It’s no secret the area around Taggart’s Grill gets crowded in the summer. River rafters enjoying a cool ride to fight the heat , but fill the banks and the parking lot each year. Sometimes to the point of congestion that it causes safety concerns.
90% of the rafters get out at Taggart’s and this has posed some concern on how to handle the ever-growing crowds each year. After discussion with the county council and the cement plant, Chris Petersen said the “abandoned road” near Taggart’s, between the roadway and the fence there is a ditch. The ditch could be used to widen the roadway so parking could be added between the road and the interstate. Some of the commercial business could park there as well. If the ditch is filled and made for extra parking the council believes this could be a solution to the congestion problem during summer months.
Council member, Austin Turner said, “That road on like the Fourth of July you wouldn’t be able to get an ambulance through because of the congestion.”
The discussion of added parking brought up the idea of turning the area into a county park. It would be possible to collect fees to cover the cost of using the area. But the highest concern at this point are the safety issues.
Council Chair, At Large, Ned Mecham asked about trucking costs from the cement plant to create the extra parking, how many loads it would take to expand that area to create a parking lot. He said, “They’re going to use it no matter what, but we need to know what it costs.”
After the discussion the council decided to gather more information, whether or not it would be a fee area, if it would be a county park, or if it would just be a place where rafters could get out of the river during summer months without clogging the road. The issue will be addressed again during a later meeting.