WILMINGTON — “Let’s make this a good year,” City Council President Randy Riley stated Thursday at the beginning of the first Wilmington City Council meeting of 2017.
Fluoridation of the city’s water and recycling were among topics of discussion.
The fluoridation ordinance would mandate fluoridation of the public water supplies. In the November election voters approved by 56.7 percent to 43.3 percent a non-binding resolution which would allow the city to fluoridate but not require it.
However, some local residents again voiced concerns about fluoride to council Thursday.
Tom Brausch addressed concerns about both health and costs, including that women would need to buy bottled water for baby formula.
Michael Mandelstein asked what the costs would be, and expressed concerns over findings that, according to him, show a high amount of fluorosis in ethnic/minority neighborhoods.
Riley thanked these citizens for coming forward with their concerns but iterated that this topic has been discussed for about a year.
Council member and Water Committee member Kelsey Swindler provided a list of over 140 organizations that approve of fluoridation, and she said there is information on fluoridation available to the public at the Mayor’s Office.
Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker informed those in attendance where the city stood on the engineering study. Shidaker said Stand Engineering would be coming to perform the safety study of the water plant on Jan. 13.
“I suspect within 30 days (after the study) we will have that report along with recommendations, as well as estimates on how much it’ll cost to implement this program if council directs us to do so,” said Shidaker.
A motion was made and passed to have the third reading of the ordinance postponed until the next council meeting.
Also at council:
• Shidaker stated after his report that he and Mayor John Stanforth attended the previous Clinton County Solid Waste Management meeting to express concerns over issues involving costs and financial issues with the recycling program. “We went to them basically begging for help,” said Shidaker. “The only recommendation they gave was to raise the rates on the taxpayer. It was a frustrating meeting.”
Citizen Paul Hunter came forward and spoke about the possibility of cardboard recycling and mentioned concerns as to why this is useful.
“We do good by saving valuable landfill space, saving finite natural resources while turning a small profit,” he said. “We started the city cardboard project with some fanfare, but progress has been well below potential and expected growth for reasons that are not clear to me.”
• Two resolutions were passed during the Safety/Transport Committee report. The first authorized the filing of a grant application through Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grant and acceptance of grant funds. The second authorized the filling of a grant application through the Division of State Fire Marshal and acceptance of grant funds.
• Two resolutions were passed during the Safety/Service director report. The first was to authorize to contract to purchase landfill equipment without formal bidding advertising due to a real and present emergency. Shidaker stated that the trash compactor at the city landfill broke, leaving them without one.
The second was to adopt preliminary legislation for ODOT Urban Paving Project to pave portions of U.S. 68 and State Route 134 within the limits of the city.
• At the end of the meeting, Council member Joe Spicer recognized the late Debbie Stamper for the hard work she did for the city. Stamper served for 18 years as executive director of the Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau and was active in many other ways in the community.
“I just think we as a city owe her a debt of gratitude for all she’s done for the last 18 years,” said Spicer.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574