Growing Pains

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It has the power to handle 250,000 gallons of wastewater every day, but leaders in Poplar Grove say this new treatment plant will also fuel growth in the community.

"We've built expansion facilities into it so it can be expanded if the community grows, and we know it's going to happen because we've got them banging on the door," says village president Roger Day.

Poplar Grove is flush with housing development proposals that will now become a reality because of the new sewer plant.

"It seems like a major part of our time the last few years has been talking about sewer systems or infrastructure. It's not the most glamorous thing to talk about," says Day.

Not just sewers, but water wells, roads, schools. The village's population has more than tripled since 1990 and there are certainly growing pains.

"One of the reasons we moved here is for the quiet." says Stanley Bates, who's lived in the community for 10 years.

Longtime residents say they enjoy the quiet small town feel of Poplar Grove, but admit it's hard to stop change.

"Progress is going to come no matter what, but it is a concern," says Bates.

"We're kind of getting squashed on both sides. We think we've got a handle on the growth. We hope at least anyhow," adds village president Day.

The new $3.3 million sewer plant was funded through a developer fee and a fee increase for all residents. The state of the art plant brings the village in compliance with EPA standards.

Recently Poplar Grove also build two new water wells and just Monday secured a permit to replace the village's other aging sewer plant south of town.