County Addresses Hazardous Sinkhole Problem

by Courtney Wheaton on April 28, 2014 at 6:07 am

State and local officials met at the Muskingum County EMA Office to come up with a plan of action regarding, sinkholes affecting old Columbia Cement mining land.

The area spans from Huggins road to US Route 22 behind White Cottage. The more than 300 acre area has been deemed unsafe by experts and residents were warned. EMA
Director, Bo Keck hopes to work with the two families living on the property to ensure safety.

" If we can help them in anyway to remain safe and if they choose to leave if there’s anything we can do to help them relocate at this point we have not been able to locate any dollars available but we are checking," said Keck.

Members of the ODNR, Ohio EMA , the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office, the Auditors Office and the Department of Interior discussed ways to inform the public about the land as well as find out who is responsible for the damaged property.

"If it was coal mine then the answer is there, but this is a limestone mine and there’s a whole different set of rules and regulations on a limestone mine. The Department of Natural Resources met with the federal government this morning trying to determine who is really liable, " said Keck.

Until then, county officials have decided to contact the federal government about possible housing for the families and will put up more signage to keep people out of the area. Keck says the streets near the land are not in danger, just the wooded area behind the two residences.