Fluoride may be pulled from Jonesborough water

Jessica Fuller • Apr 11, 2016 at 9:55 PM

The Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen began the discussion about possibly removing fluoride from the town’s water system at Monday’s meeting, but the board requires public input before officially making the decision. 

During the discussion, some board members expressed support in discontinuing the use of fluoride, citing health and financial concerns. According to information provided in the board’s agenda, the town spends about $12,000 a year adding fluoride to drinking water. Mayor Kelly Wolfe and other board members also voiced concerns of an over-indulgence in fluoride with modern toothpaste and the fluoride that naturally occurs in water. 

“I researched this, and from what I read there’s absolutely no benefit now in having that in drinking water,” Alderman David Sell said. “Actually, it’s kind of dangerous almost, and it’s costly.” 

Although the board took no action on the matter at Monday night’s meeting, they voted to continue the discussion and scheduled a public hearing in two months for Jonesborough residents to weigh in on possibly removing fluoride from the water system. The hearing will precede the board’s scheduled meeting on June 13 at 7 p.m.

The status of the now empty building that formerly housed the Senior Center building status made its way to the board as members discussed the best uses for the building for the time being. The board voted to modify the building so it can accommodate services for the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association’s Food Pantry, a classroom for the Jonesborough Police Department and a studio/recording area for The McKinney Center’s updated videography and editing program. 

The proposed floor plan would divide the 5,000-square-foot building into three separate spaces for each of the proposed uses with room left over, Wolfe said at the meeting. The board approved the proposed floor plan 3 to 1, with Sell voting against the proposal. He said he agreed with the food pantry space and the classroom for the JPD, but said he disagreed with the use of a studio in the building. 

Town Administrator Bob Browning suggested the 500-square-foot space proposed for the studio could likely still be utilized for other purposes if necessary, and Wolfe said that having a professional recording studio in the town could help in terms of marketing. 

“Given the opportunity to go in there and show what could happen with that, I think you all would be surprised at the quality of what can be done and how that will be impactful to Jonesborough in many ways,” Browning said.

Email Jessica Fuller at [email protected]. Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.

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