Ford Township



Regular Road Work

Thanks to the Electors who authorized funds for well-needed road work, we made significant improvements in nearly all of our Township Roads in 2012, especially on Olympic Avenue south of the Snake River bridge. Although dry conditions in late summer and early fall made it difficult for effective blading to reduce the washboarding we get from the increase in traffic during hunting season, we have been able blade in early November and roads are in generally good shape going into the snow season. If you identify any road issues you would like addressed in 2013, please contact the Board so those can be evaluated during the Annual Road Inspection done every spring.


One of the many responsibilities of Township government is cooperation with a county-wide inspection to determine what, if any, noxious weeds are growing within the borders of our Township.  Over the last two years, inspections with Theresa Bearce of the Kanabec County Environmental Services have revealed a significant amount of Tall Buttercup, a noxious weed which the State of Minnesota and Kanabec County expects to be controlled/eradicated by landowners.  Tall Buttercup contains a bitter juice that can blister skin and is toxic to livestock (particularly cattle) and other animals, often causing blistering of the mouth and digestive tract.  In severe cases, irritation leads to paralysis, convulsions, and death.    Because of its bitter taste, animals usually avoid eating the plant.  The toxic oil evaporates from cut plants, making hay containing the dried plant harmless to livestock.  Tall Buttercup prefers heavy, moist soil, ditches, lowland edges and rich damp woods; but also infests pastures, hay fields, forage crops, rangeland and roadsides and can quickly invade an area crowding out more desirable fodder.

Townships are mandated to follow set guidelines set out by State Statute to notify affected landowners and then to secure a commitment from them that steps will be taken to control/eradicate the noxious weeds.  To this end, the Town of Ford send letters to township landowners in October, 2006, if Tall Buttercup was observed on their property and offering guidance as to recommended ways of removing the weed from their premises.   Mowing before seed set will keep the plants from spreading and may eventually kill them.  Other methods are spraying, cutting or pulling the weeds. 

Everyone needs to understand that the eradication of Tall Buttercup in the Township will not be completed in a year or two.  It will only be accomplished over a period of many years with the cooperation of the landowners on infested private lands and the Township, County and State implementing controls on the public lands and roadways. Everyone working together can make this happen!


Call 911

Fire protection for the Town of Ford is provided through a contract with the Isle Volunteer Fire Department.  If a fire occurs, call 911 immediately.  A call to 911 from a landline telephone will indicate your location to the dispatcher who will automatically contact the Isle Fire Department.  A call from a cell phone within the township will require specific information as to location of the problem.  The 911 operator will guide you through that process.

Ford Township contracts with the Isle Volunteer Fire Department for fire protection services. Supervisor, Ken Von Bank, attended an informational meeting on January 27 held by Co-Chiefs, David Miller and Tim Schug,

The Fire Department budget for 2010 was reviewed and preliminary figures for 2011 revealed. While plans are still in place for the future construction of a new Fire Hall, the department has once again held the budget. The annual fee for fire protection for Ford in 2009 was $6,586.24 which was a decrease from preceding years. In addition, residents and property owners of the township are charged a flat fee of $300.00 per fire call.

Ambulance Service

Ambulance Service for the Town of Ford is provided by the Isle/Onamia Ambulance Service and they are also dispatched automatically by the 911 call.

Burn Permits – New rules & regulations!

Kanabec County was added to the Electronic Open Burning Permit system this spring.  You now have two ways to obtain an open burning permit:  On-line, or In-person at your local Township Fire Warden or DNR Forestry office.  The other new regulation is that you MUST activate your permit with a telephone call every time you burn.  This activation protects the community by ensuring that emergency dispatchers and fire responders have the latest information on where legal burning is occurring.

On-line permit:
The website address is  There is a $5.00 fee and the permit is good for the rest of the calendar year.  It can be activated as often as burning conditions allow.

In-person permit:
Burn permits are available from local volunteer fire wardens:
              Jim & Edna Cole, 2016 Highway 27 / Phone: 320-679-3137
as well as the DNR offices in Mora, Sandstone, McGrath and the Courthouse in Mora.  The Forestry offices and the Courthouse are generally only open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  In-person permits allow burning for no more than three days but can be written for a future date.

