When Kaylee Chilton went to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church last Tuesday, she exercised her right to vote like millions of Americans. But in Gretna, she didn’t get the chance to voice her opinion regarding whether or not to add fluoride to the Gretna water system.
She was concerned.
“Why should I pay for Gretna water, and more in fact, to not have a say in what’s in my water?” Chilton said.
After leaving the church, she contacted Gretna Mayor Tim Gilligan among other authorities. She found out she didn’t get to vote on the fluoride question because she lives outside the corporate city limits and in the Crystal Creek resident development.
Gretna city attorney John Green said the ballot question to add fluoride or not is an ordinance of municipality, and since the Gretna City Council decided to add it to the ballot, it’s a city ordinance and only residents within the corporate limits can vote.
Gretna voters chose to add fluoride to the water system on Nov. 4 – 1,175 to add and 747 to not add – according to www.sarpy.com.
City Water Operator Matt Frey said he is just starting to figure the details of how to add the fluoride to the water system, which serves city residents as well as 10 subdivisions surrounding the city limits. Those subdivisions are Lincoln Place, Chestnut Ridge, Copperridge, Amber Vista, Crystal Creek, Forest Run, Lyman Hylands, Covington, Willow Park and Standing Stone.
Chilton said that’s what got her fired up. Also, outside residents pay more for water. LuLa Mathews, city water billing employee, said the water rates for city limits customers is $9 for 4,000 gallons of water and $1.90 per 1,000 gallons over 4,000 gallons used. Outside the city, customers pay $11.25 for 4,000 gallons and $2.85 per 1,000 gallons over 4,000 used.