Portland leaders stand firm on bank position

VAN BUREN POINT – If the town of Portland intends to see another financial institution move into the village of Brocton, it is making a case that it has a banking community that would utilize one.

Council leaders for the town and members of the Brocton board of trustees have been actively seeking to reach out to financial institutions since the news was broken that Community Bank would pull out of its Main Street location. With no forewarning, the communities were first told that the exit was scheduled for January, but subsequently moved to October.

Speaking from their recent meeting in Van Buren Point’s meeting hall, leaders reassured their community that they are standing firm in their position to pull out of their economic relationship with Community Bank after their decision to leave Brocton.

“I have heard from Community Bank of Westfield wishing to discuss the Brocton branch closing. We’re still taking the stance that if they’re moving out of Brocton, we’re moving our business out of their bank. I will still meet with them and hear what they have to say, but at this time, we are still meeting with banking institutions,” Town Supervisor Dan Schrantz said.

“We need a bank in the Brocton/Portland area. Anyone who may have a connection or suggestion of a financial institution should let us know and I would invite residents to sign the petition that is currently circulating, so that we can show a potentially new bank that there are customers who would sign on with them. We would like the message to Community Bank to be that by doing what you did and pulling out, you will stand to lose customers. I realize that this was a corporate decision, but maybe they don’t realize the potential from the little community of Brocton/Portland,” Schrantz added.

Petitions are available at Village Hall and the Town of Portland offices, as well as Country Fair, The Bread Box and the Ahira Hall Memorial Library in Brocton.

So far, more than 200 names have been inked indicating that residents would utilize a community-based bank on Main Street in Brocton.