Mayor Assaly noted that renovation of the water filtration plant is needed to help better organize storage of the chemicals used for treating the town’s drinking water. “The space is limited,” she said. Perron’s report noted that the chemical fluoride used for the water supply is stored in 500-pound drums and the municipal orders on average 22 drums each year at a cost of $8000. A special storage room to keep the fluoride separate from other chemicals would cost $10,000. Mandatory protective gear for staff dealing with the chemical costs $1000 and another $1000 is needed for treatment equipment monitoring and calibration. Present provincial legislation lets local municipalities decided if they do or do not want to fluoridate their drinking water. Council has directed Perron to research the matter further and also contact the EOHU for an opinion.

Hawkesbury council is trying to decide whether or not the town should continue to add fluoride to its drinking water. “We want to have further research done,” said Mayor Paula Assaly during a phone interview April 27. Six years ago, when René Berthiaume was mayor, there was a suggestion made to town council to consider adopting a bylaw for a future halt to fluoridation of the municipal water supply. The proposal called for a halt to fluoridation once the existing supply of chemical fluoride at the municipal water works was exhausted. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit opposed the suggestion on the grounds that fluorida- tion of the water supply was necessary as a dental health measure for the community. There was no further discussion of the issue. Now, Martin Perron, environmental ser- vices superintendent for the town, presented council, during its April 21 committee of the whole session, with a new discussion paper on the issue. “This is a controversial subject,” Perron stated in his brief, “but it is something we need to think about because we have a major project on the upgrading of chemicals in 2020 at the drinking water filtration plant.” RETURN OF THE EMERGENCY SCAM A favourite fraud routine is making a comeback. Police warn that the “Emergency Scam,” a favourite fraud routine for con artists, is back as more people are housebound thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. A homeowner in Leeds County received a suspicious call and OPP warn that other residents in other Eastern Ontario counties may also get similar calls. The “emergency scam” involves an alle- ged relative or friend of the victim calling up to ask for help because they are under arrest or in the hospital or stranded somewhere without any money or credit cards or access to their bank accounts. The aim is to get the target of the scam to wire money to help deal with the problem. The new variation on the scam now involves someone claiming to be a lawyer phoning the target of the fraud, telling the person that their son or daughter or some other relative or a friend was in an accident and is now in jail and needs bail money. Then another person comes on the line, claiming to be the person in trouble and begging for help. The victim in Leeds County targeted by the two fraudsters lost $5000. Con artists are now counting on people’s concern that their family or friends may need help getting home during the pandemic and not asking for more information to make sure the call is real. Anyone getting a suspicious call should ask personal questions to help determine if the alleged person in trouble is an actual relative or friend. - Gregg Chamberlain

Hawkesbury council is trying to decide whether or not the town should continue adding fluoride to its drinking water as a community dental health measure. Municipal staff have been asked to research the issue for a future report to council. —stock photo

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