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Prison survey expands

A broader base of residents could be ringing up input on a proposed correctional facility.

Director Rick Fairbairn is considering a phone survey for the rural Lumby electoral area in conjunction with a similar initiative in the Village of Lumby.

“I’ve been getting calls both for and against on a facility,” said Fairbairn.

“Rural residents don’t understand why they wouldn’t have a say in a facility.”

If a 360-cell prison were to proceed, it would be located on land located within village boundaries.

However, the electoral area is right next door.

“We surround the village,” said Fairbairn of his jurisdiction.

“What happens in Lumby impacts us and what happens in our area impacts the village.”

Fairbairn doesn’t believe his residents are trying to influence what development occurs in a neighbouring jurisdiction.

“If we do a poll, we will present the results to the village for its perusal,” he said.

“We are trying to help them with their decision.”

Lumby council is expected to make a decision on a phone survey for village residents Feb. 7.

The survey itself would be held fairly soon because the provincial government has set an April deadline to hear from communities interested in a prison. Rural Lumby’s survey would occur at the same time.

Kevin Acton, village mayor, supports Fairbairn holding a phone survey for his residents.

“His area wants an opinion and wants to be heard,” said Acton.

However, Acton warns that any input from the electoral area will not dictate what his council does.

“We will take it into consideration but a final decision is based on the village taxpayers,” he said.

“They are the ones who will be impacted by it (prison) directly tax-wise.”

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