The new 2006 Peoria County plat books have finally arrived. It’s been a year in the making and has taken a lot of effort to put together a quality book for Peoria County citizens. The last plat book was printed and made available to the public in September 2000. There have been many landownership changes in the county during the last six years, and the new book reflects those changes. The printing company mailed the revised and updated township maps last month to the Farm Bureau office. We invited township supervisors, township road commissioners, and Farm Bureau township directors to review the maps prior to the final printing.
Just what is a plat book? A plat book outlines the number of acres owned by individuals, partnerships, corporations, etc., and the location of the land owned. Peoria County has 19 townships, and each township is divided into sections. The “perfect” township has 36 sections, and each section is one mile by one mile. With the Illinois River bordering the east side of Peoria County, our perfectly square townships have just 13, as six border the river.
The smallest unit of land measurement in a plat book is the acre. One acre is 43,560 square feet, about the size of a football field. One mile equals 5,280 feet, so each section has 640 acres. If a township has 36 “perfect” sections, it would have 23,040 acres. According to my calculations, the surface area of Peoria County is approximately 300,000 acres. Peoria County farmers plant around 115,000 acres to corn, 80,000 acres to soybeans, 3,000 acres to wheat, and 7,000 acres are in hay. The remaining acreage is residents, municipalities, roads, water, parks, woods, etc.
I find a plat book much easier to interpret than a legal description. Instead of “the northwest quarter of the southwest half of the southeast quarter of…,” you can simply locate a property by looking in the index of the plat book, which lists the owner’s name, and the page (township) and section on which the land is located. The 2006 plat book has 26 pages of landowners. This is significantly more than the last plat book, primarily due to the fact that the metropolitan townships of Richwoods and West Peoria have landowners listed.
In addition to the 19 township maps, the new plat book features several other maps. There’s a school district map, county board and legislative district map, county government directory, voting precinct map, county road map, and city and village street maps. The plat books are in full color and outline lakes, streams, roads, and city limits. Thanks to the Peoria County Supervisor of Assessments office, county staff, and to the many Peoria County businesses that supported the project. IBI