COLUMBIA — In a unanimous vote, the Columbia City Council voted to continue fluoridating the city's water.
The issue, which took almost two hours of the council's three-hour meeting Monday, received comment from more than 30 community members.
More than half of those who commented were doctors or medical professionals, who all supported continued fluoridation. The city Board of Health previously voted 7-2 to continue the process.
Council members, some of whom were previously unsure of how they would vote or had spoken against fluoridation, cited public outcry and the Health Board's stance as reasons for continuing the practice.
Mayor Bob McDavid said when he was a child, before the practice of fluoridation took hold, he had multiple cavities every year. He said he's happy that he and his children no longer live in that reality.
Other council members noted that scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that fluoridation of water is a public good. They noted that it is the most cost-efficient and effective practice available.
"People are dying from lack of dental care," said Second Ward Councilman Michael Trapp. "If we can reduce the risk of cavities for everybody, ... we have to continue this."
The council also voted unanimously to allow a second daily American Airlines flight to Chicago and to increase the city's liability if the air carrier loses money on Columbia flights.
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