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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                         CHAPTER 90-S.F.No. 225 
           An act relating to towns; providing for powers of town 
          boards and board members; providing for elections; 
          providing conditions for ownership of town cemetery 
          lots; amending Minnesota Statutes 1986, sections 
          365.10; 365.27; 365.37; 365.51; 366.01, by adding a 
          subdivision; 367.03; 367.33, subdivisions 1, 4, and 5; 
          and 471.96; repealing Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 
          365.06. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 365.10, is 
amended to read: 
    365.10 [TOWN MEETINGS, POWERS.] 
    The electors of each town have power, at their annual town 
meeting: 
    (1) to determine the locations of pounds, and number of 
poundmasters, and to discontinue any such pounds; 
    (2) to select such town officers as are to be chosen; 
    (3) to make lawful orders and bylaws as they deem proper 
for restraining horses, cattle, sheep, swine, and other domestic 
animals from going at large on the highways, provide for 
impounding those animals so going at large, and to fix penalties 
for violations of the orders or bylaws; 
    (4) to vote money for the repair and construction of roads 
and bridges, and to vote such sums as they deem expedient for 
other town expenses, including the construction and maintenance 
of docks and breakwaters; 
    (5) when they deem it for the interest of the town to 
direct that a specified amount of the road tax be expended, 
under the direction of their town board, on the roads of an 
adjoining town; 
    (6) to authorize the town board to purchase or build a town 
hall or other building for the use of the town, and to determine 
the amount of money to be raised for that purpose; but, if a 
site for a town hall is once obtained, it shall not be changed 
for another site, except by vote therefor designating a new site 
by two-thirds of the votes cast at such election of the legal 
voters of the town; 
    (7) to authorize the town board, by vote, to purchase 
grounds for a town cemetery, and limit the price to be paid, and 
to vote a tax for the payment thereof; 
      (8) to authorize the town, either by itself or in 
conjunction with one or more other towns, to purchase grounds 
for a public park and to limit the price to be paid therefor, to 
authorize the town, alone or in conjunction with such other town 
or towns, to care for, improve, and beautify such parks, and to 
determine, by ballot, the amount of money to be raised for that 
purpose, and to vote a tax for the payment thereof; 
      (9) to vote money to aid in the construction of community 
halls, to be erected by farm bureaus, farmers clubs, or other 
like organizations;  
      (10) to vote a tax to purchase and maintain a public 
dumping ground;  
      (11) to authorize the town board, by resolution, to 
determine whether to open or maintain town roads or town 
cartways under the jurisdiction of the town board upon which no 
maintenance or construction has been conducted for 25 years or 
more.  For purposes of this clause the provisions of section 
163.16 shall not apply to town roads described in this clause.  
Nothing in this clause shall be construed to abridge the right 
of town voters or land owners to petition for the establishment 
of a cartway as provided in section 164.08;  
    (12) to authorize the town board to spend money in an 
amount as determined by the electors for the purpose of 
commemorating an event of historical significance to the town; 
    (13) to authorize the town board to provide, by ordinance, 
for licensing and regulating the presence or keeping of dogs and 
cats and their running at large within the town; 
    (14) to authorize the town board to contract with nonprofit 
organizations for health, social, or recreational services in an 
amount not to exceed a total of $5,000 in any year when deemed 
in the public interest and of benefit to the town; 
    (15) to authorize the town board to provide for the 
collection and disposal of household waste and other refuse, 
consistent with other law; and 
    (16) to authorize the town board to establish a perpetual 
care program for the administration and maintenance of any 
cemetery located in the town.  Before establishing a perpetual 
care program, the town board must make the determination that 
sufficient funds are available from burial plot sales, gifts, 
and private assistance to administer and maintain the cemetery.  
Cemetery administration may include the sale of burial plots and 
the supervision of burials.  The town may accept gifts of money 
and other assistance from individuals to establish the perpetual 
care program; and 
    (17) to grant the town board authority to provide for a 
specific activity that is within any of the following categories:
     (a) the government and good order of the town, 
     (b) the suppression of vice and immorality, 
     (c) the prevention of crime, 
     (d) the protection of public and private property, 
     (e) the benefit of residence, trade, and commerce, 
     (f) the promotion of health, safety, order, and 
convenience, and 
    (g) the general welfare.  
