If, in the eyes of our readers, this is true then today’s editorial will be no different. Sometimes we must print dirt, especially when such dirt is already there for all to see.
And doubly so when it is big dirt.
We refer to a recent public plea made by Tommy Myers, director of the Cleveland Department of Public Works. Our newspaper groundbroke the story in the edition dated April 25. In a front-page scoop, we attributed the original dirt to the soft-spoken and reliable public works veteran who told us the city of Cleveland faces a mountain of a problem.
The issue is a mountain of dirt.
It is natural dirt piled into a manmade mountain.
This is no molehill.
Its unearthly rise began about two years ago when construction crews began the deep excavation of the 18th Street detention pond, a giant reservoir intended to keep area residents, businesses and the Whirlpool Cleveland Division manufacturing campus high and dry from storm-driven floodwaters.
Subsequently, the big hole has worked well in times of meteorological duress and unnaturally heavy rainfall. Neighborhood feet remain happy and most knee-high galoshes have been relegated to back corners of household storage closets.
The problem now lies with the dirt from which the detention pond was birthed.
During project excavation, the soil was transported by giant trucks to a parcel of municipally owned land on Bower Lane behind Blythe-Bower Elementary School. Until late April, the peak had sat mostly untouched but not unnoticed by area residents.
Tiring of the eyesore and its late-afternoon shadow, locals began voicing their displeasure that Mount Dumpmore had become an abandoned heap of ... dirt. It wasn’t even growing grass. Nor shrubs. Nor trees.
So Myers took the higher ground and issued an invitation.
Anybody who wanted some fill dirt ... or lots of fill dirt ... was welcome to drive by, load up and haul out. It was a do-it-yourself arrangement. The customer provided the truck, the trailer, the wheelbarrow or the bucket. The customer loaded it. And the customer toted it away. In some cases, if city crew members were available and on-site, they could help with the loading.
That was late April. By then, about 25 percent of the towering plateau — a distant look-alike of Chattanooga’s Lookout Mountain — had been claimed and whisked away by soil enthusiasts to sites unknown and holes unseen.
The earth-weary Myers issued his second appeal two weeks ago. During a session of the Cleveland City Council, he announced about one-third of the mound is now gone. Two-thirds to go. That’s still a lot of dirt.
We offer a few reminders to those who want more of the low-down on the city’s dirt.
Those planning to haul some away are asked to do it during the workday or weekends; no after-hour dirt.
It is strictly first come, first served.
It is undisputedly free.
The city retains no liability in the loading or hauling of the material.
Call it a buffet of fill-in if you will, but this all-day spread’s biggest selling point is that diners may return with their dirty plates.
Or in this case, their smudged trucks.
In Myers’ closing words, “It’s huge ... just a big ol’ pile of dirt. And the city needs to get rid of it.”
Cleveland and Bradley County residents are urged to get involved.
Take the city’s dirt.