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Township Talk

Homeowners got a chance to hear from both sides about the possible Naperville Township consolidation plan with the City.

Hosted by the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation, residents were invited to learn more about the Township and consolidation efforts with the city before they see questions related to it on the ballot.

This after the city said they could save roughly $800,000 for taxpayers by maintaining Township roads and services.

Panelists for and against the plan were at the forum, answering residents’ questions about the deal, how it would affect residents & how money would be saved.

“With respect to the savings: maintenance on equipment, maintenance on the building, legal fees, administration, payroll, there is no shortage of economies of scale to be saved if this deal were made,” said Naperville City Councilman, Kevin Coyne.

Naperville Township Highway Commissioner Stan Wojtasiak has declined to take the deal, in part refuting the savings, just as others do.

“Based on the numbers that I’ve reviewed, the city can’t do it for what they’re saying, and so there’s more likely than not downside for the rest of the city,” said Rick Tarulis, Lisle Township Supervisor.

Questions related to the Township will appear on the ballot on Election Day, November 8th.

The city is currently in a 10-month agreement with Lisle Township to maintain Naperville Township roads.

But before voters head to the polls – it might help them to better understand exactly what a township is.

That’s why the league of women voters recently held a forum at the municipal center to explain them, hosting a panel of speakers including representatives from local townships, councilwoman Judith Brodhead, and Illinois state senator Linda Holmes.

“We wanted them to understand what the townships do, and what the city does, and how they work together or how they overlap,” said Anette Smith, Voter Service Chair of the League of Women Voters of Naperville.

The state of Illinois has thousands of local government units thanks to the existence of townships. These local governing bodies cover roughly 36 square miles of land each, and perform many of the same roles that cities do, including providing road and sewer management, police and fire departments, and public transport.

The overlap in services can lead to residents paying for two governments that essentially do the same work, hence the call to consolidate some services, or in cases like Evanston, dissolve the township altogether.

The ballot questions are meant to gauge voter interest in the further consolidation of township services.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.


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