Duxbury: Fluoridation of public water will continue, voters approve solar array agreement

For months, a group of residents called “Duxbury Fluoride Choice” have been advocating for just that, choice. Monday night during the 2nd session of Annual Town Meeting, they asked voters to consider allowing Duxbury Selectmen to petition the state legislature in order to put a question on next year’s ballot: should Duxbury continue to add fluoride to the town’s public water supply?

Some residents said they’re skeptical about the fluoridation process and where the chemical is coming from. “It’s common sense to be concerned about the sodium fluoride that comes from a chemical manufacturing plant in China. Like we discussed, [it] is only tested in China and then comes here to the United States, gets redistributed to 16 towns and we just dump it in our water,” said one Duxbury woman

But two local dentists spoke in favor of fluoridation including Dr. Peter Wiemeyer, “I’ve practiced dentistry in Duxbury for 40 years. I can assure you fluoridation works. The dental health of the typical Duxbury citizen, regardless of the age or financial status, is much better now than it was 40 years ago; I attribute a lot of that to fluoridation in our water supply the last 28 years.”

After an hour long discussion, Duxbury residents voted against the article which means no change in the fluoridation of Duxbury’s public water supply.

Also during town meeting, a solar array agreement was discussed and voted on.

Two years ago, Duxbury voters approved a solar array project at the town’s capped landfill. Monday night, voters were asked to sign-off on an agreement with the private developer, American Capital Energy.

Instead of taxing the developer, Duxbury will receive electricity at a discounted rate.

State Representative Josh Cutler of Duxbury is on the town’s Alternative Energy Committee. “The cost of installation to town: $0. Annual savings to the town: $35,000. Kilowatt hours of energy created: 600,000. Value of generating green energy right here in our town: priceless,” said Cutler on town meeting floor

But several residents spoke out against the agreement including one Duxbury voter who thinks the town is getting the short end of the deal, “How effectively have we really done our due diligence to make sure we’re getting our fair share? Why, for example, aren’t they paying us rent for this rather than payments in lieu of taxes? We’re providing a town facility to a private operator.”

Despite concerns, Duxbury voters approved the agreement.

The solar array project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.The private developer will install, operate, and maintain the solar panels.

Annual town meeting will continue Wednesday at 7PM at the Duxbury Performing Arts Center.

Duxbury Fluoride Choice presentation during Annual Town Meeting

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.