Significant issues with a health-related theme are to be addressed in the coming week by elected leaders in Collier County, as are some bottom-line ones affecting taxpayers. These include:
Tuesday’s commission meeting brings discussions about fluoride in the county utility’s water, a request to convert a Golden Gate golf course to other use, and another review of bill-paying. The commission meets at 9 a.m. in the government complex, U.S. 41 East at Airport-Pulling Road.
— In January, commissioners heard a citizen’s presentation about removing fluoride from the county’s water system and asked staff for further review. Some commissioners have questioned how much benefit there is if people don’t drink treated water — that it’s just used for household purposes and lawn sprinkling. A staff memo states the county utility’s 156,080 customers receive fluoride, as do nearly 53,000 on Naples’ city system, 15,400 on the one serving Golden Gate and 26,800 in Immokalee. Systems in Marco Island and Ave Maria don’t have it, the memo states.
A county spokeswoman says the utility spends $30,000 annually on fluoride, or about $0.0033 per 1,000 gallons of water produced. That means the average household using 6,000 gallons monthly spends about 2 cents per billing, or less than 25 cents a year to have fluoride in water.
With three or four of five commission seats changing in fall elections, we see no pressing need for today’s configured commission to make a decision now that could be reversed before year’s end.