Wilmington Township annual meeting in progress at the Town Hall. PHOTO: JAN LEE BUXENGARD/SPRING GROVE HERALD
Townships are the original form of local government in Minnesota, established as part of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which created the State of Minnesota. The township form of government, a carryover from Europe, served as a familiar building block to develop the State by dividing land areas into 36 square mile units known as congressional townships. There are 1,790 townships across Minnesota.
State law requires that annual township meetings be held each year on the second Tuesday of March. Governed by a board of supervisors elected by the people for three-year terms and administrative officers elected/appointed for two-year terms, townships have the authority for planning, subdivision control, zoning, maintenance of public works, parks, cemeteries, and hospitals, in addition to regular duties such as elections, tax levies, and public roads.