Authority under clause (17) may be exercised by ordinances that 
the board deems expedient and that are consistent with the 
constitution and laws of the United States and this state. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 365.27, is 
amended to read: 
    365.27 [SALE AND REVERSION OF LOTS; PROCEEDS.] 
    Lots of such cemetery may be sold by the town board only 
for the burial of those permitted by the board and, upon sale, 
shall be conveyed in like manner as its other real estate.  
Proceeds of all sales shall be paid into the town treasury, and 
shall constitute a fund to be used only in maintaining, 
improving, and ornamenting such cemetery. 
    If a lot is sold but not used, ownership reverts to the 
town 40 years after the sale or 40 years after the most recent 
recording with the county recorder of a notice of the kind 
described in section 541.023 or another document that relates to 
the ownership, whichever is latest.  The town may take legal 
action in the same way as any other person to clarify the 
ownership or assure the marketability of the lot. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 365.37, is 
amended to read: 
    365.37 [CONTRACTS; LET ON BIDS, OFFICERS NOT TO BE 
INTERESTED.] 
    Except as provided in sections 471.87 to 471.89, no 
supervisors, town clerk, or town board shall become a party to, 
or be directly or indirectly interested in, any contract made or 
payment voted by the town board and all contracts let on bid 
shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder after ten days 
public notice, posted in the three most public places in the 
town or published for two weeks in a newspaper generally 
circulated in the town, of the time and place of receiving bids. 
In cases of special emergency, a contract may be let without the 
notice being given or sealed bids solicited.  A special 
emergency, for the purposes of this section, is a situation 
where immediate action must be taken, essential to the health, 
safety, or welfare of the community.  Every contract made and 
payment voted or made contrary to the provisions of this section 
shall be void and any such an officer violating the provisions 
of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, in 
addition to the provisions prescribed by law, removed from 
office. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 365.51, is 
amended to read: 
    365.51 [ANNUAL TOWN MEETING; PRECINCTS; POLLING PLACES.] 
    There shall be an annual town meeting held in each town on 
the second Tuesday of March at the place designated by the 
annual town meeting, and if no designation is so made then at 
the place designated by the town board.  The place designated 
may be located outside the town within five miles of one 
boundary of the town.  In the event of inclement weather the 
meeting shall be held on another March day designated by the 
board.  The clerk shall give ten days' published notice 
specifying time and place in a qualified newspaper having 
general circulation within the town, or by posted notice, as the 
town board shall direct unless the voters at the annual town 
meeting direct otherwise.  All town officers required by law to 
be elected shall be chosen thereat, and other business done as 
is by law required or permitted An annual town election shall be 
held on the same day as the annual town meeting to elect all 
town officers required by law to be elected.  Other town 
business shall be conducted at the town meeting as provided by 
law.  The town board may, with respect to an election by ballot 
at the annual town meeting for the purpose of selecting town 
officers or of determining any matter of town business, provide 
for the casting of ballots in precincts and at polling places.  
Precincts and polling places shall be designated by the town 
board in the manner prescribed by sections 204B.14 and 204B.16. 
     Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 366.01, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 11.  [OPEN MEETING LAW; EXEMPTION.] Except for the 
notice requirements, section 471.705 does not apply to gathering 
of town board members to perform on-site inspections, if the 
town has no employees or other staff able to perform the 
inspections and the town board is acting essentially in a staff 
capacity. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 367.03, is 
amended to read: 
    367.03 [OFFICERS ELECTED AT ANNUAL MEETING ELECTION; 
VACANCIES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [OFFICERS, TERMS.] Except in towns 
operating under option A, there shall be elected in each town 
three supervisors as provided in this section.  Where a new town 
has been or may be organized and supervisors have been or may be 
elected for such town at a town meeting prior to the annual town 
meeting election, such supervisors shall serve only until the 
next annual town meeting election at which meeting election 
three supervisors shall be elected, one for three years, one for 
two years, and one for one year, so that the term of one shall 
expire each year.  The number of years for which each is elected 
shall be indicated on the ballot.  At all other annual 
town meetings elections one supervisor shall be elected for 
three years to fill the place of the one whose term expires at 
that time.  Except in towns operating under either option B or 
option D, or both, there shall be elected at the annual 
town meeting election held in even-numbered years one town 
clerk, and at the annual town meeting election held in 
odd-numbered years one town treasurer.  The clerk and treasurer 
each shall serve for a term of two years and until their 
successors are elected and qualified. 
