The latest request for cash was the final straw for Councilman Tom Diana, who suggested the town cut its losses.

“I think the whole project has to go,” Diana said. “I’ve got to be honest, I haven’t been a proponent of this project since Day 1. I’m still not. It’s not proving to be any kind of a winner in my eyes, even with the grant.

“Cortlandt doesn’t have [fluoride], Putnam Valley doesn’t have it, a lot of people don’t have it, and I don’t see people’s teeth falling out of their heads.” Diana continued. “But then again, I’m not a dentist.”

“I tend to agree with you,” Councilman Ed Lachterman said.

But the town’s water superintendent, Ken Rundle, said the town has gone too far to turn back now. The project is about 30 percent completed.

“I think it’s something that we have to do,” Rundle said. “Am I excited about taking $70,000 out of the budget? Absolutely not. But I think with so much invested now, I think we have to keep going.”

Town Board members Alice Roker and Vishnu Patel echoed Rundle’s comments.

“To stop it would be problematic,” Roker said.

Supervisor Matt Slater, who could be a tie-breaking vote, did not express an opinion at the meeting. In an interview, Slater did not reveal how he plans to vote on the new expense, but said, “I rely on our department heads to provide guidance on these types of matters,” noting Rundle’s support of moving the project forward.

*Original article online at