In Ohio, townships predate the creation of the state government in 1803. The Congressional acts establishing land grants caused the land to be surveyed and divided into townships of predetermined shape and size. In Ohio, the land was divided into townships of six square miles.
As the Ohio Territory grew in population, it made sense to utilize the surveyed townships as the basic unit of government. Thus township governments in Ohio became responsible for maintaining roads, preserving the peace, registering brands, caring for the poor and generally fulfilling the duties of local government. In 1804, township government was made up of three trustees, a clerk, two overseers of the poor, supervisors of highway, justices of the peace and constables. In later years, a township treasurer and assessor were added. On October 17, 1817, Butler Township was officially established, made up of parts of Wayne and Randolph townships.
Today, just as in 1817, the township is a political subdivision of the state. As such, it has only those powers granted to it by the state legislature and performs functions defined by the state. In modern times, the state legislature has granted townships additional authority in order to keep pace with citizens’ changing needs and demands.
Butler Township’s main areas of responsibility are listed below:
Butler Township’s Service Department is responsible for keeping our township’s roads safe and passable through maintenance and repair as well as snow and ice control. The State of Ohio and Montgomery County are responsible for major thoroughfares and state routes.
The Butler Township Police Department is charged with all aspects of policing and law enforcement, including traffic enforcement, criminal investigation and execution of legal processes such as warrants and writs.
The Butler Township Fire Department addresses the community’s emergency medical and fire suppression needs and also provides prevention activities.
The Butler Township Service Department is responsible for all public cemeteries, including Polk Grove (formerly Maple Hill), Quaker, Furnace, Pine Grove and Chitwood. The only active cemetery is Polk Grove.
Through the zoning code, Butler Township regulates the use of land and buildings to ensure orderly development and maintain the value and appearance of the community.
Ohio townships may directly provide waste disposal services or contract with an outside source, such as another jurisdiction or a private hauler. In Butler Township, waste disposal services are provided to residents through the township’s contract with Rumpke, a private company
The most recent addition to Butler Township’s functions is economic development. The township’s goal is to encourage quality development and control expansion in the current period of tremendous growth.