WAUSAU – Marathon County Circuit Judge Greg Huber on Thursday denied a request by the town of Rib Mountain to halt a planned uniform addressing system being implemented across the county.
The lawsuit, filed April 5 in Marathon County Circuit Court, will continue, with possible oral arguments set for August and a final decision expected by Sept. 1. The suit challenges Marathon County’s power to make such changes in urban or non-rural roads, and asks a judge to halt the changes.
“We believe the County has exceeded its authority in trying to impose this addressing system in high-traffic urban areas such as Rib Mountain,” said Allen Opall, town chair.
Rib Mountain is home to more than 150 businesses and nearly 7,000 residents.
Marathon is one of three Wisconsin counties that lacks a uniform address system. Duplicate addresses can lead to confusion for emergency responders, leading to slower response times that could threaten public safety, supporters of the change say.
Marathon County is one of seven defendants named in the lawsuit. the towns of McMillan, Mosinee, Stettin, Texas, Weston and Wausau are also named.
County leaders in February 2016 voted to implement the plan and set aside $1.2 million to help municipalities pay for the changes. Towns in the county are required to participate in the new system, but cities and villages can opt out.
The project is currently in the street renaming phase. Final installation of new street signs is slated to begin in 2018.
Road renaming insanity. Watling Road in England has had the same name for 800 years. Road names are matter of tradition and should be decided by the people living on the road at most. If King Henry VIII had got up one morning and decided to rename random roads in England, his advisers would have put a cold rag on his forehead and told him to lie down, as he was having a bad day. Such things then where a matter of common law and the King had no authority. Fortunately, today we have GPS. Next years Qualcomm chip for cell phones will give you a location down to less than a foot. Current GPS probably 15 feet. My home on Google maps has GPS coordinants attached to it by the Google Satellite that are accurate to 15 feet. When calling emergency from my home I will give these coordinants and no street name. I have them memorized.
Do I think this is the final naming by Marathon county? Hell no. They might go with all numerical avenues and streets (Chippewa County). Or fractional number streets (Barron County). Or maybe the at some future date, streets that are all binary numbers. Or maybe the Dewey Decimal system. Who knows when the insanity stops.
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