FRANKFORD, Del. – The town of Frankford added fluoride to its water on Tuesday, one of the terms in their loan forgiveness settlement with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, according to the town treasurer.
Frankford Treasurer Marty Presley says the town reached a tentative settlement with DNREC earlier this year, after the town appealed the state’s decision to let Mountaire Farms split off from the town water supply and build its own non-potable well.
The town says Mountaire Farms made up 35 percent of its water income, and it took out a $1 million loan for the water plant with the notion that Mountaire Farms would be a customer. That loan currently stands at $400,000, but it may be reduced to zero in the near future. Presley says in the DNREC settlement, if the town conducted a feasibility study and added fluoride to their water, the state will forgive the loan.
“It’s got to be compliant for three consecutive months– we’ve got to have the reading under […] whatever the state guidelines are,” Presley says. “The final stipulation is we have to dismiss our appeal board hearing–if we do that they will forgive the loans.”
Presley says he expects the settlement to reach fruition by December of this year. While it’s a resolution for a long-existing debacle, he says some people still want more.
“There’s feelings on both sides of the issue to be honest with you,” he says. “There’s a number of citizens unhappy with the settlement agreement that think we should go ahead with the appeal route and see if we can force Mountaire back on the well.”
Presley says he believes the settlement was the safest option.
“The risks of it not doing it were so great that it could’ve bankrupted the town or forced a 50 percent rate increase on the water users,” he says. “So I think under the circumstances, it was probably the best deal we could get and now we are looking forward to moving ahead.”
When asked about the loan settlement, a DNREC spokesperson referred WBOC to the Division of Public Health to speak about fluoridation.
*Original article online at http://www.wboc.com/story/36142822/frankford-adds-fluoride-to-water-a-final-step-in-loan-forgiveness