Wisconsin justices say county can order town to rename roads

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) The Wisconsin Supreme Court says county officials can order a town to rename more than a quarter of its roads.

A 1957 state law allows counties to establish a rural naming or number system in towns to help emergency responders find locations. Marathon County officials decided in 2016 to establish such a system and notified the Town of Rib Mountain that it would have to rename 61 of its 202 roads.

The town sued, arguing the county's authority to enact such a system extends only to rural areas.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-0 on Thursday that the law allows counties to establish such systems in towns and the term "rural" merely describes the system and doesn't limit counties' authority.

Rib Mountain's attorney, Dean Dietrich, says the town is disappointed but will work with the county on the changes.

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