CHICAGO - The clock is ticking for the Fox River Valley city of Menasha, Wis., and its advisers as they negotiate with investors who hold $24 million of city appropriation-backed steam plant revenue bond anticipation notes in an attempt to avert defaulting on the debt that comes due Sept. 1.

"Our intent is to pay the notes, but how quickly we can do that is something we are still looking at," Thomas Stoffel, the city's comptroller and treasurer, said in an interview yesterday. "We are exploring all our options and trying to come up with a solution that will satisfy our bondholders."

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