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Johnson and Scofield celebrate 25 years of surveying

David Johnson and Alan Scofield have worked together for the last 36 years.

"My wife calls Al my other wife," Johnson joked.

The pair first started working in 1970, when Scofield joined Johnson as they worked under Johnson's dad, Harry S., at his land surveying business in Bloomington, Minn. Two years later, they opened a branch in Red Wing and, by 1981, bought the business from Harry S. and made the Red Wing location the new headquarters.

The location and the partnership have survived ever since, as Johnson and Scofield Inc., Surveying and Engineering, celebrates its 25th year of existence.

And while the profession doesn't garner a lot of attention, the pair wouldn't trade their business for any other out there.

"It's a great and honorable profession that a lot of folks don't know," Johnson said. "There's a lot of diversity because you're not doing the same thing on a daily basis."

Johnson and Scofield have a current staff of 12 that service three counties in Wisconsin (Pierce, Pepin and Buffalo), along with five in Minnesota (Dakota, Goodhue, Wabasha, Olmsted and Rice).

"We can't focus on just one area with a staff that large," Scofield said. He later added they have a second office in Wabasha and by the first of the year plan to have one in Hastings, Minn.

In describing land surveying, Johnson said it's mainly "theoretical," as they help create the legal documents, entitling residents or businesses to know where their property lines are. Out of the business they do in Pierce County, Johnson added, it's almost 95 percent residential due to the developing countryside.

"Technically, it's up to the heavens and down through the grounds," Johnson joked.

Johnson and Scofield offer several land surveying services that include boundary surveys, topographic surveys, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) surveying, preliminary plats and final plats, property and easement descriptions, land title surveys, controls surveys for aerial photography, construction and utility staking, certificate of land survey, as-built surveys and flood elevation certificates.

The technological advances over the years have been a godsend to the land survey industry, Scofield noted. When Johnson and he first started, they measured everything by hand with 100-foot tape measures. Now, everything is done by GPS system. The big highlight of GPS systems, they noted, is it allows for a greater mobility and range for a single surveyor to complete work in the field.

"It's turned our world upside down for the better," Johnson said.

That knowledge comes in handy, Scofield mentioned, as more often then not they've had to help settle property disputes over the years.

Another key element of a land surveyor's job is zoning laws, and Johnson and Scofield work in eight different counties, finding each county's zoning laws and procedures are different.

As noted earlier, Johnson worked under his father. The family line didn't stop there, as both a son and daughter of his are staff members. Scofield also has a son who is working for the company.

To reach Johnson and Scofield, phone (651) 388-1558 or (800) 736-0585. There is a Pierce County contact number at 639-6789.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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