House Committee Passes Bill That Would Merge Townships

By Travis Thayer Three of these four Ohio County townships could merge under House Bill 1005. (Indianapolis, Ind.) - A bill to streamline government and consolidate small townships is one step closer to law in Indiana. On Monday, the House Committee on Ways and Means passed House Bill 1005, which would require small townships to merge with one or more neighboring townships. The bill’s sponsor Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) says the bill would only require townships with less than 1,200 people to merge with other townships. “The motivation behind this legislation is to provide the most efficient, fiscally sound local government possible at the township level,” Ziemke said. “I have been working closely with the Indiana Township Association to come up with a bill that consolidates small township operations, but maintains the same township services and transparency Hoosiers expect.” Township government is typically responsible for helping fund local fire service and poor assistance. But supporters of their elimination argue they are an antiquated form of government that was more useful before citizens could easily travel by motor vehicle to their county courthouse or use the Internet to conduct business with the government. Locally, the legislation would target Cass, Pike and Union townships in Ohio County, Dearborn County’s Caesar  Creek and Hogan townships, and Jackson and Shelby townships in Ripley County. The bill will now go to the full house for discussion. For more information, visit RELATED STORIES:  Lawmakers Have Plan To Merge Some Townships  

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