YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Yorktown's Town Board will hold an informational hearing next week to consider discontinuing the practice of adding fluoride to the drinking water supply, and The Yorktown Daily Voice wants to know where you stand.
The hearing will take place Tuesday in Yorktown Town Hall at 363 Underhill Ave. during the Town Board's regular meeting .
The town temporarily discontinued the fluoridation of its water earlier this month for repairs at its Catskill and Amawalk facilities.
Supervisor Michael Grace said the repairs would be significant capital investments, and the town wanted to hear from its residents before moving forward.
"What we’re now balancing is a capital expenditure in replacing equipment and having to deal with environmental regulations," Grace said. "It’s just balancing resources against what we think is a public health issue."
Matthew Geho, operations director for Northern Westchester Joint Water Works, said fluoride is not a required chemical additive and residents would notice no change in the quality of the water if it was removed.
"It’s merely an additive to reduce dental caries (cavities, tooth decay)," he said. "There will be no aesthetic change. It will not impact the quality of the water."
Yorktown resident and Mt. Kisco-based dentist Carl Tegtmeier spoke in favor of fluoridation at the Town Board's Jan. 8 meeting. He recommended the board use scientific research to make a decision.
"I can understand why you would want to open it up to public opinion and get people’s opinion, but that’s exactly what it is. It’s opinions," Tegtmeier said. "Everybody’s entitled to an opinion, but basically, according to the New York State public health laws, the decision rests with you guys, and it should be based off facts."
Council member Dave Paganelli, the board's liaison with the water works, said he thinks it's important to hear from the public before a decision is made.
"I always maintain when I was running for office, that anytime I considered myself the smartest person in the room, I became the person that was not open to suggestion," Paganelli said. "I have tremendous faith in our constituency that they have the intelligence and the capability to go on the Internet, look at various things from different medical professionals, pro and con, and come in here and let us know what they want to do."