Village residents may voice their views of fluoridation of Holmen’s water supply in a referendum Nov. 4, and when they do they’ll be able to consider the cost to the taxpayers.
Meeting Sept. 11, village trustees worded the referendum question so voters will know the cost of their vote. Village public works director Bob Haines estimates it would cost $140,800 to set up the equipment to fluoridate the water and that it would cost about $8,500 annually to run the equipment.
The previously approved wording for the referendum projected an initial cost of $138,000 and an annual operating cost of $29,000.
Haines also estimated costs of alternatives for residents. “There are ways for people to get what they want,” he said.
Haines estimated it would cost someone $12 for a 100-day supply to buy fluoride supplements if voters would say “no.” To remove fluoride from a home’s water supply if voters say “yes,” it would cost $21.95 per month to rent — or $795 to buy — an installed reverse osmosis water filter from Culligan.
Holmen’s water already has a little fluoride in it from natural sources. Village water carries about 0.13 milligrams of natural fluoride. Haines said a therapeutic level of fluoride would be about 1.13 milligrams.
Holmen is the only municipality in the county without therapeutic levels of fluoride in the water supply — Bangor has naturally high fluoride levels. Holmen also is one of the largest municipalities in the state without fluoride in the public water system. Chippewa Falls is one larger municipality that still hasn’t added fluoride to the water.