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Mineral County town will keep fluoride in water

By Richard Kerns

Mineral Daily News-Tribune

KEYSER, W.Va. – In response to overwhelming public opposition to ending fluoridation, the city of Keyser will continue adding fluoride to its municipal water supply.

“We are going to consider that item off the table,” Mayor Randy Amtower said at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting.

City officials had floated the idea of ending fluoridation as a cost-saving measure. However, cutting fluoride would only reduce costs at the water treatment plant by about $8,500, or less than 1 percent of the plant’s annual $1.1 million operating costs.

In the week since the issue was first raised at the city’s Water Board meeting, citizens, water system users and public officials alike had made their feelings known to the mayor and other city officials.

Amtower said he had intentionally raised the controversial proposal to gauge public opinion, and he got his answer.

“We’d like to thank the public for their response,” he said. “That was our goal.”

While fluoridation remains a controversial topic more than five decades after it was first added to public water supplies, local dentists, health professionals and others strongly defended the additive as a proven method for reducing tooth decay, especially in children. Fluoride was first added to the Keyser water system in 1981, and few wanted to return to the heated debate that allowed the treatment in the first place.

Noting that he had received numerous comments locally and from as far away as California, with the vast majority supportive of fluoride, the mayor said Wednesday night that he considers the matter closed. “We respond to you, and your response was to keep it,” he said…

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