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After several failed attempts to rename busy Ashland Avenue after Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy, village officials are scaling down their efforts.

They are instead proposing Potts Avenue be renamed Mike McCarthy Way. This smaller stretch lies entirely in the village in an area already filled with Packers-themed street names. Changing the name of Potts Avenue would require support from far fewer businesses than would renaming Ashland Avenue.

"One of our board members did a quick poll of businesses along Potts, and it seems to be more palatable," Ashwaubenon Village President Mike Aubinger said Tuesday.

"I think nobody ever objected to who it was named after, just where. I think the expense and process of changing the name led people to hesitate."

The proposal had been discussed ever since McCarthy led the Packers to victory in Super Bowl XLV in 2011. Previous delays were attributed to the 2011 football season, a Green Bay mayoral election and the redevelopment of properties around Lambeau Field.

Last summer, officials in Green Bay, De Pere and Ashwaubenon agreed to drop the idea of renaming Ashland Avenue until after the 2013-14 NFL season.

The plan to rename Ashland Avenue ran into opposition among officials who consider the street too large, the cost too high and the disruption too significant.

Aubinger said he called Packers officials last year to suggest putting off the matter until after the football season to spare McCarthy any further embarrassment from having the issue debated so frequently.

Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey said Tuesday the team declined to comment out of respect for the village process.

"It's an honor that they would consider doing that," McCarthy said after the idea was first brought forward in 2011.

Aubinger said it's time to move forward.

"We think this is the most appropriate place to have it," Aubinger said, noting it's surrounded by other streets with Packers-related names, including Lombardi Avenue, Brett Favre Pass and Tony Canadeo Run. It also sits near Lambeau Field in an area the village hopes will become a sports and entertainment destination.

The village Plan Commission considered the idea Tuesday, A few members preferred the name McCarthy Way over Aubinger's suggestion of Mike McCarthy Way, but Aubinger said that suggestion remains up for debate. The commission scheduled a public hearing for July 22. The full Village Board could take a final vote after the public hearing.

Last year, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt suggested Ashland Avenue be named after McCarthy after failing to gain traction on previous suggestions.

The Green Bay Plan Commission voted against the Ashland Avenue renaming last summer, and the City Council later directed staff to do additional research on the costs and other related issues. Some estimates for the changes, including new signs, came in at the $400,000 mark.

Schmitt would be included in a celebration if the street is officially renamed, Aubinger said.

"We've been working for some time on this," the Green Bay mayor said Tuesday. "Coach McCarthy needs to be honored. He's not only a great coach, he's great for the community. It's nice to get it done.

"With Ashland Avenue, you get into some politics. You are dealing with three municipalities and the state. That may work for some areas to change a major thoroughfare, but here there were some objections. This seems to work out for everyone, and I think it's a great thing."

Aubinger said he plans to approach business owners along Potts Avenue to get reaction before moving forward with any changes. One of them, Gerald Van Enkenvort, attended Tuesday's meeting and questioned who would pay the costs.

"I'm a Packers fan, a Mike McCarthy fan, I think he's a great guy ... But who is going to pay for the cost?" VanEnkenvort asked the plan commission. "I'm sure I can eat this, but what about my tenants? I'd like you to consider that."

VanEnkenvort, who owns Van's Fire & Safety and two other businesses on Potts Avenue, guessed it would cost him $5,000 or more to change letterheads, readdress products that carry his business addresses and make other changes to accommodate a new street name.

Aubinger said he and other business owners should take their concerns to the July 22 meeting, a necessary step to bring the issue into the political system.

— pzarling@pressgazettemedia.com or follow her on Twitter @PGPattiZarling

If you go

The Ashwaubenon Plan Commission is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of Village Hall, 2155 Holmgren Way.

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