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Layton Balks at Fluoridating Water

Layton Balks at Fluoridating Water

Updated - Jan. 20, 2003 at 7:54 a.m. | Posted - Jan. 20, 2003 at 7:53 a.m.



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LAYTON, Utah (AP) -- Claiming costs are double the estimate given Davis County voters when they approved fluoridation, Layton officials are balking at fluoridating the city's five wells.

"This is not the same thing we voted on. This is different," said Mayor Jerry Stevenson, who is looking for help from the Davis Council of Governments this Wednesday and from state lawmakers in this legislative session.

The Legislature could amend Utah law, possibly opening the door for a countywide revote on the fluoridation referendum.

"I don't think we should move on this until we get some questions answered," Stevenson said.

In November 2000, voters countywide approved by a narrow margin adding one part per million of fluoride to the drinking water systems to battle tooth decay.

Court challenges of the measure by cities and residents and water engineering delays by Weber Basin Water Conservancy District have resulted in most Davis cities still being without fluoridated drinking water.

Health officials are hopeful cities will have fluoridation in place by spring.

Layton officials say it could cost residents $3.63 a year to fluoridate.

In response to Stevenson's concerns, the City Council has put off a $135,000 bid award it was to make to the engineering firm of Hansen, Allen & Luce Inc. for design work to fluoridate the wells.

County Health Director Lewis R. Garrett said the fluoridation referendum vote was 26 months ago, and all of the cities, including Layton, were aware they were to have fluoridation in place.

Garrett said he also believes the cost estimates by Layton officials are high.

Garrett said that nationally, fluoridation costs about $2 per person.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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