Township Law

Legal Counsel to Minnesota Townships

General Counsel • Training • Special Counsel • Litigation

We recognize that town boards grapple with a wide range of legal issues and matters that are often unique to townships or significantly different from their bigger city counterparts. At Kennedy & Graven, Chartered, our attorneys deliver focused legal counsel in township law and devote a significant portion of our practice to serving the specific needs of both rural and urban townships.

Based in Minneapolis, with offices in St. Cloud and St. Paul, our firm is a recognized leader in local government law. Since 1958, we have provided continuous representation to townships and municipalities statewide in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Our lawyers have provided services to over 150 townships in variety of matters, including general township law, land use, public finance and litigation.

TOWNSHIP LAW

Our township lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience in the everyday issues confronting town boards and commissions:

Planning and Zoning

  • Ordinance drafting, updating, and interpretation
  • Platting and subdivisions
  • Conditional uses and interim uses, rezoning, variances, and appeals
  • Approvals and regulation of feedlots and mining operations
  • Ordinance enforcement

Roads and Bridges

  • Establishing, altering, and vacating town roads and cartways
  • Responding to obstructions
  • Drainage issues and utility placement
  • Improvement projects

Ordinance drafting, including interim ordinances and amendments

Joint Powers Agreements for fire protection, police and emergency services, wastewater treatment, and other services

Contracting/Improvements

  • Maintenance and services contracts (including bids and procedural requirements)
  • Construction and improvements (including financing)
  • Special assessments
  • Subordinate service districts

Real Estate

  • Property acquisition and transfers
  • Condemnation
  • New town halls and new fire halls

Town Board Administration

  • Open Meeting Law / public participation in meetings
  • Hearings
  • Elections
  • Optional forms of town government
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Town supervisor, clerk, treasurer, and employee liability

Urban Towns - Most townships in Minnesota are exempt from the Data Practices Act. However, urban towns in the seven-county Metro area are not exempt, and we can advise on compliance with the Act. We are familiar with other legal matters unique to urban town government.

Our Attorneys

Troy Gilchrist has worked with township government since 1991. Before joining K & G, he was an attorney with the Minnesota Association of Townships and then was the Director of Operations/General Counsel of the Minnesota Association of Townships Agency. He brings extensive experience in training sessions for local government officials, legislative and state agency advocacy for townships, and management of pooled self-insurance programs.

Robert Alsop and Mary Tietjen are members of the MATIT pool of defense attorneys and have defended towns in matters ranging from federal fair housing issues and cartways, to conciliation court matters.

Martha Ingram and Julie Eddington assist townships through the process to properly incur debt and to secure financing for new town halls, fire halls, special assessment projects, subordinate service districts, and other typical improvement projects.

Call Kennedy & Graven, Chartered to arrange a consultation with one of our township law attorneys, or contact them directly:

Troy J. Gilchrist
Shareholder
(612) 337-9214
Email
Scott J. Riggs
Shareholder
(612) 337-9260
Email
Sarah Sonsalla
Shareholder
(612) 337-9284
Email