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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

CHAPTER 379. ORGANIZATION, FORMATION, AND PARTITION OF TOWNS

Table of Sections
SectionHeadnote
379.01ORGANIZATION.
379.02TOWNS, CHANGE OF BOUNDARIES AND NAMES.
379.03NOTICE OF HEARING.
379.04IF GRANTED, BOARD TO FIX BOUNDARIES; MAKE, FILE REPORT.
379.045FIRST TOWN MEETING; ELECTION OF OFFICERS.
379.05AUDITOR TO SUM UP REPORT FOR STATE, MAKE TOWN RECORD.
379.06APPORTIONMENT OF FUNDS; TAXES.
379.07TOWNS WITH SAME NAME.
379.08CHANGE OF NAME OF TOWN.
379.09ORDER OF BOARD.
379.01 ORGANIZATION.
    Subdivision 1. Manner; petition; name. When a majority of the registered voters of any
congressional township containing not less than 25 legal voters petition the county board to be
organized as a town such board shall forthwith call an election on the question. If a majority of
the vote in the township is in favor of organization, the county board shall proceed to fix and
determine the boundaries of such new town and name the same and make and file with the auditor
a full report of its proceedings in relation to the establishment thereof. Towns thus formed shall be
named in accordance with the expressed wish of a majority of its voters. If they fail to request
a name, the board shall select one.
    Subd. 2. Petition by freeholders. When a majority of the resident freeholders of any one,
two, three, four, or five congressional townships containing in the aggregate not less than 25
freeholders who are legal voters petition the county board to be organized as a town such board
shall forthwith call an election on the question. If a majority of the vote in the townships is in
favor of organization, the county board shall proceed to fix and determine the boundaries of
such new town and name the same and make and file with the county auditor a full report of its
proceedings in relation to the establishment thereof. For the purposes of this section, the word
"freeholders" shall be construed to include any person who is a legal voter in any such town
occupying real estate therein under the homestead or preemption laws of the United States or
under contract of purchase from any person or corporation or from the state of Minnesota.
    Subd. 3. Organizational meeting. If the result of an election held under this section is in the
affirmative, the county shall arrange for the holding of the first organizational meeting not more
than 30 days after the election in the township to be organized.
    Subd. 4. Conduct of election; costs. The county auditor shall have the ballots printed for an
election under this section and shall otherwise make preparation for the election including having
a notice published in the official newspaper of the county once a week for two successive weeks
stating the date of the election and the question to be voted on. The last publication shall be no
later than ten days before the election. The cost of the election shall be borne by the county.
History: (787, 788) RL s 451; 1905 c 143 s 1; 1931 c 19; 1987 c 147 s 3
379.02 TOWNS, CHANGE OF BOUNDARIES AND NAMES.
The county board may alter the boundaries of towns, or partition any town among other
towns within the county by attaching a part of one town to another, or by dividing one town and
attaching the parts to other towns, or by forming a new town from the territory of one or more
towns, or from territory not before included in a town, whenever it is made to appear necessary or
expedient, by a petition for that purpose signed by not less than 20 legal voters residing within
the territory to be affected. The county board may, upon notice as provided in section 379.03,
alter the boundaries or change the name of any town within the county by attaching thereto
unorganized territory abutting thereon within the county, after a petition for that purpose, signed
by not less than 20 legal voters residing within the unorganized territory proposed to be attached,
is approved by the town board of the town to which the territory is proposed to be attached. No
town shall be so formed, having less than 36 square miles, nor have its boundaries so changed as
to reduce its territory below that area, unless after such division it shall have at least 25 qualified
voters therein, and real estate valued at the last preceding assessment at $30,000 or more; and
no town shall be divided or have any part detached therefrom so as to make its area less than
36 square miles, except upon the petition of at least two-thirds of the legal voters residing
in one or both subdivisions or parts. The county auditor must notify the state demographer of
any boundary or name changes. The county shall prepare an estimate of the population and the
number of households in the attached or detached area. The estimate must be certified by the state
demographer. The estimate must estimate the population as of the effective date of the county
board's resolution and must be so dated.
