Following weeks of debate and discussion, Golden citizens voted overwhelmingly in Saturday’s referendum to discontinue fluoridation of the Town’s water system

Of 887 total votes cast, 611 said ‘No’ while only 272 answered ‘Yes’ in response to the referendum question: Are you in favour of the Town of Golden continuing to fluoridate the Town’s drinking water supply?

Golden began adding fluoride to the muncipal water in 1964 after the public indicated its support through referendum. The only way the program could be stopped was by referendum.

The week leading up to the vote, community members had opportunity to attend a forum on the matter, an event that saw a great deal of emotional debate on what has in recent years become a serious hot button issue.

Opponents of fluoridation believe that the fluoride used in public water systems poses a health threat and can lead to weaker, more brittle bones, and that in some cases it has been linked to cancer.

Supporters believe the practice of public water fluoridation is an effective way to prevent dental caries, especially within the segment of society that might not be educated on proper dental hygiene.

Upgrading the Town’s five wells to Workers Compensation Board standards would have cost an estimated $139,000 initially and $25,000 each additional year for system maintenance and upkeep.