POPLAR GROVE -- If 7th grader Justin Wolowicki and his buddies want to ride on the Poplar Grove BMX track, some manual labor is first required.
"What we did toward the beginning of the summer, we'd come out here from 12:00 to 3:00," Wolowicki said. "It was extremely hot out. So then halfway through the summer, we would do 3:00 to 7:00."
What Justin and his friends do is clear the track as much as possible to make it able to ride.
"They'll rough it out, and if they don't like a part that's rough, 'Here's a rake, here's a shovel, go smooth it out,'" said Stateline BMX Club president Earl Eggert.
That's all the kids wanting to ride on the track can do right now. Originally built in 2011, the dirt track has never been 100 percent completed, but has been safer in the past couple years.
Eggert said progress was being made on the track to complete it this year, before the heavy rain that hit the Rock River Valley last month came in and wiped out most of what had been accomplished. Now, Eggert is turning to the Village of Poplar Grove, which owns the track, for help.
"The village has a skid steer. Obviously it's not in their budget for us to use their skid steer," Eggert said. "But we do fundraisers, and it's in our budget to use their skid steer. If we need to pay the village to use it, that's what we'd like to do."
Eggert said the Club would only need access to the skid steer for 2-3 hours per week. He pleaded his case before the Village board on Monday night, and the board agreed that it was something that will be considered.
"Obviously they're willing to reimburse us for the time," said Village president John Neitzel. "It would be a village employee manning that machine because of the liability issues."
Neitzel said the Village board would bring the issue to the attention of the village's public works, and that he hopes to have a resolution within a week.
"It may mean that they'll have to provide reimbursement for overtime," Neitzel said. "But it sounds, based on what [Eggert] said [Monday], that that would be something they'd be willing to consider."
"Once we get [the track] to that completion point, it will be a lot easier for us to maintain," Eggert said. "We haven't gotten to that completion point yet because we've either got droughted out like last year, or this year we got rained out. We're still trying to say, 'we're done, now let's get it maintained.'"
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