About Uniform Addressing
WHY do addresses in Marathon County need to change?
In an emergency, seconds matter…
Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel can lose precious time searching for an address because of confusing addresses or hard-to-read address signs. Such delays can result in the loss of property — and even lives.
Marathon County provides 911 emergency services for ALL of the County’s 62 cities, villages, and towns. Central E911 Dispatch supports:
- A County-wide Sheriff’s Office
- 14 Police Departments
- 28 Fire Departments
- 11 Ambulance Services
- 3 Advanced Life Support Ground Services
- 2 Advanced Life Support Helicopter Services
More than 20,000 local addresses will change between April and November 2018 when Marathon County eliminates its 10 existing address grids and implements a single Uniform Addressing System. Marathon County is Wisconsin’s largest county geographically and one of only four counties in Wisconsin without a Uniform Addressing System for all roads, homes, businesses, farms, structures, or other establishments in the unincorporated areas of the County.
Inconsistent and duplicate addressing creates challenges when there is a mutual aid response, as the responding department is not always aware of local inconsistencies — which can result in delayed response time.
Charged with the goal of being the safest, healthiest, and most prosperous county in Wisconsin, the Marathon County Board voted in 2016 to implement a county-wide Uniform Addressing System to improve public safety by eliminating:
- Duplicate addresses
- Roads with the same or similar names
- Numbering that is not sequential
- Odd and even numbers on the same side of the road
The goal of Uniform Addressing is to help emergency services in Marathon County provide the RIGHT SERVICE to the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME.
WHICH municipalities will Uniform Addressing affect?
As of January 10, 2018, the 41 municipalities participating in this Marathon County Uniform Addressing project include:
|Cleveland||Day||Easton||Eau Pleine||Elderon (town)||Elderon (village)|
|Knowlton||Marathon (town)||McMillan||Mosinee (town)||Norrie||Plover|
|Reid||Rib Falls||Rietbrock||Ringle||Spencer (town)||Stettin|
|Stratford (village)||Texas||Wausau (town)||Weston (town)||Wien|
As of January 10, 2018, the 21 municipalities NOT participating in this Marathon County Uniform Addressing project include:
|Marshfield||Mosinee (city)||Rib Mountain*||Rothschild||Schofield||Spencer (village)|
|Unity||Wausau (city)||Weston (village)|
* Application of the Uniform Addressing System in the Town of Rib Mountain is currently being reviewed by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
NOTE: (1) The TOWNS of Marathon, Spencer, and Weston ARE participating in the Uniform Addressing project (but NOT the VILLAGES of Marathon City, Spencer, or Weston). (2) The TOWNS of Mosinee and Wausau ARE participating (but NOT the CITIES of Mosinee or Wausau).
WHY change addresses in Marathon County NOW?
Marathon County’s current addressing system was built in the 1980s, when it was assumed that all calls to the Central E911 Dispatch would come from landline phones. Today, 70% of emergency calls in Marathon County come from cell phones, which cannot guarantee a precise location; only 30% come from traceable landline phones.
What’s more, the Federal government now requires our Central E911 Dispatch to process, receive, and respond to new communication technologies, such as cell phones and social media.
In the event that a cell phone caller or texter is a visitor to the area (or is simply unfamiliar with his or her exact location), reflective, double-sided Uniform Addressing signs that are visible day or night help callers (AND emergency services personnel) determine a precise location.
Now is also an opportune time to implement a Uniform Addressing System since it can be synced with Marathon County’s multi-million–dollar investments in information technology to replace its outdated Land Records System and Computer-Aided Dispatch (law-enforcement software), bringing all three systems in line utilizing Uniform Addressing.
WHO is directing this Uniform Addressing project?
The County’s addressing system is one of the core information systems that Geo Services of the Marathon County Conservation, Planning, & Zoning (CPZ) Department provides to the Marathon County Sheriff’s Communication Center. This center dispatches E911 calls to officers and is essential in providing a rapid response from Central Dispatch to emergency/incident scenes. As a result, the CPZ Department is organizing and overseeing the implementation of the county-wide Uniform Addressing project.
Marathon County’s CPZ Department created all of the new 6-digit Uniform Addresses, as well as the proposed Uniform Addressing grid. They also analyzed all duplicate road names and determined which road names would be retained for each participating municipality and which roads would be renamed.
