Fluoride issue gets divisive
SCF council votes to adjust city code; issue still up in air
by Greg Marsten
Leader staff writer
ST. CROIX FALLS – The issue of whether to fluoridate the city's water supply drew a crowd of over three dozen to the normally empty St. Croix Falls council chambers on Monday, Feb. 25, where they voted to adjust their city code to make a previous decision in compliance.
The council voted two weeks ago to remove fluoride from the municipal water supply, as a "policy decision," according to administrator Joel Peck, but after over two hours of comments, testimony and outright disagreement, they adjusted the code to reduce the maximum level of fluoride allowed in the water, but did not address their previous move to stop fluoridation, altogether.
Polk County Health Department director Gretchen Sampson gave a 15-minute presentation on fluoridation, its history, why its done and what it entails, while several dentists and medical professionals also were in attendance, all in favor of fluoride. Unlike the meeting two weeks ago, where the decision was made to suspend fluoridation, which was overwhelmingly made up of people opposed to fluoridation.
"One of the things that was missing from that last meeting was balance," Mayor Brian Blesi said. "We were looking for more input."
The meeting went deep into the evening, with testimony and comments running the gamut, from Sampson's presentation citing studies and statistics on the health effects of municipalities that went with and without fluoride to the reasons other nations use unusual means to do systematic fluoride applications.
Much of the evening was spent either addressing, refuting or reaffirming previous comments, questions and misconceptions on the issue, much of which was critical of efforts to eliminate fluoride.
See full story in the Feb. 27 issue of the Inter-County Leader.