Independence homeowner says sinking problem is getting worse, and city isn’t helping

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A problem in Independence is growing according to residents who say they've reported  sinkholes, but the city of says the issue isn't its problem.

According to the city -- there's a good reason why.

“It was small when we bought the house, I figured we could just fill the hole, and it would be okay. A week after we moved in, the hole got bigger, larger, the more it rained it gets larger and larger and larger,” said Becky Moss, whose roommate bought this house in March.

“After it rains there`s little holes that shoot up in the yard where you can see little springs,” she continued.

Moss says she called the city, assuming the sinking problem in the backyard would be an easy fix. But weeks later, and after more rain, the sinkholes remain.

“The city told us that they didn`t have an easement on our property and that it was not their problem, that it was a private storm drain,” Moss added. “They don`t know whose it is, and they don`t want to fix it.”

The city of Independence says it sent a worker out to Moss' home to look at the location. Then the worker looked at city records. The city concluded that the pipes and damage are on private property, not property the city maintains.

Moss says the city came out and put plywood down to cover the holes.

“They didn`t give us any advice at all,” Moss said.

She says her neighbor’s yard is now starting to sink, too.

“Usually the city is pretty good at fixing things that are dangerous to the city. It really is frustrating,” added Moss. “We can`t really enjoy our backyard.”

The city says the homeowner can present a guaranteed title report -- or commission one. According to the city, if the report proves something differently, it may consider the new information.