The public meeting of the Davis Water Advisory Committee regarding the fluoridation of the city water was interesting for the comments. What also was interesting were the financial aspects of the project and the perspective of WAC members, including the statement to forget the money and approve the project.
But where does the money come from to pay those costs? The annual operations and maintenance for fluoridating Davis water was estimated at $128,000. That is in addition to the actual water project. The city already has a multimillion-dollar water project that is on shaky ground — only one bidder remaining and that bidder has a rather unscrupulous background pertaining to its work. The project, as any government-involved project, probably will go over budget and encounter delays in construction.
There is a projected cost of $180,000 for a billing system upgrade. The city also has an extensive repair project underway for streets and bike paths and the project for the reconfiguration of Fifth Street. Now add the proposed fluoridation project, which is nice if the city could afford it, but can it?
This city has residents who already are having a difficult time paying bills, without being hit by a city on a spending spree. Fiscal responsibility is the major role for elected officials and managers of public entities and departments. WAC is an advisory committee for the council and all aspects, including cost, should be a part of an advisory committee’s report. There are too many cities in serious financial condition, including bankruptcy.
No one addresses the cause of tooth decay in children — bottles and sippy cups kept in the mouth for long periods, too much sugared foods and drinks, inadequate cleaning of the mouth and teeth. Tough job, yes, but it must be done.