By Owen Reissmann for Wausau Pilot and Review

At Wednesday’s Marathon County Public Safety meeting, a representative of the highway department discussed the ongoing readdressing project of about 700 street names and reported that they have halted street sign replacement due to road conditions.

Right now, 12 towns remain. That represents about 5,500 property owners. The project will restart in the spring, likely around May 1, rather than April, to ensure appropriate weather conditions. Around 14,000 address signs have so far been installed. The choice was made to stop before Spencer because Spencer and Brighton are a fire district together, and it would be best not to split a fire district.

In towns where the project has been completed, residents were given the option to retain their old signs. The old addresses will still work. Thus, those old signs remaining may help in situations where the new address causes confusion. So, a portion of the western part of the county now has double signs.

Information about the street name changes was sent to Google Maps and to a company that puts out such information to GPS and other services which might need it. In cases where there are breaks in a road to go around an element (such as a lake), the name of the road changes on the other end, but roads that go straight and cross through multiple townships will now retain the same name throughout.

Sheriff’s Department Captain Shawn McCarthy came to speak to the committee regarding auto-injectors used to combat accidental opioid exposure. Lieutenant Ted Tautges of Wausau Fire Department secured a grant through Wausau Fire for the auto injectors and provided training for first responders. Should a first responder become exposed to opioids in the air or by inadvertent touch, they can use the auto-injector on themselves. They could also use it on another person who appears to be under the influence. These injectors were initially issued in August of 2017 and two were provided to each first responder. Each single-dose auto-injector costs $89, or $7,700 per year just for the county sheriff’s office.