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Photo courtesy Toni Korpi, April 7, 2024

City awaiting direction on band shell

By Randy Thoms Apr 18, 2024 | 6:21 PM

The city of International Falls is still awaiting word from its insurance adjustor regarding the band shell.

The over 80-year-old facility was destroyed by fire last week.

City Administrator Betty Bergstrom says the facility is well-covered

“As soon as he speaks with his higher-ups and determines what we can do moving forward, the status of it, after all the pictures and in his investigation, they will contact us and tell us what next steps are,” says Bergstrom.

Both the International Fall Police and Fire Department have conducted investigations into the cause.

Initial reports say it was incendiary in nature.

Bergstrom says those reports are being passed on to the insurance adjuster.

There are plans to rebuild.

Mayor Harley Droba says it may not be exactly as the facility looked.

“The insurance company said if we build it, it needs to be a band shell with a stage, two bathrooms, and a storage unit. So it may not be exactly what we have right now, but it’ll be something that’ll be great for our community for the next 80 years,” says Droba.

He says a family member of Pete Peterson, for whom the band shell was named, reached out about rededicating a new facility.

Council has not made any decisions, but the plaque on the band shell was saved and safely stored by public works.

Public Works Manager Ted Brokaw says city crews are ready to deal with the burned-out shell when required.

“Once we do find out from the insurance company what direction, we need to file a permit with the MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency). We need to solicit quotes. There’s still going to be a bit of a process,” says Brokaw.

There is no timetable for when a new band shell will be in place.

The city is preparing to have a temporary stage in place for events this summer.