Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Islamardos' demand for raw sewage :: keynoter-dot-com
Markets in Everything*

It all sounds plausible enough:

The problem is that not enough residents of north Plantation Key - the area covered by the project - have hooked into the sewer system to get the system “operating and stabilized.”

“It's a brand-new plant,” Sante said. “When it first gets on line is the hardest time because there's no flow.”

In a worst-case scenario, he cautioned, Islamorada could wind up paying to import sewage so operators can hit the plant's “on” switch.
Wait a minute. Islamorada? No kidding, Islamorada, Florida does exist. But is the name of the councilman - Van Cadenhead? - a hint that this is a spoof. No, Mr. Cadenhead is a real guy.

Maybe we should take this seriously. Okay, so let's go back to the economics:
Sante urged Islamorada to come up with a rebate or group-discount incentive to encourage residents to complete the hookup to their residences “so we don't have to buy sewage.”

“If we wind up buying sewage, residents as well as Mr. Cadenhead, are going to tear us up,” Councilman Michael Reckwerdt said. “I don't want to do that.”

Councilwoman Patty Schmidt worried that any system to offer discounts should be available to all property owners mandated to hook into the sewer system.

Village Manager Gary Word expressed “reservations” about the village getting involved in a connection program that “can be handled by the private sector.”

In public comment, Deb Gillis said the delay in connecting to the network was caused by significantly higher than expected costs - a problem that can be expected elsewhere as Islamorada tries to meet the 2010 deadline for wastewater treatment.
For the deeply demented professor of intermediate microeconomic theory here's a nice exam question: Assuming Islamorada is not a village of idiots, what connection pricing rule will the council adopt?

Being deeply demented, I've not fully, erm, flushed out the answer - which is par for the course for any good intermediate micro prof.

As always, the comments section is open for your responses.

Link via the friendly folks at Fark, of course. The submitter's headline ain't bad.

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*With apologies to the good guys at Marginal Revolution.

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