ONEIDA – Out of the 792 Oneida City Water customers who responded to a survey on fluoridation, 40 percent were in favor of the measure, while 60 percent were opposed to the idea of the city fluoridating its water supply.
The Oneida City Water Department sent out surveys to its water customers asking their opinions on the debate over fluoridation. The surveys were sent with the department’s annual report in May. Out of the 792 people who responded, 315 were in favor and 474 were opposed to fluoridation.
Three people who responded remained neutral to fluoridation.
The opposition raised concerns through the surveys that fluoride could cause health problems, and some believe it is a poison. Others said that if the common council votes to add fluoride to the water supply, they would be taking away the freedom of choice of city residents and forcing fluoride upon them.
Those in favor commented in their surveys that children would benefit from fluoridated water, and that people who are scared of fluoride should trust the dentists in the city who are in favor of the measure.
In the city of Oneida, 218 water customers were in favor of fluoridation, while 325 were opposed. Three residents of Oneida remained neutral to the idea of fluoridating the water supply.
In the Sherrill-Kenwood area of the city, 29 people who responded were in favor of fluoridation, and 61 were opposed.
In the Route 365 district, which includes Durhamville and the Town of Verona, 44 people who responded were in favor of fluoridation, while 48 customers were not.
In the Prospect Street Water District, 14 customers were in favor of fluoridation, while 19 were opposed.
In the Town of Stockbridge, 10 customers were in favor of fluoridation, while 21 were opposed.
Water Superintendent Art Smolinski said that there are 21,000 customers of the city water supply. Smolinski said that all residents of Oneida were supplied the survey, and residents of surrounding towns that are supplied with Oneida water were supplied the survey from their local governments. Smolinski said he had no reaction to the results.
“It’s just a survey,” Smolinski said.
Oneida Mayor James Chappell said the Common Council will weigh the results of this survey when they determine whether or not to vote on fluoridating the city’s water supply.
“The survey went pretty much they way I expected it to,” Chappell said. “They were closer than I anticipated.”