… the City Council voted last week to extend its fluoridation program, despite a report from utilities officials that continuing the practice will cost millions of dollars in water revenue collected from city residents and businesses.
According to a study by the city’s Department of Utilities, annual operation and maintenance costs for the city’s fluoridation program have nearly tripled, from $350,000 when it started 12 years ago to nearly $1 million in recent years.
What’s more, a city study last year found the system’s infrastructure in need of immediate upgrades, to the tune of up to $3.7 million. Over the next 20 years, the city estimates it will cost between $43 million and $48 million to operate and maintain the fluoridation system and replace needed equipment.
“The existing equipment is at or near the end of its useful life, and there’s going to need to be some significant investment,” city utilities engineer Brett Ewart told the City Council on Tuesday…