, regardless of whether you think you can extinguish the fire, Call 911 immediately.  The sooner we are on the way the sooner we get there.

Why does the fire department hesitate to search for animals in a fire?
The fire department’s primary mission is to save the life of any person exposed to fire or smoke.  After the fire is under control we will look for any pets you may have, but we need to make sure the conditions are safe to the extent that the fire is significantly extinguished and does not pose an immediate threat to firefighters or civilians.  In multi-family dwellings we cannot let you go in a look for pets or personal items until the units are deemed safe.

Why does the fire truck respond when there is a medical call?
Occasionally the firefighters are in training or responding from another emergency call. 

What type of safety programs can the fire department offer schools?
The fire department is actively involved in several of the church based schools in responding to requests for presentation to their students.  For the younger grades we address items such as “Stop, Drop and Roll”, “Calling for 911”, “Smoke Detectors”, “Matches and Lighter Safety” and “Firefighters are Your Friends”.  For older students we will customize any safety lesson depending upon the request from the teacher.  We  participate in Career and Safety Days.

What type of safety programs can the fire department offer businesses?
The Fire Department has the resources, both in printed and video form as well as the expertise of its staff to present most fire and business safety lessons.  We also encourage businesses to include employee home fire and life safety lessons as part of a comprehensive safety program.  The Fire Department also works with Fox Valley Technical College to conduct fire extinguisher training upon request.

What are Some Other Fire Department Public Safety Programs?
The Fire Department has a member that is a certified child passenger safety technician..  You may contact the fire department at 920-729-0931 to schedule a time to have your child’s car seat inspected to ensure that the installation is correct and that the seat is the proper one for your child.  Expecting parents are encouraged to make this appointment before the baby arrives or immediately after to ensure that your new bundle of joy is protected.

Can the fire department come inspect my house?
The fire department is not allowed to inspect private residences unless invited by the homeowner.  Our visit may be less of an inspection that would result in violation documentation as it is an opportunity to address home safety issues.  The Town of Menasha Fire Department developed an E.D.I.T.H. (Exit Drills in the Home) program where fire department staff (weather permitting with a fire truck) will come to your home and talk to your family about safety issues and assist you in developing a home escape plan.

Can I make a contribution to the fire department?
The Fire Department is supported by your tax dollars however we do have an account that is for the purchase of additional Automatic Defibrillators for our First Responders.  For the past couple of years we have had a Brat Fry in conjunction with our Open House to collect monies for purchase of Defibs.  If you would like to donate money, you may make it to that account.

PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT

Is there a different fee for residents or non-residents when they rent a park or community center room? 
NO the identical fee is charged for residents or non-residents for all activities and rentals.

Is alcohol / beer allowed in Town parks?
YES, alcohol is allowed in all Town parks, however, no glass is allowed

Are there kitchens in the park pavilions?
YES, 5 of the 7 parks have a kitchen to rent

Does the Community Center have rooms for rent?
Yes, 3 rooms are available.

Who do we call about long grass or noxious weeks?
The Town Park Department enforces that state statute and municipal code, which states noxious weeds must be cut, but not long grass.

STREET DEPARTMENT 

One of the street lights on my road is burnt out. Who do I contact?
WE Energies maintains the street lights in the Town of Menasha.  To report a burnt out street light, call WE Energies directly at 1-800-242-9137 (press “0” for the operator). If you are able to obtain the pole number, that would be very helpful to WE Energies. 

Where can I dispose of used engine oil?
The Town of Menasha Municipal Complex has a used engine oil drop-off site located at the west end of the parking lot. Please take your empty oil containers back home with you.

Can I put my grass clippings out at the curb for garbage pick-up?
No, grass clippings are not picked up in the Town of Menasha.  Fertilize your lawn by leaving your grass clippings behind.  Grass clippings are rich in nitrogen, an important fertilizing agent.  If you must get rid of your grass clippings, you can take them to the Winnebago County Landfill in Oshkosh (727-2884).

Where I can drop off branches and brush from my yard?
The Town of Menasha’s drop-off center is located at 1422 E. Shady Lane, and is open during daylight hours, every day during the Tree & Brush Chipping Program. Brush, tree branches, cuttings, and small root balls will be accepted.  No grass clippings or leaves!  

