SOUTH YARMOUTH — After a series of hearings on the widely debated issue, members of the board of health will vote on fluoridating the town’s water supply at their meeting at 3 p.m. today.
“We have really bent over backward to be fair and let everyone have their opinion,” said Dr. Benjamin Gordon, the board’s chairman. “Now it’s time for us to discuss it.”
Among the arguments in favor of fluoridation, which state health officials recommend, is the dental benefit for children.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Dr. Kenneth Colmer of South Yarmouth, a pediatrician and the Dennis-Yarmouth school district’s physician.
On the other side, some residents hesitate about adding elements to their water.
“I just can’t imagine putting something in perfectly good water,” said Richard Copley of West Yarmouth. “Why fix something that isn’t broken?”
If fluoridation is approved by the five-member board, an immediate 90-day waiting period will begin. A petition with signatures of 10 percent of the town’s registered voters gathered during the waiting period would send the decision to a public referendum.
No towns on Cape Cod currently have fluoridated water systems.