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Dec 07 2010

Priscilla Judd – No support for Lumby Prison

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CBC e-mail – No Prison for Lumby

I first learned that the reason for building a prison was because Lumby’s overloaded sewage lagoon seeps into Bessette Creek. The BC Government would fix the sewage system if Lumby accepted a prison.

So, I researched alternative cost effective sewage treatment and found the New England Waste Systems (NEWS). The President, Dr. Lavigne (University of Massachusetts) has 35 years of experience in public health developing and building VSB’s (Vegetated Sand Beds) – a totally natural pollution solution. Dr.Lavigne works world wide to clean up sewage as well as pollution from oil and gas extraction.

So, I wrote to Dr.Lavigne, explained about the prison and asked him if a VSB could be installed in Lumby. Dr.Lavigne generously offered to come here and help us build one. Apparently lagoons are easily converted to VSBs. The Village could use their own employees and equipment. The cost? Sand and gravel, PVC pipe and reed plants. With Dr.Lavigne’s knowledge that’s all it takes to create a sewage system that removes 99% of pollutants from water. No electricity or chemicals! Dr.Lavigne offered to oversee construction, meet the Health System criteria and train local people in maintenance as well as develop a protection plan for groundwater. We would then have the skills to clean up dump lecheate, agriculture runoff and lake shore pollution – a Lumby Green Industry. All of that at the cost of plane fare from New England!

After that, Dr.Lavigne sent technical data and I introduced him to Lumby’s Mayor through e-mail. The Mayor did not jump at the opportunity to be the first truly green BC community in terms of treating sewage – a leader in clean green technology. The Mayor continued to pursue his prison and as far as I know, he has not responded to Dr.Lavigne’s phone calls or e-mails.

Lumby’s Mayor suggested that people have engaged in “fear mongering”. However, the Mayor held a meeting and denied rural residents the right to raise their hand in opposition to a prison even though rural residents pay Village taxes. Of course there was an outcry.

Then, 80 people came to another public meeting with strong proposals for alternative economic development. Many proposals involved our salmon run which rivals the Adams River. Lumby salmon are largely ignored because hundreds of salmon leap to their death at the Wilsey Dam. So, last week, the Middle Shuswap Wild Salmon Society became official – supported by over 700 people as well as First Nations and ENGOs. We will build the fish ladder and just as the Adams generates income and taxes so will Lumby.

Contrary to the Mayor’s complaints, people here are developing industry – right now. Good – clean – wholesome industry – industry to support future generations. There is no political mandate to meddle with “Simply the Best” place to live by turning it into a prison town.

In my opinion, support for the prison is just as elusive as the Mayor’s purported reasons for needing one.
Thank you,
Priscilla Judd

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