Another change discussed by the board involved the city’s use of fluoride in its water. With the announcement that the state will no longer be paying for regular fluoride testing, water plants manager Andy Garland noted that the cost of adding fluoride to the city water supply would now be almost $11,000 a year. The cost of testing itself is only $100 but as Garland pointed out, this is only the most recent expense as the state has steadily reduced funding for the teeth-strengthening mineral. Because of its acidic nature, fluoride regularly requires the purchase of new pumps, another element the state formerly paid for. Further, the amounts of fluoride added to the water have been decreased by the state substantially weakening its potential benefits.
With all of these factors considered, as well as the fact that the mineral negatively affects the taste of the water, Garland voiced his recommendation to simply take fluoride out of the city’s system. Discussion was held amongst the board, with some like Mayor Keeble voicing his support for keeping fluoride, while others seemed to be against.
However, before taking a vote on the issue, Alderman Bob Morrison noted that it might be a good idea to table the item until next month, giving citizens and proponents time to voice their concerns. Agreeing unanimously, the board determined to ask City Recorder Sheila Shaw to run announcements about the decision in the local media, encouraging anyone who felt strongly about about the decision to come to the next meeting and voice their opinions.