The County Surveyor is a Part-Time Contracted Position working within the Land Information Office. The County Surveyor has been appointed by the County Board as required by WI Statutes to be the County’s authority for the Public Land Survey System (PLSS).
The primary responsibilities of the County Surveyor are:
- to administer the county’s PLSS remonumentation program
- to review & file PLSS record documents and land surveys prepared by professional land surveyors
- to review Certified Survey Maps (CSM)
- to collaborate with & advise the Land Information Office and Real Property Lister on PLSS and survey related issues pertinent to the County’s digital parcel mapping & GIS data development efforts
- to serve as the Professional Land Surveyor Representative on the Vernon County Land Information Council
The County Surveyor is funded primarily through program and grant revenue provided by the county’s participation in the Wisconsin Land Information Program (WLIP). The County Surveyor works with professional land surveyors performing surveys within Vernon County to ensure that the PLSS section corners are properly located, maintained, and documented. Acting in capacity as the County Surveyor, the County Surveyor does not perform private land surveys.
The Public Land Survey System or PLSS is the public infrastructure that forms the basis for defining all property ownership and property rights throughout the County. The original government land survey that established and set monuments for the public land survey sections in Vernon County was originally performed from 1843 thru 1847. From about the mid 1860’s through the early 1900’s several County Surveyors maintained & re-set original government corners as well as set many interior section corners. The County maintains two volumes of these historical County Surveyor records in the Register of Deeds Office, and they are also available as .pdf images via the on-line surveyor files link above. Current PLSS monument records (a.k.a. tie sheets) are also available for viewing in the County Surveyor’s files (located in the Treasurer’s Office), and on-line via the on-line surveyor files and the Interactive GIS Map.
In 1996, Vernon County started a PLSS Bounty program to begin remonumenting and documenting the PLSS corners. As of 2015, approximately 88% of the PLSS corners in the County have been remonumented. The initial remonumentation effort is expected to be completed by 2020. Thereafter, to keep this important public infrastructure in good condition the County will need to continue a PLSS maintenance program administered by a County Surveyor.