NewportTownship, Lake County, Illinois

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Newport Township, situated in Lake County, Illinois, United States, had a population of 6,770 according to the 2010 census. It incorporates most parts of the villages of Old Mill Creek and Wadsworth, along with smaller sections of Antioch, Beach Park, and a corner of Waukegan. Unincorporated communities such as Rosecrans, Russell, and Millburn are also part of the township.

Covering an area of 32.3 square miles, Newport Township includes 0.50 square miles of water. Notable geographic features include Sterling Lake and the streams of Mill Creek, North Mill Creek, and Pettibone Creek.

Adjacent townships to Newport Township include Benton and Zion to the east, Waukegan to the southeast, Warren to the south, and Antioch and Lake Villa to the west.

Education in Newport Township is served by several school districts, including Gurnee School District 56, Antioch Community Consolidated School District 34, Beach Park Community Consolidated School District 3, and Millburn Community Consolidated School District 24. These districts encompass a range of public and private elementary, middle, and high schools catering to the educational needs of the community.


History of Townships in the United States

In the United States, townships represent the oldest form of government still in operation today. Dating back to 1636, American settlers introduced this system as a way to escape the autocratic governance prevalent in Europe. This grassroots democratic process was carried out through town meetings, where residents gathered to discuss important matters and establish local laws.

In Illinois, township government was established in 1849 following the adoption of the Illinois Constitution of 1848. This constitution allowed voters in each county to choose between establishing township governments or adopting a county commission form of government without townships. Presently, 85 out of the 102 counties in Illinois operate under the township form of government, with a total of 1,433 townships serving over eight million residents.

Townships are distinct geographic areas separate from cities and counties. While a large city may contain multiple townships, a single township may encompass several smaller towns. Township government functions at the local level and is intended to address the basic needs of the community. It is designed to operate closely with the residents it serves, particularly in rural areas where townships often serve as the primary source of social services and road maintenance.

Illinois townships are mandated by law to fulfill three primary functions:

  • General Assistance: Providing food, shelter, or emergency relief to individuals in need until they are able to support themselves or qualify for other forms of assistance.
  • Property Assessment: Township Assessors determine property values for all properties within the township.
  • Road and Bridge Maintenance: Townships collectively maintain approximately 71,000 miles of roads in Illinois, representing over half of the state's total road miles.

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