City officials in Cadillac want voters to decide whether to add fluoride to the water. Cadillac is the largest city in Michigan without fluoridation. The city is considering a grant to help pay for a system to add fluoride.

Fluoride prevents tooth decay but some council members have reservations about adding it to the city water. Councilor Tiyi Schippers is a teacher and says there are many reasons kids have dental problems.

“How much of that is poverty? How much of that is poor hygiene or a poor diet? It’s hard to say.”

In 1977, Cadillac voters rejected a proposal to put fluoride in the water. And it appears the issue could be controversial now. Jeff Dietlin is the Director of Utilities in Cadillac. He says the competing claims are confusing.

“You listen to the pros and you’re all for it, and you listen to the con’s and you’re all against it, they both have compelling arguments.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control named fluoride one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th Century.

There are some legal questions about putting the issue to a vote in Cadillac. The councilors want the city attorney to address those as a next step.