Snow Bears groomer

A Barron Snow Bears groomer works a snowmobile trail along 11th Street west of Barron on Monday, Feb. 8. The Barron and Rice Lake clubs offered to help the Chetek Snowflyers with grooming trails after their grooming tractor was hit and heavily damaged in collision with a train last week.  All county trails are open, and good riding awaits those willing to bundle up.

The Chetek Snow Flyers Snowmobile Club’s trail groomer tractor will be repaired after it was damaged in a collision with a train on Feb. 9. No one was injured.

“The groomer tractor will be repaired by our dealer unless the insurance says otherwise when the estimate is made,” said Sue Schmidt, with the Chetek Snow Flyers Club.

Currently, trail conditions are good for riding. All trails are open but some areas may be rough due to reroutes, she noted. While more snow would be welcome, “the cold weather has helped. Snow is lighter on the south end of the county,” Schmidt said via email on Monday, Feb. 15.

The Rice Lake Snow and Dirt Club and Barron Snow Bears Snowmobile Club have offered to help groom Chetek’s trails. “We have worked together in the past and it is great to have backup when we need it,” Schmidt said.

In September 2020, the Barron County Board of Supervisors approved a $100,000 loan for the Chetek Snow Flyers club to purchase a New Holland tractor with a front loader and Zuidberg track system. The county also approved a similar loan of $115,000 for the Rice Lake Snow and Dirt Club.

According to county documents, Lulich Implement sold the Chetek Snow Flyers the tractor for $235,982, which was offset by $135,983 from the trade-in of the club’s older New Holland tractor.

Terms of the 10-year loan with the county included annual payments with interest at 1 percent over local government investment pool rates and proof that the equipment was adequately insured.

A request for the crash report from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department was not returned as of deadline on Tuesday, Feb. 16.