Unofficially, the City of Perryville has traditionally catered to any issues relative to sinkholes on city property, with the exception of undeveloped land belonging to a property owner.
Should a sinkhole “open up” on developed city tracts and a resident requests assistance, the city is responsible for an easement of the sinkhole, correcting it and maintaining it as needed over time.
Tuesday night at a Perryville Board of Aldermen meeting, City Administrator Brent Buerck suggested making the long-standing sinkhole policy official, but he also brought to light a certain “gray area” within the policy.
In an interview, Buerck said that while fully developed city property (like residential areas) is the city’s responsibility to maintain should a sinkhole open up, owners of undeveloped city land are the responsible party for sinkhole maintenance. The gray area, however, exists if a sinkhole opens up on land that is both developed and undeveloped — who’s responsible for maintaining it, the city or the property owner?
“There’s a gray area between undeveloped land versus totally developed land,” Buerck said.