The question of whether or not Linton will add fluoride to its water is still being debated.
At Monday night’s Linton City Council meeting, mayor Tom Jones — noting that residents have a chance to show approval or disapproval of fluoridation by answering a survey question on their April utility bills — said, “It’s going well,” but added that many of the utility bills/surveys haven’t come back in yet. Among those already counted, however, “it’s very close,” Jones noted.
Once all the surveys are back, the council and Jones will decide what to do.
Adding fluoride to Linton’s water would also affect Dugger and Pleasantville water customers as well, since those towns get their water from Linton.
Jones recommended fluoridation at the March meeting after the Indiana State Board of Health suggested it. The state would pay for the necessary equipment, and the city would pay for the fluoride itself, at a cost of between 20 and 50 cents per person, per year.
In other matters, Jones discussed the recent trade of property owned by Linton, to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), where the old state highway garage is located.
Jones received a letter from INDOT last Friday stating that there is a difference in value between the two properties that were traded. One contains 17.57 acres and according to INDOT, has a fair market value of $255,000; the other property contains 3.13 acres and has a fair market value of $260,000, meaning the difference to be paid to INDOT is $5,000.
“The former administration and the council did approve a right of entry,” noted Jones. “But it says that whereas it is desirable that construction be commenced as rapidly as possible” after payment of the $260,000 — which was supposed to have been taken care of by an even trade for the 3.13 acres to INDOT.
Jones said the city may be shown to be legally obligated to pay the $5,000 — “but morally, no.”
After discussion, the council voted 5-0 to pay the $5,000 to INDOT if necessary — unless an agreement can be worked out very soon.
In other business, Jones noted that “the water department here in the city is in some financial difficulty — we are going to have to increase water rates, but we want to keep them as low as we can.”
Jones said the accounting firm Crowe-Chizek gave the city a proposed contract to do a water rate survey at a cost of approximately $16,000 — something he feels is necessary.
“We have had some strategic planning meetings; we have some issues out, like painting water towers, buying trucks, doing all the capital improvement projects we have to have, putting new water lines and fire hydrants in, those kinds of things.”
Jones noted that many of Linton’s fire hydrants don’t work, there are several undersized water lines, and some areas of town have low water pressure.
“I think we’re all in agreement we need clean water and want our city serviced well,” Jones said.