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Government Directory>Charlevoix County Surveyor

Charlevoix County Surveyor
National Geodetic Survey Monument [Click here to view full size picture]
Mr. Lawrence "Larry" Feindt, P.S.
Charlevoix County Surveyor

217 Bridge Street
P.O. Box 18
Charlevoix, MI 49720
Phone: 231.547.9901 / Fax: 231.547.1068
Email Address:

Our County Surveyor welcomes you to learn more about the duties of the Charlevoix County Surveyor's office. This page provides information for surveyors working within Charlevoix County and the County's citizens.

The County Surveyor is elected to a four-year term of office.

Public Informational Resources Top
County Surveyor Duties of Office
The County Surveyor is responsible for maintaining survey records established within Charlevoix County by federal, state, and local government. The Survey office contains important historic records documenting the earliest County survey control established in the late 1800's when Michigan's Public Land Survey System was being established. These records are still frequently accessed by surveyors today. For a complete listing of responsibilities according to the State of Michigan's statutes, please download the informational document in the document links section.

United States Public Land Survey System
Early in our nations history there was a need for a logical and systematic system to sell and develop the lands west of the thirteen colonies. In 1784 Thomas Jefferson and several military engineers developed a rectangular survey system. On May 20, 1785 the Continental Congress approved this system that is today know as the Public Land Survey System (PLSS).

Looking at a county map you will find the County divided into Townships. Each Standard Township is divided into square miles, which are numbered from 1 to 36. These square miles are referred to as Sections. When Government Surveyors originally laid out these Townships and Sections (1840s in Charlevoix County), a wooden stake was placed at each Section Corner. Another stake was set half between each Section Corner and was called a Quarter Post.

The locations of these original wooden stakes as perpetuated today are still utilized and relied upon by Professional Land Surveyors to determine property line boundaries, road alignments, and subdivision layouts as well as the locations of commercial and industrial property. The first and last survey of the State was commissioned in 1815 and took about 40 years to complete. Most of the original corners have been removed due to road construction and development. The wooden posts have also deteriorated over time. However, some of the original corners have been recovered by following in the footsteps of the original surveyors and through careful excavation and research.

Remonumentation Program
The County Surveyor chairs the County's Remonumentation Committee meeting on a regular basis to administer the County's remonumentation program. The Michigan Remonumentation Program was formulated by the state legislature via Public Act No. 345 of 1990 to facilitate the perpetuation of the positions of all the original public land corners in the State of Michigan. This program is funded through State Grants, conjoined with County funds. The State Grant money is secured by collecting a fee for all documents recorded at the Register of Deeds in each county. This money is then sent to the State where it is combined and redistributed to all counties. The Charlevoix County money ($15,000 currently) is a contribution manifesting its civic responsibility to assist with the maintenance of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) from which all property is described and located.

Will Remonumentation Move My Property Corners?
Not typically. Property descriptions are “tied” to these section corners. The only thing that is affected is the distance from a section corner to your property. In the case of large acreage parcels of land, a more accurate measurement is often provided for each half-mile around the section. Some existing problems can be discovered, however, from the use of improperly located public land corners which are not in the position originally established at the time the public lands were patented.

Public Resource Documents
Resources for Survey Professionals Top
The County's Remonumentation Committee meets on a regular basis at the Charlevoix County Building's Commissioners' Room. Please contact the County Surveyor for the date and location of the next Remonumentation Committee meeting.

CORS Station Opportunities
It is hoped funding can be soon found for installing the two Continuous Operating Reference System (CORS) monuments in Charlevoix County. The CORS monuments and corresponding GPS reveivers would allow remonumentation contract surveyors to significantly increase the amount of State Plane Coordinates (coordinates which are directly related to latitudes and longitudes) that can be obtained to document the positions of the public land corners established through the remonumentation program. The CORS monuments are monitored by the Michigan Department of Transportation and have proven to provide the most accurate GPS data in the world. There are many important side benefits which can be realized by both public and private organizations, such as fast centimeter level underground utility documentation, county mapping, and accurate assessing of real estate.
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This page last updated on 7/11/2013.
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