WAHOO – Third time was the charm for the fluoridation issue on the ballot in Wahoo.
The ballot issue passed this time with an unofficial total of 893 yes votes and 1,001 no votes.
A “yes” vote was a vote to prohibit fluoride from the water system and a “no” vote was a vote for fluoride in the water.
Wahoo residents have been asked whether they wanted to add fluoride to their drinking water twice before.
This was the first time both Yutan and Ashland voted on fluoridation and it passed in both communities.
The unofficial totals for Yutan are 265 yes and 292 no votes.
Ashland’s unofficial totals are 416 yes votes and 535 no votes.
Currently, Wahoo, Ashland and Yutan do not treat drinking water but will be required to do so in accordance with LB 245.
Since the issue has passed, the cities must have fluoride in the drinking water supplies by June 1, 2010.
According to Wahoo Utilities Manager Jim Gibney, the estimated cost for equipment to start fluoridating Wahoo’s water would be about $25,000. An annual cost for chemicals and labor is expected to be at least $7,000.
“The potential costs could be higher or lower,” Gibney said. “We just haven’t researched it too much.”
Officials in Yutan also only had estimates available for the initial costs of putting fluoride into the city’s water supply.
“It will probably initially cost the taxpayers in the neighborhood of $30,000,” said Yutan City Administrator Gary Duncan.
“We have three wells in town it will cost between five and $10,000 per well at first.
He added that after the initial cost it will probably cost the city about $1,000 a year for chemicals.