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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local May 24, 2016

8/12/2014 1:53:00 PM
TAPCO history featured at River Access Point
From left: Guss Espolt (Clarkdale Community & Economic Development Department and sign designer), Cindy Emmett (Clarkdale Historical Society & Museum), Tim Coons (local historian) and Linda Smith (Clarkdale Historical Society & Museum).
From left: Guss Espolt (Clarkdale Community & Economic Development Department and sign designer), Cindy Emmett (Clarkdale Historical Society & Museum), Tim Coons (local historian) and Linda Smith (Clarkdale Historical Society & Museum).

The Town of Clarkdale opened the Lower TAPCO River Access Point to the public on June 18 and has seen a steady flow of visitors every day since.

Clarkdale held several public forums in May and June to solicit input on the types of improvements people would like to see at the site. While much work is yet to be done, there have been continuous projects at the site since its opening.

One recent addition was the installation of the site's first historic interpretive sign featuring the history of the nearby TAPCO plant, an iconic steam powered electricity generating station operated by the Arizona Power Company from 1917-1958, and the namesake of the River Access Point.

Although the TAPCO plant has been fully decommissioned and is now privately owned, it remains a prominent feature for those travelling up Sycamore Canyon Road and is visible from the north end of the Lower TAPCO River Access Point.

Local resident Tim Coons documented the history of TAPCO for a comprehensive exhibit featured by the Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum in 2011.

The facts shared at the site are a result of Coons' research. Those with an interest in more details about TAPCO or other interesting Clarkdale history can visit the museum at 900 First North Street in Clarkdale.

The interpretive sign is located at the park entrance, next to the Self-Pay Station. In addition to the history of TAPCO, visitors will also find a site map, river safety information, and the rules for use of the River Access Point at this entry kiosk, which was designed and installed by local sign company 928 Signs.

All visitors entering the park are required to stop at this location to secure a Vehicle Access Pass.

There is no adopted fee for the pass, although a $5 per vehicle per day donation is suggested.

Located at 3400 Sycamore Canyon Road on the Verde River @ Clarkdale, the park is open seven days a week during daytime hours.

For more information call (928) 639-2460.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Article comment by: Worth A Visit

Iíve kayaked this stretch four times since it opened. I was pleasantly surprised to find no litter on the whole 3 miles stretch of river! And the river volunteers at Tapco were really nice! Go out and see for yourself before you judge.

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Article comment by: Wait a minute...! When this was proposed the 5$ fee was for commercial users only!

What gives? In previous articles the town sold the RAP's as only charging those who used it for commercial purposes.

Why the bait and switcharoo?

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Article comment by: Nice Job Clarkdale!

What a nice way to weave the history of the area into this new recreation site. I visited the new river access point specifically to see this sign, and I was very impressed! Not a speck of trash, friendly people, and a beautiful river environment! It definitely won't be my last visit! $5 is a bargain to help keep this area open and I'll do my part to keep it clean! And many thanks to the Clarkdale Museum people for supporting this project! Nice job all the way around Clarkdale!

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Article comment by: uncommon sense uncommon sence

I bet the smiles will be wiped from their faces
as they help clean up the beer cans,fishing
lines,busted favors floating in the water.
Oh that's right we need out of town folks to save us from ourselves.
How about jet ski rentals,quad rentals,hotdog
stands etc.
Perhaps the california tourists can councel us
on how to destroy pristine areas overnight.

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