HOW MUCH will the Uniform Address signs cost?
Residents will NOT be charged for the new County-issued Uniform Address signs.
At this time, Marathon County has committed $1.2 million in funding to cover the cost of replacement road-name signs, address markers, and other expenses related to this Uniform Addressing project for participating municipalities.
We understand there may be extra costs for you to change your address, but the change is necessary.
HOW do I know if my road name is changing?
View the Road Name List (updated 2-14-2018) for a listing of street names (sorted by municipality) that will be changing in 2018 due to the Uniform Addressing project.
NOTE: The road-renaming part of the project is done; road names can no longer be changed. Local input on roads took place in April 2017.
If you have concerns or questions about your road name, you may contact your local Town or Village official.
WHEN will I get my new address?
Between Spring and Fall 2018, Marathon County's CPZ Department will be mailing an Official Notice of new Uniform Addresses to residents, landowners, and business owners whose addresses will be changing. This Official Notice will provide the new 6-digit address and an estimated date of when the new address sign will be installed or delivered, per the County's activation schedule.
After you receive your Official Notice...
If you're having a blue, flag-style address sign installed (which most addresses are):
|1. DIGGERS HOTLINE will spray-paint lines on your property to mark where it’s safe to install the signpost.|
|2. LANGE ENTERPRISES will install a new, blue, flag-style address sign on the side of your driveway.|
|3. After your sign is installed, you should use your NEW ADDRESS & begin notifying others of your address change.|
If you're one of the few slotted to receive a black-and-white, building-mounted address sign:
|1. LANGE ENTERPRISES will mail you a new, 6-digit, black-and-white address sign.|
|2. You'll use the included instructions to HANG YOUR NEW ADDRESS SIGN on your home or building, as indicated.|
|3. Once Lange Enterprises mails your new address sign, YOUR NEW ADDRESS IS ACTIVE and you should begin to USE YOUR NEW ADDRESS.|
The Official Notices will be mailed out in batches, according to an estimated activation schedule. You should receive your notice a few weeks before Lange Enterprises is scheduled to either mail your building-mounted address sign to you or be in your neighborhood to install your flag-style address sign.
NOTE: Be sure to keep your Official Notice for your records! You may need it later as proof of your address change.
WHEN will Uniform Address signs be installed/delivered?
New Uniform Address signs will not be installed or mailed out by Lange Enterprises until at least April 2018, when the ground thaws.
Installation/Delivery will begin on the east side of Marathon County and will be phased in by municipality over the course of many months, moving west sequentially across the County.
Workers will also install new road-name signs, as needed. View the Road Name List (updated 2-14-2018) for a listing of road names (sorted by municipality) that will be changing in 2018 due to the Uniform Addressing project.
The project is estimated to be completed by November 2018.
WHAT will the Uniform Address signs look like, and WHERE will they be installed?
For most homes (and some businesses) in participating municipalities, workers from Lange Enterprises will install a double-sided, flag-style address sign listing the municipality, the 6-digit property number, and the road name.
|Uniform Size: 20 x 9 inches|
|Uniform Color: Reflective, blue background with reflective, white numbers and letters (the best color combination for emergency response crews to easily read day or night)|
|Uniform Location: Left side when entering driveway|
If your business’s building is more than 75 feet from the roadway, workers from Lange Enterprises will install a blue, flag-style sign so that emergency services personnel and delivery drivers can quickly and easily find your address.
A select number of residences (and some businesses) will receive in the mail a single-sided address sign, along with instructions and guidelines for affixing the address sign to your home/building so that emergency services personnel and delivery drivers can quickly and easily find your address.
|Uniform Size: 14 x 3.5 inches|
|Uniform Color: Black numbers on a reflective, white background|
|Uniform Location: Within 4 feet of main entrance; must be visible from the road|
If your home or business receives a building-mounted Uniform Address sign, it has been determined that your structure is close enough to the road for a building-mounted Uniform Address sign to be visible. Lange Enterprises will provide installation instructions for you to affix the address sign to your home/building yourself.
We understand that businesses may have special needs or circumstances regarding Uniform Address signs. The CPZ Department and Lange Enterprises will communicate various display options that comply with municipal ordinances while also allowing some flexibility for businesses on where to install a building-mounted address sign.
