FARMINGTON — The closest race in Davis County was once again fluoridation of drinking water.
With 100 percent of the vote counted early today, residents narrowly decided to keep fluoridating their water. The final vote was 51,581, or 51 percent, in favor and 49.399, or 48.9 percent, opposed.
Davis County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings had been reluctant during the night to call the contest, although the pro-fluoride vote had never relinquished the slight lead it held all night.
With the outcome of the vote, one part per million of fluoride will continue to be added to the county’s drinking water.
The close vote comes on the heels of an emotional back-and-forth debate over whether to fluoridate or not.
“I don’t think we could have done any more than what we did,” said Dave A. Hansen, chairman for Citizens for Safe Drinking Water. “This was a grass-roots effort from the start. They (the group) care about their neighbor, that is why they did this.”
In 2000, voters, by a 52 to 48 percent margin, approved fluoridation. Since that time, opponents of the measure have worked to gain a revote, including bringing in internationally recognized anti-fluoridation experts a week ago to attempt to convince voters of the health concerns associated with getting too much fluoride in one’s diet.
Beth Beck, a former Davis Health Board member who was instrumental in implementing fluoridation in the county, was confident voters would choose logic over scare tactics.
Besides, Beck couldn’t see the dollars and cents in eliminating the fluoridation process, of which Davis cities have already heavily invested in.
“It’s fiscally irresponsible to turn those pumps off. Absolutely nuts,” Beck said. When early returns seemed to indicate fluoridation would stay, Hansen said the group will look at using other means to break away from having fluoridated water, but he believes it will not involve another initiative.