Free dirt this month, thanks to Pioneer Road project

PLYMOUTH — Local gardeners and do-it-yourself landscapers, rejoice. A large amount of dirt leftover from the Pioneer Road expansion and currently piled on the Marshall County Jail property is now available for county residents to pick up.
County commissioners decided Monday that they would allow residents to haul away “a reasonable amount of dirt” in their personal vehicles during designated times in May. These times are Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Commissioners had previously considered hearing bids from commercial companies for the entire pile of dirt, but decided instead to offer the dirt to county residents for free. Highway superintendent Neal Haeck was charged to first remove any dirt that he felt the county might have use for in the future, which he reported Monday was mostly done.
“I’m pretty confident that we’ve stockpiled all we need (for county use),” said Haeck Monday.
Also discussed in previous commissioner meetings was an issue of liability. Commissioners were concerned that the county might be held responsible for an accident befalling citizen’s vehicles at the time of dirt pickup. Haeck did present a liability release form that citizens will be required to sign, but county attorney Jim Clevenger advised that the form does not necessarily release the county from all responsibility.
“The release is a good idea but I have to warn you that if the county does something negligent, it will be liable for that negligent act even if we have the release,” said Clevenger in his report to the commissioners Monday.
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer responded, saying that he believes liability will not be a problem.
“We have liability every day on these county roads, so it’s a little bit different, but not much,” said Overmyer.
Dirt is available for pickup throughout the month of May, at which time commissioners will reevaluate whatever is left.
To pick up dirt, you must have a valid driver’s license and proof of Marshall County residence. Highway department personnel will be on hand to assist residents during the designated times.