HOLMEN, Wis. — Holmen’s Board of Public Works recommended Thursday to keep fluoride out of the public water supply.

A vote by the village board Thursday, April 12, will determine if Holmen remains one of the largest municipalities in Wisconsin that doesn’t add the substance, which supporters say prevents tooth decay and detractors say is mass medication at best and mass poisoning at worst.

In making his recommendation to the three-person board, Holmen Public Works Director Robert Haines analyzed the net cost of fluoridation to village residents and concluded the present system is cheaper.

He assumed 15 percent of the village opposes fluoride and would have to purchase filters to remove it from the water. He then assumed 35 percent of the village favors fluoridation and would purchase supplements for their children if the water remained untreated.

“My recommendation is, let’s do what costs that certain group of people the least amount of money, which would be not to add fluoride,” Haines said.

Board members Richard Anderson and Neal Forde voted to recommend against adding fluoride to village water, while Ryan Olson voted in favor of fluoridation.

“Based on some of the feedback that I’ve gotten, there’s more support (for fluoride) than what you’re saying,” Olson said. “You have a majority of municipalities in the state that have (fluoridated water), and to me it’s kind of, ‘Why aren’t we doing this?’ more so than, ‘Why we shouldn’t be doing it.’”

The village board will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Village Hall, 421 S. Main St.


Adam Bissen is a reporter for the Holmen Courier. For a more detailed story, see the April 13 Courier.