Wherever you get your permit, you MUST activate the permit daily by calling 1-866-533-2876 before a burn.  You will be given an activation number to write on your permit.  Failure to activate the permit or failure to write the activation number on your permit can result in a legal violation and a potential fine. 

Paper permits have a preprinted number 1 at the start of the permit number.  The rest of the number will consist of the County number, Township number, Range number and Section number of the location of the burn. When you activate the permit, this number 1 must be entered on your telephone keypad, followed by the handwritten permit number.

Burn permit conditions/requirements are similar to the older style permits.  If you have questions, contact the Mora DNR office at (320) 679 3683 or your local Fire Wardens.

Banish the Barrel

No, you cannot burn household trash in a burn barrel on your property!  Burning household waste can be harmful to your health (and your neighbor's) because burning just one pound of trash in a burn barrel produces more dioxin than a ton of similar trash burned at a municipal waste incinerator.  In addition trash burning causes 40% of all wild fires!  The ashes from such a burn barrel can contaminate soils, wells and surface waters.  For good reason, it has been illegal to burn household trash in a burn barrel since 1969!  Dispose of waste properly – recycle or reuse, compost or chip yard waste, use garbage services – and protect the health of the environment, including people, livestock and wildlife.


Local recycling opportunities:

Arthur Township Recycling Center                    
1899 Frontage Road, Mora  (320) 679 1347
Open free for Public Use:
Monday: 9 a.m. to Noon
Tuesday: 9 a.m. to Noon
Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to Noon

Quality Disposal Systems & Recycling
225 East George Street, Ogilvie (329) 272 4692
Open free for Public Use
Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Ford Township’s goal is to have all roads passable within a reasonable amount of time following a snow fall.  The Supervisors do not assure a completely bare road.  The traveling public is reminded to use caution and to drive with care. 

Dispatching the snowplow:

  1. Ford Township will not usually dispatch the snowplow until the snow fall has stopped although exceptions may be made during periods of extended snow. 

  2. The snowplow will not be sent out in periods of restricted visibility.

  3. The snowplow will not be dispatched if snowfall does not exceed 4 (four) inches.

  4. If snow fall stops during the night or early morning hours, the plow will be dispatched at 5 a.m.

  5. Weekend plowing will be handed in a similar manner.


  1. The roads will be cleared in three phases:

    1. Making the road passable

    2. Widening the road, and

    3. Cleaning up.

Dependent on situation, more than one phase may be accomplished at one time.

Personal Property:

  1. Mail boxes and fences damaged during snow removal will be evaluated case by case.  Only those properties that were properly located and installed and which were damaged by actual contact with equipment responsible to the Town of Ford will be repaired at Town of Ford expense.

Town Resident Responsibilities:

1.   Town Residents are reminded that it is unlawful to plow snow from driveways onto or across public roads.  Piles of snow left on or near the road can freeze into a solid mass creating a hazardous situation for vehicles and snowplows.  Accidents and damages caused by snow piles placed in the roadway may result in liability to the property owners.  Piles of snow increase the chance of drifting snow onto the roadway.

2.  Town residents are reminded to remove parked vehicles from town roads to assist in snow removal.

3.  When directed by the Supervisors or the Sheriff's Department the Town of Ford will make every effort to make emergency plowing.

4.  The Town of Ford will be plowing roads on a rotating basis to be fair to all residents of the Town.

For further information, you may contact:

Ford Supervisor, Carl Swaningson (320) 279-3029

Weather permitting…

Are you interested in weather data for Ford Township?  If so, there is a website that might be interesting for you.  Ford Township resident, Jim Cole, has been documenting local weather on a monthly basis since April, 2003 for Soil & Water Conservation and this year also began submitting daily data on-line. You can find his reports at:

You can choose the date you wish information for, then the report parameters. If you choose “show place names”, look for either “Woodland” or else look for  CC (County) 33, TTT (Township) 42N, RR (Range) 23W, SS (Section) 18 and you will find the current data.  This is an interesting website to explore for all sorts of weather related information.

Ford Township weather trivia:

Growing Season rainfall (May - September)
2012 21.13"
2011 19.04"
2010 25.94"
2009 14.90"
2008 20.09"
2007 14.80"
2006 12.24"
2005 17.13"
2004 22.56"
2003 22.32"

Total rain and melted snow
2011 25.25"
2010 36.83"
2009 29.99"
2008 31.15"

Ford Township Minnesota USA

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