Terrytown officials voted to put the process of adding fluoride to the city’s public water supply on hold. Under the advisement of City Engineer Jeff Wolfe, members of the Terrytown City Council agreed to wait for the results of an engineering report that would factor in the cost of fluoridation while still making necessary upgrades to the city’s water system.
Wolfe said the vote of Terrytown residents to add fluoride was official.
“It’s official. We have received a certification of the vote. We will be adding fluoride,” Wolfe told council members.
Wolfe has been in contact with the state’s Department of Health and Human Services about the process in light of Terrytown’s water quality issues. Earlier this year the city was required to shut off one of its primary wells after traces of arsenic exceeding allowable levels was detected. According to Wolfe, however, the city is now in compliance and its water supply is safe. He said HHS is aware and willing to work with the city.
“They are aware of our water arsenic levels and they agreed it would be in everyone’s best interest to wait until the engineering report is done. The report will take fluoridation into consideration,” Wolfe said. “They know we will not be adding fluoride until after the engineering report is done and they are ok with that.”
Residents have been notified through the City’s newsletter. However, if residents do have questions they can discuss the issue with Wolfe directly.
The proposed cost of adding fluoride is approximately $20,000. Wolfe said the city would save on some of the start-up costs since it already owns some of the equipment needed for the process. He said the real challenge to the city would be the annual maintenance costs of between $10,000 and $15,000.
Terrytown has received a grant to conduct the engineering analysis to determine options for maintaining the city’s public water system. Options range from tying in with either Scottsbluff or Gering’s water supply. Both cities have expressed verbal willingness to sell Terrytown water. Scottsbluff would operate under a similar agreement it already has with Minatare to provide that community water. Other options are to treat the arsenic at the one well, build a treatment plant, build a whole new well field or do nothing at all. Wolfe said any decision would come down to a public hearing.
n The city will also be holding hearing on its One and Six Year Improvement plans. The majority of the plan involves overlays and chip seals on the city’s main streets.
n Council members elected Brad Van Pelt as Council President. Van Pelt will serve in official duties in case of an absence of Mayor Kent Greenwalt. All existing city officials were retained to their positions, including City Clerk Linda Green, City Administrator/Treasurer Lonnie Miller, City Attorney Kent Hadenfeldt, City Engineer Jeff Wolfe and Utility Superintendent/Water Operator Ken Furrey. The three-person council also voted to name the Gering Citizen as official newspaper for one year.