HOLMEN — The village of Holmen could begin its fluoridation program without spending another $80,000 under a proposal to be considered Thursday by the Holmen Village Board.
Board member Mike Dunham has proposed that the village start up fluoridation using the equipment and process already in place and then conduct a voter referendum in 2014 to give voters a chance to decide whether to continue.
Dunham pitched the idea at the April 4 meeting of the village’s Public Works Committee, which he chairs. The two other village board members on the committee, Neal Forde and Ryan Olson, both voted with Dunham to recommend approval of the proposal by the full village board.
“I guess I’m just trying to help move the board forward as it relates to the fluoridation issue,” Dunham said.
Dunham has been the board’s swing vote on the fluoride issue. While he personally doesn’t favor fluoridation, he also recognizes that voters approved fluoridation in a binding referendum in November 2008.
At last month’s village board meeting, the board approved spending $6,000 to hire a consultant to design new systems for each well to use powdered sodium fluoride. That was a move proposed by the three fluoridation opponents elected to the board two years ago, Tony Horvath, Dawn Kulcinski and Dan Moser, who argued it was safer.
No other municipality in the state uses powdered sodium fluoride. While Dunham supported the switch to sodium fluoride, he decided he could live with saving the village at least $72,000 by going with the fluoridation process in place and holding a yes-or-no referendum next year to determine whether residents want to continue.