PULASKI — A local dentist plans to lead a protest against the Village of Pulaski’s decision to stop putting fluoride in its water by Friday.
Dr. Bill Buckley recently resigned from the village water board after it voted 3-1 in October to end fluoride in the drinking water. The Water Board chair says there were concerns the fluoride may be corroding water pipes, putting a strain on the cash-strapped village, something that’s been disputed.
Michael Sacco also says he was concerned about how much fluoride residents were actually getting from the water. The Village of Pulaski estimates it will save close to $10,000 a year by not using the fluoride.
Dr. Buckley, who led the campaign to begin fluoridating village water seven years ago, says the cutback will hurt those who can least afford it. He says a family pays just over $5 a year for the fluoride through taxes, but the alternative, prescription additives, run about $120 yearly per child. He’s also concerned that the elderly and others who need the cavity preventive will not get it because they do not get regular dental care.
Village Mayor Karl Hax says he does not believe the Village Board will overrule the Water Board decision, because it would not make a whole lot of sense to have specialty boards, and then not abide by their decisions.
The notices for cutting fluoride are posted on the Village notices board on Jefferson Street, in the town’s legal newspaper, The Salmon River News, and an advisory letter has been sent to Pulaski’s school superintendent.
“For 3 people [the Water Board members who voted to rescind] to make that decision with no input from the public is wrong,” says Dr. Buckley.
Mayor Hax say there was no public input when the Village started fluoridation.
If there is a petition, the issue could go to a public referendum, but not until this coming spring.
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