Section 3: Township Government

Township grid

Figure 30. Township grid. Each of the 36 sections contains 640 acres. The 36 sections equal 23,040 acres (36 sections × 640 acres = 23,040 acres). (SHSND-ND Studies)

North Dakota counties are divided into grids of land called townships. Each township is made up of one-mile sections that form a square measuring six miles on each side. The 36 sections of a township are numbered in a certain way.

Township government has been called “the government closest to the people.” Almost all of North Dakota’s townships are supervised by a three-member board of supervisors. Township supervisors are elected for three-year terms by the residents of the township at the annual meeting.

Some of the duties of the township supervisors include preparing a budget, overseeing weed and pest control, and taking care of township roads. Making sure that road signs are kept in good condition and displayed properly for safety is also an important responsibility of the township supervisors.

Each township has an assessor, whose job it is to determine what property is worth in order for it to be taxed fairly. The assessor may be elected at the annual meeting or appointed by the township supervisors.