My wife and I live in Area D. We are landed immigrants so we can’t vote. We do have the privilege of paying taxes and retain the right to form opinions.
It is our opinion that the last thing the beautiful village of Lumby needs is a prison. We lived in a prison town in California.
There apparently is a rather large stash of money that comes from the province along with the prison. Locals think this will be an economic benefit to all the people. They are wrong.
One reason the province pays is because they know from history that a prison in a small town is bad for the local economy. So the payment is to get us to accept the deal.
Prisons in small towns decrease property values. Other businesses often will not locate in a prison town.
The families of prisoners often follow them and often add a significant demand on local services like drug treatment, mental health services, medical and law enforcement.
There are well known drug problems that exist inside and around prisons, sometimes involving prison employees or drug suppliers.
Employees of prisons very often choose not to live in the small town where they work. They don’t want to meet with families of prisoners at the markets or gas station. Most prison employees would likely opt to commute from Vernon or elsewhere.
Finally, small prison towns are not appealing destinations for tourists.
Lumby sits in an area rife with farming, ranching, the lumber industry and multiple tourist attractions like our rivers, lakes, forests and mountains.
We should discourage development incompatible with our natural assets and resources.
A prison just doesn’t fit here. It would be like trying to locate a regional dump in this beautiful area, turning Lumby into the “armpit” of the Okanagan.
Don’t let this prison happen!