County plat books on sale

Published 8:00 am Thursday, December 24, 2015

A compilation of the county’s lands and landowners is once again available for purchase by Cass County residents and travelers.

The local conservation district began selling the 2016 edition of the Cass County Plat Book last Friday, through their office in Cassopolis. The compendium of township maps and information can be purchased for $32, which includes sales tax.

Assembled and published every two years through the Cass County Conservation District, the spiral-bound softcover book contains maps of the county’s 15 townships. Along with a brief history of each section of the county, these documents show every land parcel within the county and who the lots belong to, listing the name any individual who owns more than 5 acres of land, said Justin Miller, director of the conservation district.

“It’s portable, that’s what is nice about it,” Miller said. “You can take it with you while walk property lines and do whatever you need to do.”

Using mapping data provided through the county government, the plat book is the most efficient means for people to discover who owns what land in Cass County, be it private residents, the county itself or other entities, Miller said. This information is particularly useful to outdoorsmen such as fishers and hunters, along with real estate agents or surveyors, the director said.

“A lot of farmers find it useful, because it allows them to see who might have land for them to rent,” he said. “The land switches hands so often that they might not know who owns it now.”

A number of people also collect the plat books, including those involved with historic societies, hence the increased focus on history with this year’s edition, Miller said.

The district spent between $6,500 and $7,000 to create the books this year. Around a dozen companies purchased advertisements inside the guide, helping to offset some of the costs of purchasing the data from the county.

People can pick up a copy of the 2016 plat book from the conservation district office, located at 1127 E. State St., Cassopolis. Customers will be able to order books online and have them shipped to their location in the near future, Miller said.