No more fluoride for Bourbon

BOURBON — It’s official: town water in Bourbon will no longer contain added fluoride. Town council members unanimously voted to omit added fluoride during their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.
“I see no reason to continue with it,” said council president Les McFarland.
McFarland added that he had conducted research online about the pros and cons of including fluoride in public water supplies. He also took into consideration a letter he received from Indiana Water Fluoridation Program manager James Powers, detailing the benefits of adding fluoride.
Bourbon resident Jonah Best commented, expressing concern that some children in the Triton school system do not get enough fluoride from other sources outside of public water.
“Are (students) really getting what they need, with economy like it is at times in this area?” asked Best. “I would just like the council to consider if this is something you want to do.”
Water/wastewater department head Mike Shoda replied with his belief that children do not drink much water anyway and instead consume other beverages such as juice, soft drinks, and sports drinks.
Shoda also said that the issue was first addressed in last month’s meeting because he was told by the town’s water inspector that adding fluoride was not required by law. He also mentioned that homes with a reverse osmosis unit do not have fluoridated water anyway because the process takes the fluoride out.
During the vote, council member P.J. Hanley commented, “We can always put (the fluoride) back in.”
In other business:
• Bourbon Public Library director Heather Barron visited the council to seek support for the library’s annual summer reading program. Council members agreed to donate $250 to the program.
• Police chief Bill Martin sought the council’s approval to hire Marshall County deputy Travis O’Neal to work in his department part-time.
Martin commented that one of his officers is “not really working out” and that Officer McIntyre’s recent health issues have left the department shorthanded. The council approved Martin’s request.
• The town is seeking a new member for the plan commission following the passing of Democrat member Herb Baker. McFarland advised that interested individuals should submit a letter of interest and a resume to the clerk’s office.
“Whoever replaces (Baker) will have some big shoes to fill,” said McFarland. “We want to thank his family for their support behind the scenes as well.”
Council member Larry Wattenbarger also commented, saying, “I am very much appreciative of (Baker’s) service to the community and what it meant. You won’t find anyone more loyal.”