Excerpt from a public hearing last week on Yorktown’s 2020 town budget:
During the hearing, former Supervisor Susan Siegel and Yorktown resident and dentist, Dr. Carl H. Tegtmeier, chairman of the Dental Health Planning & Hospital Dentistry Committee, implored the town board to add $157,000 to the budget to complete a fluoridation project.
Yorktown and Somers residents were notified in 2017 that the Northern Westchester Joint Water Works (NWJWW) would no longer add fluoride to its drinking water produced at the Amawalk Water Treatment Facility.
While nearly 100 percent of Somers’ daily supply comes from Amawalk, approximately 33% of Yorktown’s drinking water comes from that plant, with the remainder provided by the Catskill Water Treatment facility, where the fluoride feed system has been offline since January 2013.
It’s a situation that Tegtmeier and Siegel believe is putting the oral health of the town’s 36,000 residents, particularly children and senior citizens, at serious risk.
“We’re doing damage every day,” said Tegtmeier, who has been urging Yorktown officials to take action on continuing fluoridating water since 2012. “We’ve been kicking this can down the road for seven years.”
Fluoride is a mineral that has been shown to help reduce the formation of dental cavities and tooth decay when added to drinking water at recommended levels. Prescriptions of fluoride supplements can help offset some of the lost fluoride in the water, but that’s only 50% effective, according to Tegtmeier.
In January 2013, following a public hearing at which several area dentists and Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler urged the Yorktown Town Board to continue having fluoride in its water, former Supervisor Michael Grace, Patel and former State Senator Terrence Murphy voted to add fluoride to the water supply, knowing to do so would require upgrades to both plants at an estimated cost of approximately $250,000.
Due to hydraulics associated with Yorktown’s distribution system, NWJWW officials stated they were unable to provide “an optimal level of fluoride” to all residents unless fluoride is added at both facilities, thus the decision was made, with input by the county and state health departments, to temporarily discontinue fluoridation at Amawalk.
*Original article, titled Collection of Back Taxes Adds Up to More Paving in Yorktown, online at https://www.theexaminernews.com/collection-of-back-taxes-adds-up-to-more-paving-in-yorktown/