Dakota City voters will be asked on Election Day to mark their ballot in favor or opposed to fluoridating city water.
City Manager Bob Peters said the issue is not at all controversial among residents. The vote was prompted by a bill passed by the Unicameral this year. The bill requires cities with populations of more than 1,000 residents to add florid to their water unless it has a sufficient amount of naturally occurring fluoride or residents vote not to add it.
Dakota City’s population is nearly 1,900.
Mayor Charmaine Cantrell said she and the City Council decided to put the matter to a vote because of the cost involved — $12,000 initially and $6,000 a year. She said the vote will also affect rural residents who receive water from the city system.
The state requires cities’ water to have 75 milligrams fluoride per litre of water unless residents don’t want it. Peters said naturally occurring fluoride is found in the city’s water at 35 milligrams per litre, a little over half the state’s mandated level.
Flouride is known to reduce tooth decay.