Heuvelton campaigns to keep bank open

Heuvelton campaigns to keep bank open

HEUVELTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Community Bank branches in Heuvelton and Hermon will close. In Heuvelton, village residents are mounting a campaign to keep their branch open.

The Heuvelton branch at 78 State Street closes November 13, less than three months from now. It’s a big blow to a community on the mend.

“We are growing. Our downtown is bouncing back. And to lose your financial institution really makes it difficult,” said Barbara Lashua, the village’s mayor.

Mayor Lashua has written asking the bank to reconsider. She is urging residents to do the same. Some are doing more than that. Jenessa Fenton has started a petition.

“The response has been overwhelming actually. It’s been really impressive,” Jenessa said earlier this week. “The petition had been up for 36 hours and we had over 400 signatures.”

Community Bank will also close its Hermon branch effective November 13. That’s also the only bank in town.

The bank says customers can use Community branches in Canton, Ogdensburg and Gouverneur.

The bank issued a statement which read in part: “With 11 remaining locations in St. Lawrence County, we remain highly committed to our communities, and see these changes as the best way to efficiently provide services to our customers.”

Community said it’s not closing any branches in Lewis or Jefferson County.

Community’s roots run deep in St. Lawrence County. It now has 240 branches in four states, but it started in Canton more than 150 years ago as St. Lawrence County National Bank. And it still has major operations centers in Canton.

Mayor Lashua said generations of Heuvelton residents have banked at 78 State Street – many since they were children.

“They were taken by the hand up those steps at Community Bank and opened their first bank account, opened their checking account before they headed away to college. It’s a shame to lose that,” she said.

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