At Monday’s City Council meeting a proposed ordinance whose sponsor said was intended to protect the quality of Eureka Springs’ water quality was voted down by a 3-2 margin.
In an ongoing effort to keep fluoride out of the Eureka Springs water system, Alderwoman Mickie Schneider introduced an ordinance requiring the Carroll-Boone Water District to list all the ingredients of the fluoride to be added to the water system.
Citing the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, Schneider sent a request to the water district asking for the specific ingredients of the fluoride additive intended for use in Eureka Springs’ water.
According to the information provided by the water district and Schneider’s research, Carroll-Boone has located a source other than China to purchase the state-mandated fluoride water additive. A 50-pound bag of fluoride from Belgium is being tested for purity at this time. Results were not available at press time.
Several citizens spoke during the public comments portion of Monday’s meeting to voice their support for Schneider’s ordinance. Speakers included Darlene Schrum, Kit Sheppard, Holly Winger and Dave Spencer.
“We want this ordinance that says Carroll-Boone and the state must follow all laws and keep us safe,” Schneider said.
Alderman David Mitchell asked the opinion of City Attorney Tim Weaver.
“Do we have any jurisdiction to enact this ordinance — no. We have a contract with Carroll-Boone Water District,” Weaver said. “We can’t dictate anything to Carroll-Boone unless we renegotiate.”
Weaver said an ordinance would not have any effect and could be a breach of contract.
Alderman Terry McClung said, “I don’t want fluoride either, but this ordinance won’t have any effect.
“We’re here to protect the people — the people don’t want fluoridation,” Schneider said. “We have a responsibility to do what the people want.”
Alderman James DeVito made a motion to vote, and the ordinance did not pass. DeVito, McClung and Mitchell voted against the ordinance. Schneider and Joyce Zeller voted for the ordinance.