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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Letter: Kenneth Hicks
Uranium mining would boost area
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I want to add my voice to the tide of citizens who are willing to publicly support uranium mining in Virginia. I live and work in Pittsylvania County, where the uranium mine is to be located, and I have been, just like virtually every other employee and business in the area has been, negatively affected by the loss of textile factories, furniture factories and tobacco farming in south-central Virginia.
And now we are suffering even more from the current economic collapse that began in 2008 and continues today, and we have been left behind by the rest of the state as it moves on and returns to low unemployment and a growing economy while we remain stagnant with high numbers of unemployed workers. When we finally get a chance to turn things around, other areas of the state want to hold us down and tell us we can't utilize the treasure of natural resources that lie in our soil here for the economic benefit of this region, as well as the energy security of our state and nation.
The millions of dollars in an economic boost to our area would be a tremendous stimulus to workers and businesses alike. New businesses would open up, current businesses would expand, and local governments would increase their tax coffers while actually being able to hold the line on tax rates.
A good portion of my friends are both volunteer and paid public safety officers. Rescue squads and fire departments would be able to get better equipment and training and increase their services to the public. Instead of laying off more deputies and policemen, we could hire more officers to protect the public. Instead of firing teachers' aides and cutting school budgets, we could hire more teachers and purchase more teaching supplies and equipment. We could improve recreational facilities for our youth instead of charging a fee for after-school gym or field use.
I've looked into it and can tell you that uranium is being safely mined all over the world - and it certainly can be mined safely right here in Virginia. The mining company is locally owned and managed, and those folks are not about to endanger their own loved ones and grandchildren. That's all I need to know on the subject of safety.
Pittsylvania County needs this mine, Virginia needs this mine, and it's time to get on with this thing.