Residents of Sidney have the option to fluoridate the water by voting yes or no on the November ballot.
City Manager Gary Person said water fluoridation is mandated by state legislature and the only way to opt out is to allow residents to vote.
He said that the legislature would not allow previous votes to count so that is why it will appear on the ballot again in November.
“This has been a community issue for more than 10 years,” Person said.
He said the city does not want to do what the community doesn’t want.
He said the initial cost for implementing fluoride into the water is $50,000 to $100,000.
“It’s a controversial issue,” he said. “It’s best to let the people decide.”
In fact, dental care is so costly that the Nebraska Mission of Mercy (MOM) has decided to tackle the problem by providing a free dental clinic for the public.
MOM is a two-day event taking place this year in Mitchell, in which dentists and hygienists from across the state volunteer their time to provide free dental services to those in need.
Western Nebraska will benefit on Friday, Oct. 10, and Saturday, Oct.11, at the Scotts Bluff County Event Center from 6 a.m. to late afternoon.
Office manager for Summit Dental in Sidney Rick Steanow said their office will be participating in the clinic.
“We are sending three doctors and five staff members from our office,” he said.
He said this is the first time MOM has been in the western part of the state.
“There are usually around 2,500 individuals,” he said.
Around 90 chairs are set up for dentists and hygienists to examine patients.
Non-dental volunteers are still needed to help with registration, childcare, food service, runners and moving people from station to station.
If you would like to help, please call 308-632-3736.