Hinton residents who want to weigh in on the debate regarding whether the Town should continue to add fluoride to the drinking water will have their chance to speak their piece at a meeting held Oct. 3 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in council chambers.
The meeting is being set up in response to concerns raised by citizens and a petition that was submitted to the Town with about 200 signatures. Council passed a motion Aug. 16 agreeing to set up a meeting to seek public input on the matter.
Mayor and Council will be on hand to listen to what residents have to say about the issue.
The Town has been fluoridating the water since 1967, when a local plebiscite passed in favour of the change.
“Concerned citizens have approached council to discuss fluoridation,” said Mayor Glenn Taylor. “In order to facilitate the transparency of government decision-making, a public meeting is necessary. Gathering public perspective on a matter like this will assist us in determining what option suits our community.”
The meeting will host two experts on the subject, one for fluoridation and one against it. Each will give a ten minute presentation.
Members of the public will then have the chance to ask questions of the experts or pose their opinions to council.
Mayor and council also have the opportunity to ask the experts questions.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Mike Schwirtz, who is facilitating the meeting on behalf of the Town. “It’s going to be an interesting process.”
While not all residents may be able to attend the meeting, Hinton’s citizens are encouraged to participate in an online poll on the Town’s website from Oct. 3 to 17.
Results of the poll, public meeting and any other information collected during this time will be summarized into a report by administration and presented to council on or around Nov. 15. Councilors will use the report to help them make a decision on the issue.