Voters in Alpine and Tooele face important initiatives Tuesday. In Alpine they will be asked to raise property taxes by about $50 for each $100,000 of assessed value in order to buy land within North Fort Canyon. We recommend voting yes. In Tooele, they will be asked once again whether to add fluoride to the water supply. We recommend yes there, too.
In rapidly growing communities, the need to set aside open space can be easy, but dangerous, to ignore. In Alpine's case, the higher property taxes would go toward a $5 million bond that would acquire about 150 acres of sensitive land. This is important for the city's watershed, as well as for saving areas with irreplaceable natural beauty that can be used for recreation.
Last year, residents in Draper approved a $7 million bond to buy property in Corner Canyon. Part of that land is adjacent to the Alpine land in question, making this initiative doubly important. This is the kind of initiative that may cost a bit now, but that will pay enormous dividends as the city continues to grow.
The Tooele measure was brought by a local dentist and the head of the county health department. Voters there rejected fluoridation only six years ago, but many people have moved into the area since then.
Fluoridation votes tend to spark emotional debates, and this one is no different. But reputable science is clear on the benefits of controlled fluoridation. Several other Utah areas already have approved fluoridation, as have 43 of the nation's 50 largest cities. It's time for Tooele to come aboard.