Sustainable Communities Network Quarterly Meeting Minutes – October 2013

October 3rd 2013
Transcribed by Roger Kanitz


  • Kathy Thunes ECWRPC, City of Menasha
  • Roger Kanitz – City of Menasha, SCN
  • Mike Van Dyke – Town of Menasha
  • Dick Gosse – Out. County Supervisor
  • Jerry Wittman – Out. County Facilities
  • Carol Kasimor – City of Neenah
  • John Conrad – Town of Greenville

Agenda with comments

Earth Day Planning, including evaluation planning

Group agreed that a collaborative effort by the Network for Earth Day would provide the best image to the communities we serve. This could take the form of promoting a speaker, jointly working with Cool Choices education program (Outagamie County has applied for a grant from WE Energies to do the program; Neenah had looked at the program but felt it was too costly to do alone; Menasha Utilities is currently working with the Menasha Area School District on the program), expanding on the current three (City of Menasha, Town of Menasha and City of Neenah) community electronic recycling effort to more communities, and/or helping to advertise the Earth Week Community activities information that has been developed and distributed the past three years.

Network could consider bringing Dr Connett back or another person to speak for Earth Week! Other options suggested may be to work on a Master Composting program, plastic bag bans, and to provide re-useable cloths bags to the community. It was also suggested that we could establish a bus tour of alternative energy options in the community, going to sites with solar energy arrays, wind turbines, geothermal heating systems, and other.

Other ideas are welcome!

Key points:

  1. A speaker of some value may require some degree of funding support TBD; Outagamie County could offer a site for such a speaker.
  2. Out. County will know more of Cool Choice program on November 1
  3. We need the Network and make a program selection before our January meeting; email discussion on this topic is needed

Action Items:

  1. Kathy will contact Dianne Paustian to see if she is interested in developing the poster and flyer for the Earth Week Partnership.
  2. Kathy and Jessica B to meet to discuss the Earth Week Partnership
  3. Kathy will ask if City of Menasha schools are involved in the Cool Choices Program
  4. Membership is asked to provide Kathy with advertising contacts and recommendations for Earth Week 2014; radio, Post Crescent, Times Villager, News Record, etc… Are there any municipal resources that might help out with this?
  5. Jerry will provide some advertising contacts that he knows of to Kathy.
  6. Membership to please summit suggestions on speakers or other such programs

Website Planning

Discussion noted that our website needs to be developed to become a communication tool for the Network. The key benefits would be linking ordinances, sustainability plans, community sustainability happenings and websites, while storing network meeting notes, the community calendar, and supporting Earth Week activities. These same points were reviewed at the SCN meeting at 6 PM this same evening, where Shane Taylor and Connie Kanitz also were in attendance.

Key points:

  1. Need to update contacts due to community changes
  2. Will focus efforts of website to serve needs of Network membership communication as noted above!
  3. Home page to offer the chance for membership to add in news items about Board activities that others would benefit in knowing about
  4. There may be a way to link existing Network Community calendars to the SCN site to simplify input demands by our members
  5. The site needs to have framework changes fleshed out for review by the network by our January Network meeting.

Action Items:

  1. Kathy and Roger will work to develop a framework for the content addition starting with the City of Menasha. Plan to add a spreadsheet to site to direct members to key ordinances in effect.
  2. Shane Taylor agreed to modify the current site structure so that it will be able to support the above communication needs.

Comments on Dr Paul Connett’s Presentations

His presentations were well attended. It focused on zero-waste planning, such that we do not throw materials away. Everything can be reused in some way! He has a 10 step program to achieve this zero waste goal.

Action Item:

  1. Kathy will provide a website that we can direct members to so they can better understand what is being suggested.

Network Community Sharing

Town of Menasha:

Town again handed out a two page summary of their activities. Main activities highlighted were their effort to tie together the walking and biking trails with the surrounding communities, the plan to expand their successful community gardens efforts to add a second site, and a program to collect yard recycling waste. Sidewalks are being constructed along Midway Road to fill in the missing segments.

City of Neenah:

Carol is the new Sustainability Chair for the City. The City just held a review of their noxious weed ordinance and agreed to remove Milkweed from the list.

Action Items:

  1. Community members are encouraged to review their own weed ordinances and update them along the lines of what Neenah is doing. You can find their previous document in chapter 10, section 34, of
  2. Carol will forward her new information to Roger for addition to the website

Outagamie County:

Mike Hendrick is working on updating the current sustainability plan. It should be approved by the County Board by the end of the year. They want to add this information to the SCN website when approved. It was also noted that Appleton has completed bike lanes on Mason Street which is a key connection route within the city.

Action Items:

  1. Dick will contact Dean Gazza to see if he can get the City of Appleton to join the Sustainability Network.

City of Menasha:

The City is continuing to work on its water turbine power generation effort. The City has two experimental community compost collection sites in the city. The City is looking at increasing the frequency of recycling pickup from every four weeks to every three weeks. East Central WI RPC is conducting walking and biking audits throughout the Fox Cities and Oshkosh as part the bicycle/pedestrian planning that they are doing. It is hoped that at least one of these audits in the City of Menasha could be done with the City Council to increase awareness of bicycle and pedestrian issues.


Toward a Sustainable Community: A Toolkit for Local Government, Volume 2 has been released by the UW-Extension. It can be found at


The next meeting of the Network will be held at 3PM on Thursday, January 9th, 2014. It will be held either at the typical ECWRPC site or at the UW extension office in Appleton.

Jim Resick will return to being the UW Ext. leader of the Network in January of 2014.

Comments are closed.