Key West is fortunate that we started meaningful remediation of our wastewater problem way back in the 1970s. Because now that stuff, that we're trying to treat in sewerage plants, has hit the fans in those three dozen or so other Keys.
The initial problem in Key West was that the wastewater collection system had been built with concrete pipes, and eventually the crowns of those pipes had been dissolved by sulfuric gases. And saltwater intrusion precluded the efficient operation of a treatment plant. So, it was necessary to replace the entire collection system and then build the central wastewater treatment plant we have on Fleming Key.
Now that's easy for Key West to say because we're a compact community. But when you start to visualize the rural, scattered composition of those independent, leave me alone, homeowners up the Keys who are faced with time certain State mandates to connect to a central treatment system or else . . . Well, you get the picture!
Compound that with the headlines in the papers that $200,000,000 in relief had been approved by Congress with a sizable match to be made by the State. Well, all is well in paradise, until you are advised that the 200M may be reduced to 100M. And then even that 100M has evaporated; and how about the State?
What is all this stink about? Simply, it is easy for Federal and State governments to be magnanimous about showing that cooperative support, until it comes time to provide the funds.
Now, the Bureaucratic Agencies that set the deadlines, and are empowered to enforce those noble mandates, are deaf, dumb, and blind and could care less that money doesn't grow on mangrove trees and that the buck might stop on the door step of the very people who indignantly insist that the local governments do what these bureaucratic agencies tell them to do.
Well, local government is going to do what those bureaucratic agencies tell them to do. But there are a lot of local people that aren't going to like it. But, what the heck, local government will continue to press Federal and State sources for funding and hope to mitigate the local impact. And you know what; a hundred years from now we'll all look back and ask . . . What was all that stink about?