Five things to know from Tama Council

1. The council briefly discussed the recent decision to remove fluoride from Tama’s water.

The decision to eliminate fluoridation was recommended by Water Superintendent Kent Campbell. Campbell had presented information to the council at the April 5 meeting and in a split vote the council approved eliminating fluoride. Council members Larry Thomas, Matt Beatty, Anne Michael voted in favor of eliminating fluoride. Emily Babinat voted against removing fluoride. Aaron Haughey was not present.

Representatives from the Iowa Department of Public Health, iSmile, a faculty member from the University of Iowa, and a representative from Tama County Public Health attended a council meeting in June to ask the council to reconsider the decision.

At the most recent meeting the discussion was centered around whether to leave the decision up to voters by adding a question of whether to include fluoride in the water to an election ballot in November. Turns out this is not allowed due to state code according to city attorney Dan Rathjen.

No action was taken.

2. Two purchases were approved by the council. The first purchase is for a new Tahoe vehicle for the Tama Police Department. This was a budgeted item for the department due to having difficulties with their Ford car. The total cost will be around $55,000.

The second purchase approved was for a copy machine for the city clerk’s office.

3. The council heard department updates from some of the city department heads. An update from Chief Jason Bina informed the council the police department has been extremely busy dealing with calls which largely include mental health needs and drugs.

Kent Campbell, Water Director, discussed a possible leak near Garfield Street.

4. Katherine Ollendieck provided the council with a brief update about Iowa Premium at Monday’s meeting. Any talk of tax abatement plans is now on hold while officials at Iowa Premium answer questions from the state.

5. Signage for downtown to be placed near Lincoln Highway Bridge was approved by the council. The intent of the signage is to encourage people to downtown Tama to visit local restaurants and retail stores.