History: (789) RL s 452; 1955 c 3 s 1; 1997 c 87 s 2
379.03 NOTICE OF HEARING.
Before acting on any petition mentioned in section 379.02, the county board shall cause 30
days' posted notice of the time of hearing the same to be given within the bounds of the territory
proposed to be partitioned, altered, or formed into a new town. Such notice shall include a copy of
the petition, and be served on the clerk of each town whose territory may be affected.
History: (790) RL s 453
379.04 IF GRANTED, BOARD TO FIX BOUNDARIES; MAKE, FILE REPORT.
If such application is granted, the county board shall forthwith fix and determine the
boundaries of such town or towns, and make and file with the county auditor a full report of its
proceedings in the matter.
History: (791) RL s 454
379.045 FIRST TOWN MEETING; ELECTION OF OFFICERS.
The first town meeting and election of officers in each new town shall be held as provided
in sections 365.50 and 367.03, subdivision 1.
History: 1985 c 169 s 14
379.05 AUDITOR TO SUM UP REPORT FOR STATE, MAKE TOWN RECORD.
Each county auditor shall within 30 days after any such town is organized transmit by mail to
the commissioner of revenue, the secretary of state, the state demographer, the Land Management
Information Center, the director of the Office of Strategic and Long-Range Planning, and the
commissioner of transportation an abstract of such report, giving the name and boundaries of such
town and record in a book kept for that purpose a full description of each such town.
History: (792) RL s 455; 1973 c 492 s 14; 1976 c 231 s 27; 1984 c 618 s 54; 2003 c 2 art 5 s 7
379.06 APPORTIONMENT OF FUNDS; TAXES.
In case of the division or partition of any town, the funds in its treasury and undistributed
town taxes shall be apportioned to the town or towns to which the portions thereof shall be
attached, or to the new town or towns established, to the extent the same are collected from the
territory so attached or established into a new town. All taxes collected after the division or
partition of such town shall when collected be paid to the town in which the property upon which
the taxes are collected is located; but taxes levied for the payment of outstanding bonds shall be
paid to the town issuing such bonds until such time as the same are paid. When any such county
board shall have heretofore or shall hereafter divide or partition any such town it shall apportion to
the several parts thereof that portion of the debts of the town represented by outstanding orders or
otherwise and the property thereof as may seem to it right and proper, and the apportionment when
so made shall be binding upon the parts affected, but shall be subject to review by the district court.
History: (793) RL s 456; 1909 c 123 s 1
379.07 TOWNS WITH SAME NAME.
If the commissioner of revenue, on comparing the abstracts of the reports from the several
counties, finds that two or more towns have the same name, the commissioner shall transmit to
the auditor of the proper county the name to be altered, and the county board shall, at its next
meeting thereafter, adopt for such town a different name. When such name is adopted the county
auditor shall inform the commissioner of revenue, as before directed.
History: (794) RL s 457; 1973 c 492 s 14; 1976 c 231 s 28; 1986 c 444
379.08 CHANGE OF NAME OF TOWN.
The board of county commissioners of any county in this state may change the name of any
town within such county upon a petition signed by a number of the legal voters of such town equal
to 55 percent of the votes cast in such town at the last preceding general election and the new name
suggested in such petition shall be adopted as the official name of such town. Such petition shall be
filed with the county auditor and it shall be the duty of the auditor thereupon to give three weeks'
published notice of the filing of such petition by publishing the same in the official newspaper of
the county, and the petition shall be taken up and considered at the next meeting of the board of
county commissioners held not less than 30 days after the date of publication of such notice.
History: (795) 1907 c 88 s 1
379.09 ORDER OF BOARD.
Petition being granted, the board shall make a formal order to that effect, which shall be
filed with the county auditor and thereupon the official name of such town shall be the one so
adopted. The auditor shall within 20 days after any such change of name of town transmit by
mail to the commissioner of revenue an abstract of all the proceedings and orders of the county
commissioners relative to such change of name.
History: (796) 1907 c 88 s 2; 1973 c 492 s 14; 1976 c 231 s 29