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Dayton Council divided over where to keep money

| Wednesday, March 10, 2004

DAYTON -- Borough council was split this week over the the financial merits of banking at home or nearby.

The panel voted 4-3 Monday night to move forward with a planned change in banks, despite arguments that the move will cost the borough money.

Dayton Council President Jacqueline Dinger, who voted against the change, said the borough should not be moving its accounts from the First National Bank in Rural Valley to a branch of Marion Center Bank in Dayton because interest rates at the Rural Valley bank are better.

Dinger said First National Bank was offering a 0.77 percent interest rate on the borough's checking account versus the 0.25 percent rate being offered by the bank in Dayton. The move would cost the borough more than $300 a year, she said.

But Woodie Kirkwood, the councilman who asked for the change, said the borough's secretary must use 1 1/2 hours each week driving the borough's deposits to Rural Valley, wiping out any profits from interest at that bank.

Kirkwood said the trips end up costing the borough $700 per year, versus the $450 it earns in interest at the Rural Valley bank. The net loss is about $350, he said.

"You don't look at the interest rates," Kirkwood said. "You look at the final results of what your money has done for you."

"Our borough office is only two blocks away from (the Marion Center Bank branch) versus 15 miles," to Rural Valley, he added.

Dinger said the borough still would make more money at the Rural Valley bank, and added that the interest rates should have been a factor in council's decision.

"We still would have made more money down there," she said of First National Bank.

In past years, First National Bank had offered interest rates as high as five percent, while Marion Center Bank was offering a little less than two percent at the same time, Dinger said.

"That's why we had to move down to the Rural Valley bank in the first place," she said.

Kirkwood, Ray Fiscus, Dale Schrecengost and Robert Olinger voted for the measure, while Dinger, Herbert Iman Jr. and Kevin Walls opposed the change.

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