FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — Davis County voters will decide whether their drinking water will be fluoridated.
The Davis County Commission has approved a resolution placing on the Nov. 7 ballot the specific question, "Should fluorine be added to the public water supplies within Davis County?"
For several years public health officials have been pressing to fluoridate the county’s drinking water with one part per million at a cost of about $2 per resident per year.
Public health officials say adding fluoride to the drinking water system will help prevent tooth decay.
Its opponents argue that placing the fluoride in the water takes away their rights, forcing them to drink bottled water or purchase costly devices to filter the fluoride out of their drinking water.
Commissioner Dan McConkie said the resolution will give the public a voice on the issue, and he anticipates a heavy turnout for the election.
"I am confident the people of Davis County will speak on the issue," he said.
To help educate voters on the fluoride issue, Utahns for Better Dental Health-Davis will receive $7,000 in grant money from the Salt Lake County Health Department.
Salt Lake County, as a result of a citizen’s initiative, also will have a drinking water fluoridation referendum on the ballot.
And next week the Weber County Commission is expected to take similar action in an effort to bring the fluoride decision to the voters.
Weber County Commissioner Glen Burton said he expects commissioners will also approve such a referendum at their Aug. 2 meeting after having many of the same concerns resolved that the Davis County Commission had.
"Our job is to put that there for the people to make the decision … this is a people issue," Burton said, although he said he recognizes the fact the issue is met by contrasting viewpoints.
"I am sure there will be a lot of emotions on both sides," he said.