Fluoride Action Network

Bolivar: Ozarks town debates dropping fluoride from water supply

Source: KSPR News | September 8th, 2011 | By Jonah Kaplan,
Location: United States, Missouri

Some residents of Bolivar, MO think they have an issue that holds water – literally

They want the city to stop treating water with fluoride, and tonight the Board of Aldermen may put that question to voters.

Bolivar and fluoride have had an interesting relationship over the past decade or so – and every year it spends about $15,000 on treatment.

Aldermen first approved fluoride treatment to public water supply in 1999.

Nearly a decade later, in March 2010 those opposed to fluoride approached the Board of Aldermen, but Aldermen voted 7-1y to keep the flouride treatment.

A few months later, the city spent $25,000 to upgrade its fluoride treatment process.

Now with a second challenge approaching, the city says it has choose between fiscal responsibility and general health.

“The finance thing is an issue but not the overwhelming issue,” explained City Administrator Ron Mersch. “The overwhelming issue is – is [fluoride] good for citizens or bad for the citizens, and if it’s good for the citizens, and the good outweighs the bad, should it stay? And if there’s enough evidence to say it’s bad, should we take it out?”

The board of Aldermen has two choices: one is to give a polite *no* to the anti-fluoride request or put the issue on the ballot.

Bolivar does have a new mayor this year confronting this fluoride debate for the first time. Mayor John Best, by trade, is a cardiologist.

Copyright © 2011, KSPR-TV