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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The regional district has agreed to put money towards the Adeline Kelly building, but not in the way the North Peace Fall Fair Society wanted.

At a Peace River Regional District (PRRD) board meeting on Thursday, directors voted in favour of putting $25,000 towards the Adeline Kelly building.

The funds will be used to bring the building, located at the North Peace Fall fairgrounds, up to F-2, medium-hazard industrial, standards.

F-2 standards would mean the building could be used as a storage facility but not an assembly hall like the North Peace Fall Fair Society wanted.

Going forward, the PRRD board must now decide what to do with the building once these upgrades are made.

Three options were presented in the meeting.

Option one is to complete the upgrades to F-2 standards and consider proceeding with a feasibility study on the future of the building.

Option two is to upgrade the building to A-2 (public assembly) standards, but it does not include kitchen upgrades.

Option three will have the building upgraded to F-2 standards only and not pursue an A-2 upgrade at this time.

Bruce Christensen, the president of the North Peace Fall Fair Society, says the board now must investigate these options.

The board will decide if each option is workable and in the community’s best interest.

“We feel it is, as the members of the society, but staff has other things that they have to look into,” Christensen explained.

This has been an ongoing conversation between the society and the PRRD, and Christensen hopes the PRRD will communicate with the society to come up with a solution.

“Don’t just tell us. Ask us, ‘how can we do these things together?'” He said.

The future of the fair has been in talks for a few months, including concerns about not having enough volunteers.

He says the society doesn’t want to lose the fair because the fair has a lot of support and people consistently show up.

A big part of the fair’s future is the Adeline Kelly building, according to Christensen.

“When it was built, it was built to be a multi-use facility. That information was shared and supported by the regional district at the time,” Christensen said.

Initially, the Fall Fair Society was told it was not required to meet building codes.

Now that the society wants to make renovations and additions, they have been told the building is not up to code to be used as an assembly hall.

The problem comes down to not having a bathroom within 42 metres, and Christensen has an idea to solve this too.

“Can we put a couple of washrooms in? Which was in our plan with the new kitchen,” he said.

Christensen wants to get this ratified as soon as they can “so we can get on with what we think we are best at doing, and that’s putting on the fall fair.”

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.