Please visit MyMarathonCountyAddress.org for updates and further details as they become available.
After you receive your Official Notice from Marathon County with the estimated date that you will receive your new Uniform Address, you do not need to take any action.
NOTE: The signal to start using (and notifying others) of your new address is AFTER your new address sign is installed/delivered — NOT when you receive the Official Notice informing you what your address will be changing to.
Once your new Uniform Address sign has been installed or mailed to you, your new address is active and you should begin to use your new address and notify others.
There are a number of methods you can use to begin to notify others of your address change. For example:
- Billing statements often have a check box and a space to print address changes on the reverse side of the bill.
- Online accounts (e.g., credit cards, auto bill pay, online shopping accounts) have an area under your account information where you can update your address and other contact information.
Marathon County has created a handy Address-Change Checklist to help residents keep track of who to notify of an address change. You can download a copy of the Address-Change Checklist—RESIDENTIAL here.
Marathon County will take care of notifying the following entities of all address changes (so you do NOT have to):
- Marathon County E911 Communication Center
- Local Fire and Police Departments
- Municipal officials
- Marathon County Clerk (Elections)
- Marathon County Treasurer (Tax bills)
- Other Marathon County governmental departments
- United States Postal Service
U.S. Postal Service / Address Forwarding
Marathon County will coordinate directly with the United States Postal Service (USPS) during this Uniform Addressing project to update their records for all new addresses. Residents who receive a new Uniform Address will NOT have to file a change of address with the USPS. Residents will automatically receive one (1) year of free address forwarding (from the date of sign installation/delivery) courtesy of the USPS.
Department of Motor Vehicles
You do NOT need to get a new driver license unless you have a commercial driver license (CDL). If you have a CDL, you ARE required to obtain a driver license with your new address on it.
ALL drivers with a new address MUST update their address online through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website at http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/online-srvcs/change-addy.
Optionally, if you want your new address to appear on your non-CDL driver license, you will need to pay $14 for a duplicate license. Instructions for doing this can be found on the DMV website at http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/license-drvs/rnew-and-chge/change-address.aspx.
You do NOT need to update your current passport with your new address. However, if you have a passport application currently in process and you would like to change your mailing address, visit https://travel.state.gov. In the U.S. Department of State, responsibility for issuing passports lies with Passport Services within the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUSINESSES
Informing Clients/Customers That Your Business Address Has Changed
How you let your clients, customers, or others know that your business address has changed will depend on the nature of your business. We invite you to see the Address-Change Checklist—BUSINESS and Frequently Asked Questions for tips and ideas that may help you with this process.
Updating Your Client/Customer Database
Depending on the type of business you have, clients may contact you directly to update their address in your system. In most cases, however, you will need to update any new addresses yourself.
Later in the year, the CPZ Department will provide a cross-reference table (available at MyMarathonCountyAddress.org) that matches former addresses to their corresponding new Uniform Addresses. With the use of this downloadable spreadsheet, businesses should be able to easily update any address changes in their databases.
Q & A Educational Programs for Businesses
In January and February 2018, the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce hosted a pair of FREE programs for business owners regarding the Uniform Addressing project. Members of the Marathon County Conservation, Planning, and Zoning Department were available to answer business owners’ questions about the project.
Additional educational programming to assist residents and businesses with the Uniform Addressing transition may be offered by the Marathon County Conservation, Planning, and Zoning Department in the future.
Please check back at MyMarathonCountyAddress.org for updates on other possible educational programs regarding the county-wide Uniform Addressing project.
Flexibility for Address-Sign Placement
We understand that businesses may have special needs or circumstances regarding Uniform Address signs. The CPZ Department will work with Lange Enterprises to communicate various display options that comply with municipal ordinances while also allowing some flexibility for businesses. Please visit MyMarathonCountyAddress.org for updates and further details as they become available.
We’ve created a handy Address-Change Checklist to assist businesses with the updating process. It contains a sample (though not exhaustive) list of some people, accounts, and entities you’ll want to notify of your address change. Click here to download a printable version of Address-Change Checklist—BUSINESS.
Find answers to more specific questions at our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
We invite you to check back at MyMarathonCountyAddress.org often for project updates and details as they become available.