What is the Remonumentation Program?
The Remonumentation Plan for Livingston County was adopted in 1992 as required by Act 345 of the State Public Acts of 1990. An excerpt from the County Plan provides a brief summary of its intention:
Implementing the county monumentation program would mark the first time in 175 years that a concerted effort was made to do this critically needed job. Since the 1850s, there has been no statewide effort to validate (section) corners, even though surveyors’ tools have advanced from a 66-foot chain and a compass to a technological arsenal that includes a device that gives automatic measurements of angles between corners, and instruments that bounce a signal off a satellite to determine the exact longitude and latitude of a given point (Global Positioning System, GPS.) Orderly, consistent Remonumentation with standardized markers would assist in the documentation and planning of roads and utilities, the (location) of public and private property, the settlement of ownership claims and disputes, and the provision of a central data base containing information on counties and townships throughout the State. Completion of the Remonumentation system in a county would enable the county to implement a computerized mapping system that would include the precise location of roads, utilities and property lines; the corners would serve as the foundation for such a map.
What does it do?
Our Plan results in standardized section corner markers made of durable materials that should withstand the weather, in addition to roadway maintenance over an extended period of time. The section corner location is approved by the County Peer Group based on the recommendation of a contracted Professional Surveyor. The Peer Group consists of Professional Surveyors from the area who review historical data for each corner in the program.
How does it work?
Each county has a County Representative and Grant Administrator that reports to the state. They oversee this plan at the county level.
A list of section corners to be remonumented is approved each year. Contracts are awarded to qualified Professional Surveyors who indicate they wish to remonument the corners in a certain Township. The surveyor researches the history of each corner from the present location back to the original setting in the 1800s. Based on the information they find, the contractor makes a recommendation to the Peer Group for the location of the corner. The Peer Group analyzes the information and either accepts the recommendation or requests additional information be provided. If approved, the contractor then replaces the existing monument with the County approved 1 ¼” x 36” pipe and a brass cap marked with the corner code and monumenting surveyor’s license number. A “Corner Recordation Form” is filed for each corner at the Register of Deeds Office.
Will this move my property corner?
No, 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.
Who pays for this?
The Remonumentation Plan is funded in part by the State with the remainder provided by County funds. The funds come from part of the cost of recording documents at the Register of Deeds Office.
How are we doing?
Livingston County began work on this project in 1993. Since that time, we have remonumented over 3,100 section corners. The State set this up as a 20-year program and we have met this time constraint without any problems. Currently there is a maintenance program in place, and GPS stations are being determined at viable corners. The state has established a database for section corner information. We have acquired some coordinate information using the Global Positioning System (GPS, see excerpt above) methods. This helps provide accurate measurements throughout each township. Livingston County has recently established a countywide Geographic Information System (GIS) that is utilizing some of the information generated by the Remonumentation plan.
How do I get more information?
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this program, please contact the County Representative or Grant Administrator through the Register of Deeds Office at (517) 546-0270.