by EVAN MATTHEWS
Happy birthday is a lot harder to sing when you’re singing to the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, but happy birthday, indeed.
Mar. 8, 2017, marked 50 years since the incorporation of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George (RDFFG), so why limit the party to one location?
The Regional District Board will do some traveling in its anniversary year, with plans to hold Board meetings in McBride, Valemount and Mackenzie later this year.
When asked if the meetings away from Prince George had been scheduled, the RDFFG did not respond by presstime.
To celebrate its 50th, the district says it is looking back on the past 50 years and the people, programs and services that helped to build this region.
During the 1960s and 70s, some of the Robson Valley’s issues of the times included flooding in Dome Creek and advocating for the maintenance of Highway 16 east of McBride which had ‘been graded down to mud’ and become ‘practically impassable’, according to Regional District. In the late 70s, Koeneman Park opened up to the public, while in the 1980s fire protection services were established in both Valemount and McBride. The McBride and Valemount library services were also established in 1983.
Dome Creek and Crescent Spur finally received telephone service in the 90s.
The Tête Jaune Community Hall service was established in 2000, allowing for the operation and maintenance of the hall, according to the district.
A new community centre was constructed in McBride in 2008, while shortly after a new arena was built in Valemount.
These are just a few notable accomplishments of the regional district and the people associated with it.
Regional District Chairman Art Kaehn says the Regional District is proud of the role the district has played in developing the region over the past 50 years.
“So much of the success in growing our region can be attributed to the people, whether they be current or former staff, directors or those who volunteer to make our region better through service in our fire departments, community associations and committees,” says Kaehn.
“To those people we say thanks,” he added.
Initially created by the Province of B.C., regional districts were created to give better representation for rural residents and a way to provide and share in the costs of services such as hospitals, drinking water and fire protection in an efficient and equitable manner.
Currently, the RDFFG provides more than 90 local government services ranging from 9-1-1; emergency and solid waste management to fire protection and land use planning.
The City of Prince George, District of Mackenzie, Village of McBride and Village of Valemount and seven unincorporated electoral areas make up the regional district, as the organizations working together to benefit the region.
As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Regional District has developed a listing of 50 notable events, places and projects of our region. It can be viewed on the Regional District website at www.rdffg.bc.ca.