NO INJUNCTION: County addressing system effort can proceed despite Rib Mountain lawsuit


B.C. Kowalski/City Pages

At a press conference Friday, April 7 announcing the lawsuit, Rib Mountain Town Chairman Al Opal said the county’s uniform addressing will hurt the 150+ businesses in Rib Mountain.

Marathon County wants to create a uniform addressing system. Rib Mountain doesn’t want the hassle

Rib Mountain will have to start the process of renaming its roads while a judge decides its lawsuit against the county.

Marathon County Judge Greg Huber expects to have a decision by September about whether the county exceeds its authority in forcing the town of Rib Mountain to adopt new addresses and road names that conform to a uniform grid. The town argues that the county’s authority only applies to rural towns, and that much of the town’s roads are considered urban.

Marathon County wants to implement a uniform address grid to eliminate duplicate addresses and numbering confusion for residents, delivery drivers and emergency responders. Addresses in the county—the largest geographically in Wisconsin—currently comprise a patchwork of local systems, with several duplicate road names and many confusing numbers, especially at the invisible lines where one township stops and another begins.

But town officials say that renumbering Rib Mountain addresses would create an unnecessary burden on its residents and businesses.

Town attorney Kevin Terry, of the Wausau law firm Ruder Ware, asked for a preliminary injunction to halt the uniform addressing process until the case was decided, because forcing town officials to do the work necessary to submit new road names and numbers would be time lost for other duties.

Judge Huber disagreed, saying that if the town was successful in its suit, the time could be paid back monetarily.

Marathon County attorney Scott Corbett said no substantial addressing changes would happen until April 2018 anyway, providing more than enough time to decide the case.