York, NE — The issue of fluoridation has been decided in York and a number of surrounding communities, with mixed results.
Many communities in the state voted on the issue, as a mandate was handed down by the Nebraska Legislature this past session, to all cities with 1,000 or more population. All cities of that size must fluoridate their water — unless the popular vote is in favor of an ordinance to avoid fluoridation. The vote had to be taken before June 1, 2010.
York voted in favor of prohibiting fluoride (1,970 votes compared to 1,301). So did the city’s neighbors, Aurora (1,245 compared to 891) and Geneva (814 votes compared to 228).
However, 1,478 Seward voters said they do not want fluoride prohibited from their water supply, compared to 1,239. Fluoride will be added to their water supply.
Stromsburg voters also chose to have fluoride added to their water — but the margin between those for and against was extremely close. By one vote, Stromsburg will now be required to follow the state mandate and fluoridate their water. A total of 128 people voted to opt out of the state mandate, but 129 said they wanted to follow the mandate and put fluoride in their water.
The cost adding fluoride to a municipality’s water supply has been estimated to cost around $5,000 per well, to set up the system, according to the Nebraska Dental Association and earlier estimates that have been presented in past debates on the subject. Then, it is expected to cost approximately $1.79 per person per year for operation and maintenance.