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N4T Investigators: Sisters allege Pima County gave up on home re - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Sisters allege Pima County gave up on home repair after damaging septic system

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A Tucson woman says Pima County didn’t properly fix her home’s septic system, then gave up on the project.

It's not that Lydia Collins and her sister Elizabeth Woods aren't grateful. Three years ago, they used a Pima County development program to fix Collins' aging septic system. But they say the county didn't finish the job.

“When they came over here to try to reconnect the kitchen and the other bathroom, it was never done,” Woods said.

The sisters used a Pima County home repair program in 2012 to fix the old septic. It's a federally funded program using U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds.

“I don't know why someone would want to do this with any kind of intent. Nobody in their right mind would say this was a job well done,” she said.

The sisters allege the county installed one septic system correctly, but not the second.

“It's actually coming off the pipe and going into the ground.”

County officials defend their decision in trying to repair the home. In 2014, the community development office sent the sisters a letter saying they were trying to meet with Collins at her home to discuss the issue. But Collins injured herself in a fall and says she was not able to meet with the workers.

The county does acknowledge there were "some problems with the connections" but also said in the letter that “significant County resources have been expended to schedule possible repairs and repairs and work for other families in need have been denied.”

We asked Pima County officials where the issue is now. It appears, from this statement that the county has given up on the issue entirely:

"This issue is several years old. It's been thoroughly reviewed by the county and we closed out her complaint more than 18 months ago. It's understandable that ms. Collins is frustrated and has turned to the media for assistance, but there's nothing more the county can say or do about this issue that will change the outcome,” wrote Margaret Kish, Director of Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation.

“It makes me feel bad for people that were trying to get a decent job done. They're underprivileged and lots of money spent without a care as to whether it was done right,” Woods said.

The funding for the program ended a year ago so the sisters are left with having to pay for any repairs themselves. If you have a tip for the News 4 Tucson Investigators, email investigators@kvoa.com or call 955-4444.

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