The city of Cadillac has a simple theory when it comes to injecting fluoride into city water.

If the citizens desire it, then they just have to say so. In the past, the citizens have simply said “no” through the medium of four citywide votes.

The last, in April of 1977, was turned down by 544 votes but other failed measures occurred in 1965, 1973 and 1976. It appears that debate will again come to the forefront as the city of Cadillac is scheduled to discuss a potential fluoride grant at its next meeting.

On Monday, the council will discuss the opportunity to apply for a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health. The purpose of the grant is to promote community water fluoridation and through funds from the grant, communities may purchase the equipment that would initiate a community’s water fluoridation program.

Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia said the city was made aware of the grant by the local health department, and during the meeting, the council will have the opportunity to discuss it for the first time.

“They will be given the opportunity to discuss whether or not we should look at applying for the grant and we may look at setting a public hearing to see if there is any public input on this,” he said.

If the council ultimately decides to apply for the grant, it doesn’t mean that the city would definitely receive it, but it would be considered a good candidate.

Cadillac is the largest city in Michigan that does not fluoridate its community water source. One of the main criteria used for awarding the grant is population size. The other main criterion is the history of fluoridation in the community. A community above 10,000 people that has not fluoridated in the past will receive the maximum score on the application.

The grant also requires an Act 399 construction permit. As a result, the city would need to hire an engineering firm to engineer the fluoridation equipment. This engineering cost would be reimbursed in the grant.

In order to be eligible for the grant, the council needs to present a vote in favor of fluoridation. This support of fluoridation must be attached to the application when it is submitted by Feb. 8.

The Cadillac City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the council chambers of the Cadillac Municipal Complex, 200 N. Lake St.