Three years after the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s (TPCHD) 2002 mandate that “would require all water purveyors in the County serving 5,000 or more people to add fluoride to their water supplies” the Bonney Lake City Council is one step closer to reaching a compromise that meets the health department’s goal of widespread dental health care for residents in need — and appeals to Bonney Lake residents who repeatedly voiced their opposition to fluoridation of Bonney Lake waters.
Resolution 1405, allowing the mayor of Bonney Lake to negotiate an agreement on behalf of the city concerning an alternative to adding fluoride to Bonney Lake’s water supply, was approved with a final vote of six to one during the March 8 city council meeting.
According to background summary information regarding the resolution, Councilman Rackley “has represented the city at meetings of the Oral Health Advisory Group working on alternatives to fluoridation of drinking water for the treatment of dental caries.”
As stated in documents from the March 8 meeting: “The group has recommended an alternative ‘Oral Health Program’ composed of a comprehensive education program including classroom education, oral health, screening, assessment and referrals for dental sealant and fluoride varnish placement to ‘high risk’ children in eligible elementary schools including Head Start and [Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program] ECEAP programs.”
Middle school students would be offered screening and referrals. ‘High risk’ middle school students — including those without dental insurance or access to regular dental care — would be eligible for dental sealants and ‘high risk’ high school students would be allowed services by invitation from their school nurse.
Schools included in the dental health program include six school districts — Bethel, Dieringer, Fife, Franklin Pierce, Puyallup and Sumner — cited as Priority I schools in the health department’s ‘Oral Health Program’ proposal dated Jan. 18, 2005.
“It is estimated by [Pierce] County that the Bonney Lake Water Service Area has approximately 1,117 children 0-14 years of age that will be eligible for the program,” background documentation states. “At $30/child, the allocated cost to Bonney Lake for this program is $33,500 per year for five years.”
Funding of the proposed Oral Health Program was discussed by council members. Pending the resolution of funding issues concerning the Oral Health Program option, Bonney Lake City Attorney Jim Dionne said the final agreement would probably return to the council for further review and ratification.
Reach freelancer Marlene Hanson c/o Editor Lyn Iverson at 253-841-2481 ext. 310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resolution 1405 as passed by BL Council
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BONNEY LAKE, PIERCE COUNTY, WASHINGTON, AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO NEGOTIATE AND SIGN AN AGREEMENT WITH THE TACOMA PIERCE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $33,510 PROVIDING FOR AN ORAL HEALTH PROGRAM AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO MANDATORY FLUORIDATION.
The City Council of the City of Bonney Lake, Washington, does hereby resolve that the Mayor is authorized to negotiate and sign an agreement with the Tacoma Pierce County Department of Health in an amount not to exceed $33,510 for the purpose of providing an oral health program as an alternative to mandatory fluoridation of drinking water within the Bonney Lake Water Service Area. Should the negotiated agreement differ substantially from the terms authorized herein, such agreement shall require further Council authorization.
PASSED by the City Council this 8th day of March, 2005.” — Courtesy of Harwood T. Edvalson, CMC, City Clerk, City of Bonney Lake.