In Grand Isle County, A Town Searches For A Bank

01/27/12 12:04PM By Patti Daniels

VPR/Patti Daniels
The sign is lit at the People's United branch in Alburgh, which will close at the end of March.

(Host) People in Alburgh are working to lure a bank to town, on the heels of the news that its People's United branch will close at the end of March.

The "Find A Bank" committee met last night to discuss how to attract a new bank. Terry Tatro is the committee chair, and he says the town learned of the closure by word of mouth.

(Tatro) "There was rumor around town for three or four days. So the end of the week, when I do my banking on Fridays, I went in and asked the girls, and they said ‘Yeah, it's true. March 30th, we're done.'"

(Host) The committee hopes to demonstrate there is enough customer interest to convince another bank or credit union to open a branch in town.

Committee secretary Irene Clarke is concerned that People's United won't be willing to sell the current bank building.

(Clarke) "There was a gentleman here at our last meeting who said that sometimes it's less expensive for them to tear it down and consider a loss and write it off on their taxes. Or depreciation in the building is also a write-off. So, basically they're hoping that if they don't allow another bank in the area, that they will have a captive audience that will have to go with them to a new location."

(Host) That new location would be the nearest People's United branch in Swanton, across Lake Champlain in neighboring Franklin County.

The only other bank branch in Grand Isle County is three towns away in South Hero.


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