Those against re-fluoridation of Newport’s domestic water maintained their opposition, one opponent stating that the term fluoride chemicals should be included in the ballot language and title. But City Attorney Steve Rich said in the interest of Secretary of State ballot language guidelines, a more neutral term “fluoride product” would be more in keeping with the Secretary of State’s recommended language tone.
Installation of the fluoridation equipment at the water treatment plant is estimated at around $300,000, with the annual cost of resuming fluoridation to Newport’s drinking water at $25,000 a year.
So, again the council put fluoridation on the May 17th ballot. Newport had fluoridated water in the past but its use was interrupted when the new water plant was built due to cost overruns on the project. Now the city has the funds to add fluoridation but in the interest of listening to the wishes of the public, the city council placed the issue on the ballot and has said they will abide by the public’s vote.
And as reported last last week here on NewsLincolnCounty.com, the council has gratefully accepted a $300,000 gift from the Ken and Judy (Doerfler) Living Trust to help with the construction of the new Newport Aquatic Center next to the Newport Recreation Center. Ken Doerfler Sr. was a very successful insurance company owner and he and his wife Judy were prominent civic boosters. In accepting the donation the council said the money will ensure that all features promised to the voters will will be included. The project was hit with higher costs due to the improving economy which put most contractors back to work and therewith charging more for building things. But everything’s back in, including the meandering river feature and the indoor entrance from the Recreation Center.
Mr. Doerfler’s son, Ken Doerfler Jr., made the decision to award the gift. City Manager Spencer Nebel said the lap pool will be named after Ken Doerfler Sr, and that a memorial to Mr. Doerfler and his wife Judy will be erected in a prominent location inside the facility.