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Islanders push county to find funds for septic repairs

A handful of Islanders is pushing King County to find funds to help cover the costs of repairing failing septic systems along Vashon’s six Marine Recovery Areas.

The group is holding a meeting with key county officials today to discuss the issue. The Islanders — including Carl Sells and Robert Keeler, both active in the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council — note that other counties have been able to assist residents with low-interest loans and other financial programs and say King County should be able to do so as well.

The call for financial aid comes after notices went out to more than 100 waterfront homeowners stating they’re in violation of county code and could face civil penalties. The county has sent out a number of letters to residents within the six marine areas over the past three years and held workshops and other meetings in an effort to get homeowners to comply.

“Other counties don’t seem to have a big conflict. Why couldn’t our county find money?” asked Keeler, who’s chairing today’s meeting.

But Larry Fay, an official in the county’s public health department, said officials have tried to find funds. It’s not worked, he said, in part because Islanders have not stepped forward with information about the need.

“The fact that the our application was based on assumptions instead of hard data didn’t sell,” he said.

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