GUNTOWN – Officials are considering whether to add fluoride to the town’s drinking water, despite one resident’s objections.
“Several home and business owners locally have been discussing the upcoming meeting and many are opposed to the thought of fluoride in their drinking water,” wrote Ann Myers, owner of Guntown Antiques, in a letter to Town Hall and the Saltillo-Guntown Gazette newspaper. “Many feel that at present, it is bad enough just to make coffee in the mornings and smell … bleach in their water.”
Myers could not be reached by phone Tuesday.
Mayor Jimmy Anderson said the town has been considering fluoridation about three months.
“We talked to some dental hygienists in town, and they brought it to my attention,” Anderson said. “Since we no longer had fluoride in the water, they could tell a difference in kids’ teeth, by the number of cavities.”
Fluoride hardens soft spots in teeth, helping prevent cavities, he said.
Guntown uses well water. Anderson said the town fluoridated water until the mid-1990s but stopped because it was too expensive to maintain the equipment.
He said the Mississippi Department of Health will pay for all the equipment and a year’s supply of fluoride if the town decids to add it again.
“After that, the life expectancy of the equipment is 15 years,” he said. “We would only be out the cost of fluoride.”
Anderson said he spoke to Tupelo Mayor Ed Neelly and Saltillo Mayor Bill Williams, and both thought fluoridation was a good thing. He said only one or two people have expressed objections to adding fluoride to the water.