Problems surrounding giant sinkhole grow for property owner

SUGAR CREEK, Mo. - The owner of Best Buy Car Company in Sugar Creek has seen the sink hole in his business parking lot getting bigger in recent months.  

Owner Mark Cosgrove also considers the hole a safety hazard that has attracted curious neighborhood kids to check it out. 

"People who have seen kids around here run them out of here. I'm really concerned about that," Cosgrove said. 

That is not Cosgrove's only concern. The main water line that runs into the dealership has been exposed to the elements due to the sinkhole. When Cosgrove got to work Wednesday, he discovered frozen pipes. For a car dealership, water is important.

"Without water, we can't clean vehicles up. Without clean vehicles we can't sell them. No one wants to buy a dirty car," Cosgrove said.    

The sinkhole developed during heavy rains over Labor Day. Storm water runs from Independence, under 24 highway and through the pipe under Cosgrove's property.

"We just can't see how we're responsible for all that storm water," he said. 

Call For Action contacted several agencies and jurisdictions, including the Sugar Creek City Hall, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Transportation.  

A MoDOT engineer said Thursday an official decision on who should repair the hole has not been made.  However, after investigating with several agencies, the property owner will most likely need to repair it and cover the expenses himself. The broken pipe is on Cosgrove's property and not part of MoDOT's right of way.  

"It blows my mind that they went this long. It is almost four months now and we still haven't heard anything from anybody about this," Cosgrove said. 

Cosgrove is now taking matters into his own hands. He began filling in the hole with chunks of rock in order to cover the frozen pipes. He also wants to remove the hazard and keep anyone from getting hurt.

Once MoDOT makes an official determination, the agency will notify Cosgrove. He said he plans to hire an attorney to take legal action if MoDOT wants him to for to fix it.

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