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updated: 8/4/2014 6:31 PM

Elgin BMX track reopens this week

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Elgin's BMX track, which closed after its operators lost the governing body's sanction, will reopen this week under the guidance of an Indiana-based operator.

Jackie Altizer, who runs BMX tracks in Portage and Hobart, said races will resume Saturday after a Wednesday night practice. The full schedule for the rest of the season, which ends in mid- to late- October, is to be determined, she said.

"I think it's a very sad thing to have a sanctioned pulled and to lose your program, because there are people that have committed time and energy to it," Altizer said.

"Hopefully with the first practice we'll start earning some money. There is a supply of trophies there so we can get through the first race."

The city of Elgin closed the track -- in the Elgin Sports Complex southeast of Route 20 and McLean Boulevard -- on July 24 after USA BMX revoked its sanctioning agreement with track operators Jim and Jenna Barton of Belvidere.

The city will put out a request for proposals to find a permanent operator starting in 2015, Elgin Recreation and Facilities Superintendent Maria Cumpata said.

About 30 people showed up last weekend to help clean out the Elgin track, including Deanne and Tony Stahl of Gilberts, and their three children.

"We were willing to jump and do whatever needed to be done to make sure it stayed alive," said Deanne Stahl, who also created a new Facebook page for the track at

"The track looks better than it has in a long time," she said. "It's a building of excitement, the kids are just thrilled."

Cumpata said she's received complaints about the Bartons' management of the track. There also appear to be unpaid invoices, but it's unclear who's going to be looking into that, Cumpata said.

Jenna Barton denied any wrongdoing, and said she and her husband did their best to run the track and rebuild its ridership.

"I wish Jackie luck," she said.

USA BMX Senior Track Director Brad Hallin said it appears the Bartons owe under $1,000 to the organization, although the final tally might be greater.

The Bartons' sanction was pulled mostly because they weren't turning in paperwork on time, which meant racers weren't allocated points in a timely manner, he said.

Altizer has stepped in to help out troubled tracks before, Hallin said.

"She's gone in and rescued other tracks for us," he said. "She does a lot of work for us."

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