The Indiana Constitution officially established the County Surveyor as an elected office. Like many county officials, the County Surveyor is elected to a four-year term. Due to the technical nature of the position and the expertise required, the surveyor has no term limits. The obligations of an elected County Surveyor are addressed in Indiana Code: Title 36, Article 2, Chapter 12, Sections 1 to 15.
The primary functions of the Allen County Surveyor's Office are the following:
- Stormwater Management - The Surveyor's Office performs Hydraulic and Hydrologic engineering review (Water Quantity) and Water Quality review for all developments and site plans within the unincorporated portion of the county and the participating communities of Huntertown and Leo-Cedarville. This review is essential to protect citizens from flooding and to ensure water quality.
- Supervise the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of the regulated drains - Regulated drains are open ditches, tiled drains, and urban drains that serve agricultural, residential, and commercial development under the jurisdiction of the Allen County Drainage Board. The County Surveyor oversees the maintenance of these drains by fixing broken tiles, removing obstructions, debrushing and dredging open ditches, removing beaver dams, etc. There are 2500 miles of regulated drains in the County. The reconstruction and construction of drains are reviewed and inspected by the County Surveyor. Maintenance assessments of the regulated drains are established by the Drainage Board.
- Section Corner Perpetuation - The County Surveyor must keep and maintain a corner record book showing original government section corners. The Surveyor must check, locate, establish, and reference at least 5% of all section corners shown in the Corner Record Book each year.
- County Drainage Board - The County Surveyor is an ex-officio and non-voting member of the County Drainage Board. In this capacity, the Surveyor is the technical authority on the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of all regulated drains.
- Serves on the Allen County Plan Commission - The Surveyor is a voting member of the committee to review drainage, plat compliance, and erosion control issues on residential subdivisions, commercial sites, and building permits.
- Certification to Alcoholic Beverage Commission - The County Surveyor must certify that the permit location is within a one-mile radius of an unincorporated area.
- Private / Natural Drain - The County Surveyor, through Drainage Board, reviews complaints regarding obstructions within private and natural drains. When ordered by the Drainage Board, after a Public Hearing, the Surveyor oversees the removal of any obstruction to restore proper drainage.
- Phase II Storm Water - The Allen County Surveyor's Office administrates a countywide stormwater quality management plan to comply with the regulations of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Storm Water Program of the Clean Water Act. This program is dedicated to improving the quality of water within our streams and rivers. For more information, please visit our Water Quality webpage.
- Benchmarks - The County Surveyor's Office keeps a record of all benchmarks in the county with elevations and descriptions, including those that have been destroyed. New benchmarks are established during the construction and reconstruction of bridges and concrete culverts.
- Pond Permits - The County Surveyor's Office requires the submittal and approval of a pond permit for the construction of private ponds. The Surveyor's Office oversees the construction of ponds to make sure they are built without impeding existing drainage, to verify that correctly sized pond overflows are directed to an acceptable drainage conveyance and do not cause undue harm to neighboring properties, to make sure that active tile interceptions are rerouted, and to verify that proposed ponds are located a minimum distance away from neighboring property lines, roads, electric lines, septic fields, regulated drains, wells, and are located outside of floodplain areas.
Drainage improvements are not funded by property taxes, but by assessment to the contributing watershed. Assessments are calculated by the Surveyor's Office, certified by the Allen County Drainage Board, and referred to the County Auditor for periodic collection, as detailed in the Indiana Drainage Code (IC-36-9-27). Most assessments are only collected to a 4-year high and then paused until such time as maintenance is performed and further funding is necessary. Each maintenance assessment is designated to individual regulated drain accounts. Regulated Drain balances are not allowed to be shifted from one maintenance account to another maintenance account, and no maintenance dollars are used for the Allen County Surveyor's Office budget.
Private Property Surveys
The Surveyor's Office does not perform private property surveys. Please contact a local surveyor for private property surveys.