Fluoride Q coming to Rangely ballot

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RANGELY | The Town of Rangely will be the next local entity to decide if it wants to keep fluoridating the town’s water supply. The Board of Trustees approved a resolution Tuesday to present fluoridation to voters in the April election. The measure passed by a narrow margin in Meeker this month.

Rangely trustees heard from water plant operator Emily Peterson and local dentist Dan Myers. Peterson explained the well-documented history of dental benefits of fluoridation before adding, “At this time we do have some hazard concerns with the handling of the fluoride we use.” Plant operators, Peterson said, have to “suit up” and use respirators to safely interact with the substance. “There are some hazards for town employees. Consistency of the dosing and hazards to our employees are our top concerns,” she said.

There would be some savings to the town in terms of equipment replacement.

Dr. Myers explained the importance of fluoridation for babies in utero and children to age 10, when systemic fluoride is most important for developing dentition.

“Once the teeth have erupted there are a ton of places we get fluoride,” Myers said.

Myers considers fluoride a public health issue. “There is a certain socioeconomic level that doesn’t comply and we end up paying for that later on,” he said.

Fluoride does occur naturally in Rangely’s water, Peterson said, but in fluctuating amounts. “It might now always be the recommended dose.

The board voted 3-1 to approve putting the fluoridation item on the April ballot.

In other business, the town:

Heard the RBC economic and development’s branding and marketing program presentation.

Approved a resolution adopting Lexipol as official police department policies. Lexipol is a constantly changing document, Town Manager Lisa Piering explained. “They go through and pick the policies that apply to our town. They did go through and amend all those. Ti Hamblin got through all of those policies in December 2018. Each officer coming on has completed that process.”

“We should have adopted that sooner, that was probably my mistake. We’ll probably revisit this annually,” Piering said.

Approved $1,500 to cover the cost of one sleigh for the WRBM Christmasfest in December; 200 people participated last year.

Approved a letter of support to approve the BLM White River Field Office for an off-highway vehicle grant for implementation of proposed open areas for OHV in the WRFO Travel Management Plan.

By NIKI TURNER | editor@ht1885.com

1 Comment

  1. Complaining about risk to water operators is s common tactic of fluoridation opponents seeking to impose their personal ideology against water fluoridation onto entire communities. The reality is that water personnel are educated and trained to properly handle numerous hazardous, undiluted, raw substances routinely added to public water supplies. It is their job to do so. If Ms. Peterson believes that she and her fellow operators are inadequately prepared to do their job in a safe manner then city officials need to address this by either replacing them with personnel who do understand and are qualified to do their job, or correct the deficiencies within existing personnel. Inability of water personnel to properly perform their duties is a problem with oversight, not with the substances they are required to handle.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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