An Allegany County judge cleared the way yesterday for Cumberland residents to vote on whether to lift the ban on putting fluoride in the city's water.
Circuit Judge Frederick J. Sharer dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block Tuesday's referendum. The suit was filed by the Pure Water Committee, which is opposed to putting the cavity-fighting chemical into the water. The group objected to the way the Allegany-Garrett Dental Society collected more than 3,000 voter signatures to put the issue on the municipal ballot.
This will be the fourth time in the past 40 years that Cumberland residents have been asked to vote on fluoridated water. The chemical was banned by referendum in 1962, reinstated in 1988, then banned again in 1990, when voters also ousted a pro-fluoride mayor.