Bridgewater Township is a small rural community located in the Northeast corner of Rice County, Minnesota, roughly 30 miles south of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The area was first settled in 1844, and Bridgewater was officially organized as a township by the Rice County Board of Commissioners in 1858. While living close to the cities of Northfield, Dundas, and Faribault — and major metropolitan shopping and entertainment offered by the Twin Cities — our residents enjoy the benefits of a rural lifestyle in a largely agricultural community.
Bridgewater Township is governed by the traditional township form of government. Patterned after the English town meeting style of government, township government embodies the ideal of grassroots democratic participation envisioned by the nation’s founders. In Minnesota, townships are the traditional rural unit of government. Minnesota has more townships than any state in the nation with 1,796 townships, and that form of government presently serves approximately one-fourth of the population of Minnesota. The board of supervisors is the governing body of the township, and is elected by direct ballot of eligible voters. There are currently three township supervisors who serve three-year terms. The township staff also includes a treasurer and a clerk who serve two-year terms.
The primary responsibilities of Bridgewater Township include: care of township roads, planning and zoning for the township, proper conduct of elections, and participate with other units of government (cities, counties, townships) to cooperate with planning issues. A unique feature of Bridgewater Township includes the orderly annexation agreements currently in place with the City of Northfield and the City of Dundas. These agreements were forged to help direct future growth in sensible ways.