Farmers & Merchants Bank 'interested' in Freeport
By R.A. Monti
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013, 1:01 a.m.
Plans are in the works for Freeport to get a bank again.
The borough has been without a bank since PNC Bank moved out on Feb. 22, but that is likely to change.
According to Richard Krauland, the president and CEO of Farmers and Merchants Bank of Western Pa., his company is in the early stages of acquiring the former PNC building, on the corner of Fifth and High streets, in order to open their own branch there.
“We haven't purchased anything yet,” Krauland said. “But we're interested in it.”
Amy Vargo, a spokeswoman for PNC, said the bank wouldn't confirm the possible sale of its old branch.
“It sounds like rumor and speculation at this point, and we're not going to comment,” Vargo said.
Farmers and Merchants' Krauland said he couldn't discuss many details, but it appears that the deal may be close.
Farmers and Merchants placed a legal ad in the Wednesday edition of the Valley News Dispatch notifying the public that the corporation has filed an application with the Comptroller of Currency asking for permission to open a bank in Freeport. Any new bank must file for permission to open.
Farmers and Merchants, based in Kittanning, has eight locations throughout Armstrong County.
Council President Don Rehner says the bank will likely open in mid-May, once the ink dries on the sale.
“I'm thrilled that they appear to be coming to town,” Rehner said. “They've been a pleasure to deal with. I'm hoping all borough residents patronize the new bank.”
Rehner said PNC has been cooperative in the borough's search for a bank.
“We started reaching out to Farmers and Merchants about two weeks after PNC announced they were leaving,” Rehner said. “I do think PNC was helpful.”
Rehner said he and Freeport Renaissance Association President Mary Bowlin knew Farmers and Merchants has a history of being a small-town-friendly bank.
“We heard from other small communities about how well Farmers and Merchants works with them,” Bowlin said. “They'll be a great fit for Freeport. They're community-minded.”
Both Rehner and Bowlin spoke of how vital it is for Freeport to have a bank, especially for businesses and the elderly.
“To me it's extremely important; it maintains your small-town identity,” Rehner said. “It's there for the residents that can't travel.”
Bowlin said she couldn't be any happier now that it looks like the return of a bank is imminent.
“If it were warmer out, we'd be dancing in the streets,” she said.
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bankruptcy judge orders meeting to resolve issues around Rock Airport sale
- Springdale Council considers code of conduct that would govern social media use
- Harmar selects Conte as assistant secretary
- CMU graduate student will develop database as Harrison’s intern
- Leechburg Area may revisit Lenape decision
- New Kensington-Arnold uses state program for energy upgrades to schools
- Lower Burrell woman opens used bookstore using late father’s collection
- UPMC outpatient center does ‘it all,’ manager says
- Cool chemistry: Programs at Springdale library take inspiration from late science professor
- 4-year-old’s death from brain cancer won’t stop fight in her name