Please note: Town of Menasha brush chipper will be in your neighborhood during the Tree & Brush Chipping Program to chip your branches and brush curbside.  Refer to the annual Town of Menasha “Garbage/Recycling Calendar” for specific dates.

     
   

UTILITY BILLING

When should I call if I am moving?

BEFORE YOU MOVE OUT! Following is a list of questions we will ask you so be prepared when you call.  However, the most important thing is to call before you move because we cannot get a retroactive reading, so if you wait to call until after you have moved out, you will pay for charges you might not have incurred.

           Name & Address (moving from)
           Forwarding Address
           Telephone Number
           Date of reading requested (move out date or closing date)

What should I do if my bill seems extremely high?

In most cases, a bill that is unusually high is the result of a water leak that you are not aware of.  The first place check is the toilets. A leaking toilet can consume an extraordinary amount of water. Most people believe that they would hear a leaking toilet, but this is not always true. In many cases the rubber plunger slowly deteriorates and allows the water to leak without any noticeable sound.  You can check your toilet by putting food coloring into the back tank of the toilet and wait a few minutes. If the colored water passes through down into the bowl, you have a leak. This is a constant leak and could become quite costly if not corrected.  We cannot adjust for water that has passed through the meter, even if you never used it or benefited from it. Further, the water does drain into the sanitary sewer system and we cannot adjust the sewer portion of your bill.  If no leak is detected, you should turn all the faucets and water sources off in your home and go to the meter. If the meter continues to move, you have a leak somewhere else in your home.  If you cannot find the leak, we will come with special instruments to find the leak for you.  However, you are responsible to repair the leak. Also, considering the bill may be very high due to this leak, we would provide special arrangements for making deferred payments. (SEE FIRST QUESTION)

Why do I have a quarterly water bill when I was out of town during the entire billing cycle and my water was turned off?

Even if you don’t use any water, you will be billed for the base charges for public fire protection, a meter service charge, and a sewer base charge. These are fixed charges for service and billed each quarter even though there was no consumption.  If we pull your meter and reinstall the meter when you return from an extended absence, your charges will be suspended.  However, you will have to pay for the meter reinstall and you will need to schedule the reinstall in advance.

 

How is my meter read?  I never notice anyone at my home to read the meter.

Every customer in the Town of Menasha Utility District has a meter that sends a radio signal to specific equipment we use to record meter readings. This equipment is installed in a meter reading vehicle and as the meter reader drives near your residence, the equipment is programmed to accept a reading from your meter.  The meter reader brings this equipment to the billing department and the readings are downloaded into the billing software.  The software detects erroneous readings and if there is an indication that the reading is unreasonable, the meter reader returns to reread your meter.  Only on rare occasions are readings estimated.

 

What is that little meter attached to my siding?

Before the utility district had the system to read meters by radio, there was an outside meter reader attached to the meters inside.  The inside meter transmitted the reading to the outside reader.  This was convenient in that the meter readers no longer had to get inside your home to read the meter.  However now that we have all radio read meters, if you still have a remote reader attached to your house, you can remove it and throw it away.  It is no longer connected to an inside meter.

 

Where can I find the rates so I can check the accuracy of my bill?

Rates and other important information can be found on our website, town-menasha.com .  Rates on the back side of the bill may not reflect the most current sewer charges.

 

What is Bank Drafting? 

It is when your utility payment is withdrawn directly from your bank account.  You will receive notice of this withdrawal prior to it occurring.  This service would eliminate the need for you to write and mail your check.  Additionally, as long as there are funds in your bank account, bank drafting would eliminate the possibility of a late payment.  This is especially useful for customers who vacation in another state for the winter. 

 

Do I get a summer sewer credit?   Summer Sewer Credit Information

 

What is the “Public Fire Protection Charge”?

Public Fire Protection is a billed charge to all customers that assures you the water utility will provide two things:

  • Adequate water and flow to extinguish a fire

  • Adequate location of fire hydrant to provide water availability

The Public Fire Protection rate is determined by the size of your water meter.