Fellsmere’s water could get fluoride – if funding can be found

By Debbie Carson, Online Editor

FELLSMERE — Flouride could be coming to Fellsmere’s water supply – but only if the city can get state funding.

Years after Fellsmere city leaders voted to have fluoride added to the water, the city’s water is still fluoride free. But that’s because the city wanted to have someone else – the state – to pay for it.

Now, it is beginning to look as though Fellsmere may be back on track to get its water fluoridated, according to Sean Isaac, from the Florida Department of Health. Isaac told the Fellsmere City Council last week that there is state grant money available to communities that want fluoride, adding that 79 percent of the state has fluoridated water.

The grant monies can be used to pay for the design, purchase and install the needed equipment, as well as buy two years’ worth of fluoride.

“I think its a good idea,” said Councilwoman Sara Savage.

“Everyone benefits,” Isaac said.

In order to receive the grant, the city must supply a cost estimate for the design, equipment and chemical.

Utilities Consultant Earl Masteller, of Vero Beach’s Masteller and Moler Inc., has been tasked with coming up with that estimate. He said this week that he expects to report back in 10 to 14 days.

“We’re just basically getting into it,” Masteller said of gathering the necessary information and crafting the estimate.

City Manager Jason Nunemaker said after the meetnig that the city expects to file the grant application next month. He said that the timeframe for finding out whether or not the city would receive the money is up to the state’s funding and the number of applicants.

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