SPOKANE, Wash. — Mayor Nadine Woodward believes Spokane voters have been “robbed” of a public vote in regard to the ongoing decision of whether or not to fluoridate the city’s water.
“Spokane’s City Council may have deferred a public vote on fluoridation, but their acceptance of a $4 million grant to fund it puts the city on the path to fluoridation. The #Spokane voters have been robbed of a PUBLIC VOTE!” the mayor tweeted Tuesday morning.
The topic of adding fluoride to the city’s water has been an ongoing debate for years. Voters have struck down the idea three times, but now the City Council is looking at passing fluoridation through executive order.
During its Monday meeting, the council voted to table the vote indefinitely. However, the council did accept a $4 million grant to help with costs associated with fluoridation.
By accepting the grant from the ARCORA Foundation, a Washington non-profit, the city is required to fluoridate water by October 2023 and for the next 20 years. If that does not happen, the city must refund the money.
Councilman Michael Cathcart cast the lone “no vote,” adding that he, too, believes the decision should go to voters.
The project would cost an estimate $6 million with annual costs of $600,000.