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Dike meeting is cancelled

January’s regular meeting of Island County Diking District 1 commissioners has been canceled.

“We don’t always meet every month,” Diking Commissioner Ray Gabelein said. “If there’s nothing going on, there’s no reason to have a meeting. It costs money.”

The commissioners generally meet the first Thursday of every month. Since the Jan. 7 meeting was cancelled, the next scheduled meeting is Feb. 4.

Meanwhile, Gabelein said a letter of response from the commission has been sent to the Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle.

The Corps notified the district on Dec. 3 that it would review a permit previously issued for the district’s controversial $430,000 pump project.

The Corps said it may have issued the wrong permit, which was designed to cover maintenance only, not a major improvement project.

In its letter, the district responded that the new pump was installed to maintain historic water levels in district wetlands.

The Corps said the district could continue to use the pump until the permit review is completed. Gabelein said there has been no indication when that will be.

The pump project and the assessments for it have resulted in two lawsuits from angry property owners, and have divided the district’s three-member board of commissioners.

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