The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District has scrapped looking into whether or not it would be the regional provider for fluoridated water.
During a packed regular meeting of its board of directors Thursday, the board voted 4-1 to cease consideration of adding fluoride to the drinking water of its customers, which include several community service districts interested in adding fluoride.
Although the board had previously considered holding a public hearing later this month to discuss the issue, HBMWD General Manager Carol Rische said after Thursday’s meeting that hearing is moot and won’t be scheduled because there wouldn’t be enough votes to approve the fluoridation anyway.
According to a report released several weeks ago from the district’s consultant hired to estimate the costs, fluoridating the drinking water is projected to cost the HBMWD $325,000 for construction and another $46,000 per year in ongoing costs.
HBMWD’s board of directors was asked to look into the matter at the request of at least one of it customers, the McKinleyville Community Services District, whose elected board express interest into adding fluoride.
While the Fieldbrook Community Service District and Humboldt Community Services District have also expressed interest in providing fluoride, the Manila Community Service District put the matter to voters last year and the measure was overwhelmingly defeated.
The cities of Eureka and Arcata, which purchase their water from the HBMWD, currently add fluoride to their drinking water.