By Kris Leonhardt
MCMILLAN — The town of McMillan, along with other Marathon County townships, will soon get new addresses. The Marathon County Board recently voted to implement a new addressing system that will create a more uniform scheme with less duplication throughout the county.
The ultimate goal of the conversion is to create unique addresses for county residences, making a simpler system for emergency responders and law enforcement.
“The whole county is being readdressed,” explained town of McMillan Supervisor Joe Burger. “Everyone in the county is going to get a new address. They are doing that for emergency dispatch reasons — for safety — and part of that is they want to have no names in the county (duplicated) anywhere: just one Birch, one Elm, one Felton.
“Everybody is getting a new address. The numbers are going to be different. We are going to have six-digit numbers. Basically, it is a national grid. Some time in the ‘70s or ‘80s, the county proposed this, and almost every town said, ‘No, we aren’t getting involved,’ and stayed with what they had, but now it’s being mandated.”
While the new system is mandatory for county townships, local cities and villages can decline involvement in the readdressing restructure.
“Cities and village can opt in, and some are because they want to be involved with the safety aspect of it,” added Burger. “Stratford is one that has, but some of them do not want to be involved.”
The address conversion will involve new road signs and will be partially funded by the county with $20 per address coming from an allotted $1.2 million obtained from the Superior to Weston transmission line fund. The remainder will be billed to each town.
The county will also work with the United States Postal Service to convert the address system, but residents will need to make changes with their personal and business contacts.
Street changes will be decided by the end of 2017, and sign installation is scheduled between April and October of next year.
Favor will be given to streets that extend into neighboring counties to allow for a more uniform system between the counties.
“I will be contacting those said that they would help me with going over it and anybody else that is interested in helping with picking names,” said Burger. “What we have to do is we have to look at the streets that are going to be changed, and we have to give them two options of what we as a town want the street names to be.
“The towns that turn theirs in first, if someone else turns in the same name later, the first turn in is going to be the one that is going to get it, so we will want to jump on this pretty fast. We want to be looking at that by the end of this month.”
McMillan streets scheduled to be renamed include Birch Street, Cherry Street, Davis Lane, Edgewood Lane, Elm Street, Fir Street, Fox Avenue, Hemlock Lane, Highland Drive, Lincoln Avenue, Mann Street, Marsh Lane, Meadow Avenue, North Lincoln Avenue, Park Street, Pine Street, Ruby Lane, Spruce Street, Sugar Bush Lane, Williams Drive, Winterberry Circle, Winterberry Court, and Young Avenue.
“If we don’t put a name in on it, then (Marathon County) is going to come up with a name,” added Burger.