    Subd. 2.  [VACANCIES.] When a vacancy occurs in a town 
office the town board shall fill the vacancy by appointment.  
The person appointed shall hold office until the next annual 
town meeting election, when a successor shall be elected to hold 
office for the unexpired term.  A vacancy in the office of 
supervisor shall be filled by the remaining supervisors and the 
town clerk until the next annual town meeting election, when a 
successor shall be elected to hold for the unexpired term.  
When, because of a vacancy, more than one supervisor is to be 
chosen at the same election, candidates for the offices of 
supervisor shall file for one of the specific terms being 
filled.  Law enforcement vacancies shall be filled by 
appointment by the town board. 
    Subd. 3.  [CONSTABLES.] The town, by majority vote at its 
annual town meeting, may decide to authorize the town board to 
appoint three or less law enforcement officers.  The positions 
may be filled by any combination of (a) peace officers, (b) 
constables, or (c) deputy constables.  The board of supervisors 
shall notify the board of peace officer standards and training 
in writing at least 14 days before the first day of employment 
of a peace officer, constable or deputy constable.  In the event 
no law enforcement official is appointed, the duties of a 
constable described by law may be delegated to any person so 
appointed by the board of supervisors setting forth such 
compensation as the board of supervisors shall deem reasonable. 
     Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 367.33, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [ELECTION AT ANNUAL MEETING ELECTION OR 
SPECIAL ELECTION.] Following the adoption of option A in a town, 
except a town exercising the powers of a statutory city, the 
town board may call a special town election to be held not less 
than 30 days nor more than 60 days after the annual town meeting 
at which the option is adopted, for the purpose of electing two 
additional members to the board of supervisors.  In lieu of 
calling a special election, the town board may determine to 
elect the additional two members of the town board at the next 
annual town meeting election.  If the town is exercising the 
powers of a statutory city pursuant to section 368.01 or 
pursuant to a special law granting substantially similar powers, 
the town board shall call a special election to be held not less 
than 30 days nor more than 60 days after the annual meeting at 
which option A is adopted for the purpose of electing the two 
additional supervisors.  
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 367.33, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [TERMS.] If the additional supervisors are 
elected at a special election, they shall serve only until the 
next annual town meeting election, at which the additional 
members shall stand for election, one for a term of two years 
and one for a term of three years. The candidate receiving the 
highest number of votes shall be elected for the longer term.  
If the additional supervisors are elected at an annual meeting 
election, one shall serve for a term of two years and the other 
for a term of three years with the candidate receiving the 
highest number of votes being elected for the longer term.  
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 367.33, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [ABANDONMENT OF OPTION A.] In a town in which 
option A is abandoned, the terms of incumbent supervisors shall 
not be affected, but if one or more supervisors are to be 
elected at the annual town election held on the same day as the 
annual town meeting at which the option is abandoned, the 
election of one supervisor, or two if there be more than one 
elected, shall be considered null.  Otherwise the offices of the 
two incumbent supervisors expiring at the annual meeting town 
election or meetings elections next following the annual meeting 
at which the option is abandoned shall not be filled.  
Thereafter the town board shall be composed of three supervisors 
unless option A is again adopted in that town. 
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 471.96, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  The governing bodies of cities, and 
counties, and towns are hereby authorized to appropriate 
necessary funds to provide membership of their respective 
municipal corporations or political subdivisions respectively in 
county, regional, state, and national associations of a civic, 
educational or governmental nature which have as their purpose 
the betterment and improvement of municipal governmental 
operations.  Cities and, counties, and towns are also authorized 
to participate through duly designated representatives in the 
meetings and activities of such associations, and the governing 
bodies of cities and, counties, and towns respectively are 
authorized to appropriate necessary funds to defray the actual 
and necessary expenses of such representatives in connection 
therewith.  For purposes of this section the governing body of a 
town is the town board. 
     Sec. 11.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 365.06, is repealed. 
    Approved May 12, 1987