Council to hear from public on fluoridation

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home City Council will hear from the public about whether to continue fluoridating city water during its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 24. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The council began considering whether to continue fluoridating water at the request of resident Marvin Hult, who opposes using fluoride.

The city has been receiving comments from a variety of sources already, including local dentists, government agencies and individuals from the community as well as outside the area and also outside the state, said City Manager Craig Martin, and the public is welcome to continue providing written comments prior to the meeting. They should be dropped off at the City Manager’s office in City Hall, 1140 12th Ave., or emailed to [email protected] or to [email protected].

Martin said information from the Oregon Health Authority and U.S. Centers for Disease Control generally supports the use of fluoride in water supplies.

Councilors have heard about studies that support both viewpoints, and other cities that have chosen to continue or stop fluoridating water. In Philomath’s case, the city stopped fluoridating, and voters passed a ballot measure re-instating it.

The council will also consider water and wastewater user rates for 2014-15 at the meeting. Councilors previously instructed Public Works Director Mike Adams to develop a plan that carried an estimated $12-per-month increase for average users, 600 cubic feet per month.

The staff’s final recommendation should be about the same, give or take, Martin said.

The utility fees cover the cost of the water and wastewater utilities.