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Statewide board elects local man president

A Hartselle man has been elected to a statewide board in his profession.

Lee Greene Jr., who is the owner of local land surveying company Lee Greene and Associates, was installed last week as the president of the Alabama Society of Professional Land Surveyors. Greene previously served on the board of directors and as vice president of the ASPLS.

A 1986 Hartselle High School graduate, Greene accompanied his father to surveying sites as a child, so it was a natural next step for him to attend Auburn University to pursue a degree in civil engineering.

After graduating in 1990, Greene returned to Hartselle, where he formed his business with his father.

“I wanted to be in the civil surveying field and be around construction and land law and things like that,” he said. “So when I got out of school in 1990 – and it was during the recession leading up to the Gulf War and no one knew what was going to happen – I came home and started this little business with my dad, and we’ve been going full speed ever since.”

Greene said he enjoys his job for a variety of reasons, and he’s excited to get to work as the president of the ASPLS board.

“I get to see scenery that few people get to see every day,” he said. “This is definitely not a cubicle job … and I get to solve a different math problem every morning, and I love that.

“We’re the first people to go and the last to know, so I get to see everything that happens on a commercial project, from boundary lines to the finish line.”

About his appointment as president, Greene said he was humbled to be selected by his peers for the position.

“It’s incredibly humbling because we work with the public. You’ve got to do good work or you’re going to find out about it pretty quickly,” he said. “It’s an honor.”

Greene said after a slow 2020 because of COVID-19, he has several activities he wants to be involved with next year.

“I want to hit the ground running and make up for lost time,” he said. “One thing we’re going to be working on is restoring some State of Alabama property corners. The corner between Alabama and Mississippi has been obliterated or completely torn out, so we want to get a crew out there and see what we can find, replace it if it’s gone and see what can be done to remark the Alabama/Mississippi line.”

Another project Greene will take on is setting out to find the terminal point in the Saint Stephens meridian line in South Alabama, upon which every survey line in South Alabama is based. Greene said the terminal point of the North Alabama line was found in Shelby County a few years ago.

“We found one in Pelham where all the North Alabama surveys are laid out to,” Greene said. “It comes all the way from the Tennessee line to Shelby County. All surveys are laid off of that line.

“That’s a lot of what we do – research history and retrace the original footsteps of surveyors from history.”

Greene said another project in the works is to mark the resting places of land surveyors in the state in recognition of their contributions to the field.

One such surveyor who will be honored is Robert R. Bell Jr., who was the first black land surveyor in the state of Alabama and the protégé of George Washington Carver.

When he was elected to the presidency of the ASPLS, Greene said he was also surprised to find out his peers had voted him as the Surveyor of the Year.

“They kept reading off the accomplishments, and I was thinking, ‘Wow, who is this guy? I really need to go talk to him because our interests are very much the same,” Greene said. “To be recognized by peers in that way is very honoring, and I’m humbled by that.”