Laporte CountyThe idea of Township Government is as old as the United States- a grassroots form of government where citizen officials contribute to maintain community values and goals.

The typical township size- 6 mile square- was defined by the Land Act of 1796. This also established a method of dividing each township into sections of 1 square (640 acres), and still farther divided in quarters (80 acres) and half quarters (40 acres). This numbering system is still used today, and can be seen when looking at a property deed.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 established a governor and three judges to rule a territory, with creating township and county government their first responsibility.

Today there are 1008 townships in the 92 counties of Indiana, and each is governed by an elected township trustee and township board.

TRUSTEE-The trustee acts as the township executive whose duties include:

  • Keep a written record of official proceedings
  • Manage all township property interest
  • Keep township records open for public inspection
  • Attend all meetings of the township board
  • Receive and pay out township funds
  • Examine and settle all accounts and demands chargeable against the township
  • Administer oaths when necessary in the discharge of official duties
  • Appoint an attorney to represent the township in any proceeding in which the township is interested
  • Enter into certain oil and gas leases of township property
  • Authority to act as a notary public without receiving a fee
  • Maintain a financial and appropriation record, which must include an itemized and accurate account of the township’s affairs
  • Prepare an annual report of all receipts and expenditures of the proceeding calendar year, which must be submitted to the township board for approval
  • Indiana Code: IC 36-6-4

TOWNSHIP BOARD- The township board acts as the legislative body of the civil township, and their duties include:

  • Advising with the township trustee concerning matters pertaining to civil townships
  • Approving the estimate of expenditures submitted by the Trustee, including the setting of salaries and wages for all township elected officials and employees
  • Approving the proposed levy of taxes
  • Approving the annual report submitted by the Trustee
  • Approving additional appropriations as need or emergency arise
  • Approving the borrowing of money by the civil township
  • Indiana Code: IC 36-6-6
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