INDEPENDENCE, Va.—Following the vote last Tuesday by the Sparta Town Council to not purchase fluoridated water, the Virginia/Carolina Water Authority agreed to seek alternatives.
Sparta Town Manager and Authority Chairman Bryan Edwards asked the authority to take the action, since all parties in North Carolina had opted not to fluoridate the water supply. The Alleghany Board of Commissioners agreed in November to request unfluoridated water. Each N.C. board has two representatives on the water authority board, equating to half of the board members. Local representatives include Randy Miller and Don Adams from the county and Bryan Edwards and John Brady from the town. The other half of the Authority’s eight members are made up of representatives from Grayson County and the Town of Independence.
The Authority agreed to ask Engineer Bobby Lane to look at ways to serve fluoridated water to Independence and Grayson County and unfluoridated water to Sparta and Alleghany County.
The Water Authority agreed last December (2009) to seek a grant to fluoridate the water supply for the two towns, but opposition arose to the move soon after a story was published in the newspaper in January.
At the meeting last week, the Authority received 1,000 signatures in the form of a petition against fluoridation. Adams made the motion to instruct Lane to take a look at the fluoridation situation, including the grant the Authority board agreed to apply for earlier from the Virginia Department of Health. Other points to be investigated include seeking ways to fluoridate the Virginia water without treating the water bound for North Carolina consumers.
One suggestion was to install a separate fluoridation station on the line en route to Independence. Lane was asked bring estimates to the Authority meeting Jan. 13.