Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to Gut a Small Town

Is our goose cooked?

Somebody in Cleveland has it in for tiny Fultonville.
 Key Corp. is closing our little hometown bank. This particular bank has won national awards for customer service and is a wonderful, friendly, and comfortable place to do business. The folks who work there are competent and caring, always helpful, and darned good at their jobs.

Fultonville itself is a neat little village, composed of around 700 folks, and it has a lot of home town, small town character. We lived here for a few years when I was a kid and I have always loved it. I was delighted to move back when I married the boss some 27 years ago. It has survived massive multi-year construction projects that shuttered stores and choked traffic for months.

 It has gotten by when its industries closed their doors and moved away. It managed to continue after being split in half by the passage of the Thruway, suffered through the closing of the railroad tracks, and dozens of other metamorphoses that might have killed a weaker place.

It is a town surrounded by dozens of farms, powered partly by the machinery dealers that support them, and a central hub to a rapidly growing Amish population. For such a small place it is pretty darned vibrant.

The bank, which has metamorphosized a time or two itself, has always stood strong in the center of town, right next to the post office and a popular diner. My first bank account was held by that bank. Our kids have had accounts there since they were born...literally....We do all our business there now.

However, somebody in Cleveland decided that we can now drive to Johnstown, a city to the north of us....a nice enough city, but not home, through still more construction (it is nothing to sit in Fonda for an hour waiting for a flagman) to do business with strangers. 

People in town are horrified, angry, and hurt by this cavalier decision to tear the heart out of the center of our town. If the way our phone was ringing yesterday is any indication, this is not going to be forgotten quickly. There is talk of protest walks and plans for irate phone calls to a certain city in Ohio.

Shame on Key Corp for not taking a closer look at the importance of the bank to the surrounding community and acting accordingly.


Anonymous said...

Wish you could sent the rain to SW IN.

Cathy said...

I hate change. Most any kind. And the kind that Key Corp is visiting on your small, friendly town is reprehensible.

lisa said...

I feel for the ones who might lose their jobs!

Earl said...

Look for a small bank, to buy the property. Start a Credit Union, which can't do all banking functions but...

sad, but you know, it isn't about the customers... it seems to be about the dollars. Key Corp, has my wife's accounts.

Jan said...

I don't get the logic of banks. In our town we had new ones opening for a number of years, then they closed or consolidated, selling the buildings, then more new ones moved in and built new structures. My current bank is on its fourth owner.

Did I say logic?

threecollie said...

Anon, me too. Nice today. Hoping for enough good weather so the boss can grab a few bales of hay over the next few days

Lisa, you betcha! They are good folks!

Earl, I like the way you think and hope somebody does something there. It is a lovely old building. I have banked with key for nearly thirty years but am not liking them much right now.

Jan, they are nuts to close this bank. Just nuts. They will lose so much goodwill and with a bank from another company right across the river, who the heck is going to drive to another city to bank?

Ericka said...

start an online petition. i can't remember the site, but there's at least one that will let you do it for free. then get the word out - here, your blog, the local paper, etc. others have brought massive companies to their knees doing the same thing - maybe you can save your bank.

good luck!

Ericka said...

ack. i meant facebook, not your blog. obviously we're AT your blog. sigh...

threecollie said...

Ericka, thanks, I like your thinking. This is such a crime!