It seems looking toward the future might be the best way to preserve the past, as the City of Elkhorn Common Council voted in favor of the creation of an ad hoc Sunset Band Shell Restoration Committee at its March 20 meeting.
Recreation Director Karl Sorvick said the band shell is set to turn 100 years old in 2026, and the City of Elkhorn Recreation Department and the Recreation Advisory board are hoping to get ahead of that and completely restore the band shell back to its 1926 glory.
A staple of the community, the Elkhorn Band Shell was the Elkhorn Kiwanis Club’s first major project after it was formed back in 1922, with Frank Holton of the Frank Holton Band Company serving as the club’s first president. When first built, the club had raised a staggering $5,000 to build the band shell on Elkhorn’s downtown square, with it later being moved to Sunset Park.
Sorvick said Elkhorn Grant Writer Katie James and city staff met with WEDC back in January to discuss several Elkhorn projects, and the WEDC was interested in supporting the band shell project, even noting the project might be eligible for grant funding.
In a memo to the council, Sorvick noted that if the city was selected for the grant, it would have to set aside 50% of the project costs, either by using city funds or raising money in the community.
According to Sorvick, the best way to apply for grants is having a lot of community partners and stakeholders involved, something which an ad hoc committee could help through getting feedback from the community and raising funds to cover 50% the project cost, for example.
“This would kind of gear us to raise the 50% that would be needed if we were eligible for the grant to hopefully completely restore the band shell before 2026,” he said.
A motion to move forward with creating the ad hoc committee was approved unanimously by the council.