A group of local dentists and a state health official will meet with city commissioners on Monday to discuss the proposed restart of the water fluoridation program.
The commission’s agenda for the regular meeting includes a presentation by Drs. John Siebrasse, Barry Heavrin, Justin Ebersole, Joe Wommack and Ron Findley. The dentists plan to be joined by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Pam Smith, who will answer questions regarding fluoride.
The city discontinued the decades-long practice of adding fluoride at the water treatment plant in 2013 because of corrosion in piping at the point where fluoride and caustic soda were added. The city later replaced the elbow pipe where the corrosion occurred and continued adding caustic soda, which is necessary, but never re-introduced fluoride, which promotes healthy teeth but is not mandated by KDHE.
The commission agreed to have an engineering firm design plans to relocate the fluoride ejection point, but higher priorities and a high cost delayed the project.
On Feb. 20 the commission approved a grant application that could pay for up to $30,000 of the project.
The dentists and KDHE official will speak in favor of re-introducing the fluoridation program on Monday. In the past, a few Parsons residents have spoken against the proposal, saying added fluoride in the water causes health problems and amounts to involuntarily medicating the public.
Also on Monday the commissioners will consider approval of a consent agreement/final order with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding needed repairs of the city’s wastewater sewer system. The final order postpones the deadline to Dec. 31, 2018, giving the city an extra year to comply with regulations. It also includes a penalty of $20,000.
The commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the commission room at the Parsons Municipal Building.
The commissioners also will have a public hearing shortly after the meeting begins on the Community Development Block Grant project that improved Lopez and Clark parks.