York, NE —The majority of York voters have again said they don’t want fluoride added to the city’s water supply.
A total of 1,970 voted for an ordinance that will allow the city to opt out of a state mandate to fluoridate the water. A total of 1,301 said they did not favor the ordinance and wanted fluoride added to the water.
The mandate was handed down last year by the Nebraska Legislature, to all cities with 1,000 or more population. All cities of that size must fluoridate their water — unless the popular vote is in favor of an ordinance to avoid fluoridation. The vote had to be taken before June 1, 2010.
York was the only municipality in this county to be affected by the legislation, because Henderson’s population is listed at 999. If one more person would have been counted in the Henderson tally, that community would have also have had to address the issue.
The issue has been a hot one in York — particularly several years ago, when the medical community asked the city council to pass an ordinance that would allow fluoridation. A large contingency of residents protested — eventually the issue went to a vote with the citizenry saying no.
It’s unclear how much it would have cost for the city to add fluoride to the water. Estimates were that it would have cost approximately $65,000, to set up the system, with operation and maintenance being approximately $1.79 per person per year.