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Workman Township is one of 40 organized townships in Aitkin County, MN. There are also 14 unorganized townships (territories) in the county. Based on population (last census), Workman Township ranks 20th in the county with 222 citizens. The largest organized township in Aitkin County has a population of 1,272 citizens and the smallest has 34 citizens.

Aitkin County is one of 87 counties in the State of Minnesota. Aitkin County is larger than the entire State of Rhode Island in area; it has the oldest average age of all Minnesota counties at 54 years; and ranks near the bottom in economic prosperity for all MN counties. In 2020, persons age 65 and over surpassed persons age 1 to 18 in Minnesota.

Township Government

Townships are the original form of local government in Minnesota. Today, the term township generally refers to organized but unincorporated communities governed by a local board of supervisors and created to provide services to their residents. The board of supervisors are joined by a township clerk and a township treasurer. There are 1,781 townships across the State. Townships are written as law to be 6 miles x 6 miles or 36 miles square.  Actual size does vary slightly due to terrain and surveyor issues.

Annual Meeting:  On the second Tuesday of March each year is the township annual meeting. At this meeting, the residents of the township have a direct opportunity to have a voice in how the township will be run. They do this by voting on a variety of matters on which the town board must receive elector approval, and most importantly, by directly voting on and approving the township’s tax levy for the next year.  (Source: Minnesota Association of Townships website)

Township Elections:  At the March 2017 Workman Township meeting we changed to mail-in ballots which will come from the auditors office at the Aitkin County Courthouse. We also changed the length of election to 4 years. Elections are now conducted in November with other local, state and federal elections. A candidate winning election in November will take office in January.

Aitkin County Election Info – click here.

Township Responsibilities

Workman Township Board is responsible for providing many services to its residents, including:

  • Maintain accurate meeting minutes and records.
  • Maintain accurate and complete financial records.
  • Developing broadband service in the township
  • A big responsibility is maintenance of our township roads.
  • Our township maintains the Lakeview Cemetery.
  • Provide election information for all levels of elections.
  • Provides for fire and first responder services with Palisade and McGregor Fire Departments.

Township Geography

Town Board

James Berg, Chairman – Roads
24301 480th Street (Cty Hwy 3)
McGregor, MN  55760-6010

Douglas Paris, Supervisor – Cemetery
24301 480th Street (Cty Hwy 3)
McGregor, MN  55760-6010

Michael Jaworski, Supervisor – Buildings
24301 480th Street (Cty Hwy 3)
McGregor, MN  55760-6010

Wanda Essen – Clerk
24301 480th Street (Cty Hwy 3)
McGregor, Mn 55760-6010
218 821-0178

Betty Berg – Treasurer
24301 480th Street (Cty Hwy 3)
McGregor, Mn 55760-6010
218 426-3634

Workman Township is located in Aitkin County in north-central Minnesota. According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 35.6 square miles, of which 32.9 square miles is land and 2.7 square miles, or 7.68%, is water.

Area lakes and rivers include:  Lakes within the township include: Big Sandy Lake, Brown Lake, Flowage Lake, Rat Lake, Sanders Lake, and Sandy River Lake. The Mississippi River flows southerly through the northwest corner of the township.

Wold Wildlife Management Area (WMA): This WMA (425 acres) is a mix of upland and lowland timber types. Tamarack, black spruce, cedar and black ash types make up the lowland areas. While the uplands are aspen, birch, and balsam fir. There are beaver ponds on west portion of the unit. Wolves, fisher, mink, bear, deer, great horned owl, raven and black-capped chickadee may use this WMA. The purpose of this WMA is to provide wintering areas for deer. Link to MN DNR.

Workman Township Is A Local Government Innovation Award (LGIA) Winner!

Workman Honored By Humphrey School – Township Is One Of Four In The State To Receive Prestigious Local Government Innovation Award

“We’re kind of proud,” said James M. Berg, chair of Workman Township. His fellow township officers and staff at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis agree he has good reason to feel that way.

Staff at the public nonprofit leadership center showed their appreciation recently by awarding Workman Township their annual Local Government Innovation Award (LGIA). Township officials traveled to Cowles Auditorium in Minneapolis Dec. 8 to receive the award. Workman was one of four townships in the state to be honored with awards.

There are more than 1,800 townships in Minnesota eligible to receive the awards. This is the 10th year that LGIAs have been presented. Workman’s award recognized Workman Township Service Day, held Aug. 14. This was the first year the township held the service day but it won’t be the last. Plans are already underway to hold a similar day next year and offer even more services.

Workman, located west of Big Sandy Lake, is a small rural township with 207 residents in a county with the oldest population in the state, a county with serious economic and transportation challenges for its aging population.

“We felt that a Workman Township Service Day would benefit our township citizens with services that would typically require a 60-mile or longer trip. We made available a daylong event for our citizens as well as citizens in surrounding townships,” Workman officials said in a statement that was reprinted in brochures distributed by the Humphrey school.

The service day provided water analysis at discount rates, signups for septic tank inspections, no-cost home energy audits, outdated drug collection, hearing aid, cell phone and computer battery collection and used hearing aid and eyeglass donations.

Berg said next year, they hope to add coupons for health care-related services like chiropractic and dental care.

Assistance for the service day was provided by Aitkin County Environmental Services, the Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District, Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative, Lake County Power and the Lions Club.

After sharing so many services with area residents, township officials also plan to share the award. The clear engraved award in the shape of the state of Minnesota will be on display at Grand Timber Bank in McGregor in January and Barknarkles in McGregor in February. In March, the award will be displayed at Fisherman’s Bay on Big Sandy Lake and, in April, it will be displayed at Big Sand Bar on Big Sandy.

Township Officials in Photo:  

About the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs cultivates adaptive, transformative leaders. It seeks to create and nurture excellence in public affairs management and leadership through research, teaching, professional development and outreach and to be a vital resource in the community.

The school ranks among the country’s top 10 public policy and planning schools, long noted for equipping students to play key roles in public life at the local, state, national and global levels. It offers six distinct masters degrees, a doctoral degree and five certificate programs. The school’s nonprofit management program ranks second in the country.

Taken from article posted in by Kathleen Pakarinen, Link to article

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