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New Law Allows the Discontinuance of Evanston Township

A new law would allow the discontinuance of Evanston Township. Public Act 98-0127 provides a process by which a single township that is within a coterminous or substantially coterminous municipality can dissolve, although size limitations in the statute mean that the law only applies to Evanston Township. The legislation was introduced in the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly on behalf of the City of Evanston in response to the passage of a March 2012 referendum, which asked voters if they supported dissolving Evanston Township and transferring its duties to the City of Evanston. GO TO 2040 supports efforts to coordinate and consolidate local services and encourages local governments to analyze the efficiency of consolidating services. A previous Policy Update explained that state statute previously did not provide a clear route to dissolving one township within a county that is under township organization. State statute only provided a mechanism for the dissolution of townships on a countywide basis.

Upon petition of at least 10 percent of registered voters in the township or a resolution adopted by the municipality's board, a proposition to discontinue and abolish the township and transfer its responsibilities to the coterminous municipality would be put to a vote township-wide under the new statute. If the proposition passes, the township would be abolished. All responsibilities and taxing authority of the township would be transferred to the coterminous municipality.

Evanston Township is entirely incorporated and has no road district. If the Township were abolished through this process, assessment and general assistance services would become the responsibility of the City of Evanston.