Rigby sets camping in parks fee

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The Rigby City Council set a fee of $75 for RV camping and $25 for tent camping in city’s parks during special events.

At the March 2 meeting, Councilwoman Emily Thomas reported that Idaho Falls and Rexburg were charging $100 for RVs. This spurred discussion on whether $60 or even $75 was too low.

Council President Doug Burke said that he had learned from Rigby Parks and Rodeo President Steve Cook that the rodeo grounds could fit approximately 200 RVs. He proposed a $60 per night fee for RVs, which could generate $12,000 per night at the rodeo grounds. This would not include the money raised from tent campers.

Councilman Kirk Olsen said that—whatever the fee—the city must not lose money.

The council asked Rigby Police Chief Sam Tower to explain how the campground would be patrolled. He responded that he could use either reserves or could employ officers from other departments, like how the Eastern Idaho State Fair does.

Olsen said he felt that in comparison to Idaho Falls and Rexburg, a proposed $60 was too low.

Councilman Benson Taylor said that Idaho Falls and Rexburg have more amenities than Rigby.

Burke said that having people stay in Rigby would benefit local businesses, and that he believes they would spend about $150 per day each.

Councilwoman Nichole Weight said that she would be willing to meet halfway in having a $75 per night fee for RVs.

Taylor put forth a motion to set the fees at $75 for an RV and $25 for a camping spot in the city’s parks. Olsen seconded the motion and it was approved 5-0.

The Rigby City Council considered the ordinance to make a fee after receiving several inquiries from outside the area on the availability of camping in the area for the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse.

The council, from now on, will be able to declare a special event to allow camping in Rigby’s parks: Rigby South Park and the Rigby City Park.

As the fee is new, a public hearing is set for the next city council meeting, 7 p.m. March 16 at Rigby City Hall.

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