93-year-old leads local company

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

When the lease on the County Plat Book Service’s new building ends, the Pelham company’s regional sales manager will be pushing 100.

“He signed a three-year lease with a three-year option, and he’s about to turn 94,” said Terry Ponder with Ponder Properties Commercial Real Estate.

Ernest McMeans, who will turn 94 in October, is the sales manager for the County Plat Book Service company, which is in the process of moving from its current location on U.S. 31 to a new location on Canyon Park Drive.

Ponder admitted he was surprised when he met McMeans, who negotiated the lease deal with Ponder Properties.

“I was surprised when I saw him get out of the car,” Ponder said with a laugh. “But he was very outgoing and very sharp. He actually pointed a few things out to me in the lease agreement that we went in and changed.”

McMeans has been working with the County Plat Book Service for 25 years, and has no plans of retiring any time soon.

“Everyone I know who has retired has either died, lost their marbles or both,” McMeans said with a laugh.

The company, which is headquartered in Tennessee, assembles property plat books for every county in Alabama and several other states. The books include maps showing who owns every piece of property in a particular county, and displays the zoning status of each tract of land.

McMeans handles advertising sales for the plat books, and often provides the books to non-profit organizations to use for fundraisers. The Pelham office covers all counties in Alabama and Mississippi.

“I enjoy what I do,” McMeans said. “I’m a World War II vet, so I like to keep active and I enjoy knowing what’s going on in the world.”