- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) - Opponents of fluoridation say they’re no longer pursuing a lawsuit against the city of Sheridan but aren’t backing away from trying to block the addition of fluoride to the city’s water supply.

Clean Water Sheridan plans to keep gathering signatures that ask the Sheridan City Council not to add fluoride to the water, group member Erin Adams said.

“We’re treading water right now,”?Adams said. “I’m hoping the will of the people will prevail.”

In 1950, Sheridan became one of the first U.S. cities to fluoridate its water in an effort to fight tooth decay. The city abandoned the practice after a 1953 referendum opposing fluoridation.

In July, Clean Water Sheridan retained an attorney to file for declaratory judgment and an injunction, if necessary, to prevent fluoridation. The group argued the 1953 vote of 2,782-907 in favor of stopping fluoridation prohibited a return to fluoridation now.

City officials dispute that argument.

“The 1953 ballot was an advisory, non-binding opinion to the Council,” City Attorney Greg Von Krosigk told The Sheridan Press (http://bit.ly/Y8PeuZ ) by email.

City officials have been installing fluoridation equipment at two water treatment plants. The equipment will be tested before any decision when to begin the addition of fluoride, which will be announced to the public, City Utilities Division Manager Dan Roberts has said.

Clean Water Sheridan reports it has gathered more than 1,800 signatures opposing fluoridation and plans to present the petition to the council this fall.

Adams said the November election also provides an opportunity to fluoridation opponents to vote in council members who support their view.

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Information from: The Sheridan (Wyo.) Press, http://www.thesheridanpress.com/