The bank went before the development review board on Monday evening to seek approval for the temporary space. “The meeting went well,” says Daniel Yates, president and CEO of Brattleboro Savings and Loan. “While the DRB didn’t take formal action on our request, I anticipate the approval to be forthcoming. Technically they have up to 45 days to issue their decision, but I’m told I can expect it shortly.”
In the meantime, Brattleboro Savings and Loan has started installing high-speed data lines, alarms, and surveillance cameras in the temporary space. They’ve also begun bringing furniture in.
“As soon as that is all complete and the approval is received, we’ll be ready to open the doors,” says Yates. “I anticipate we will be in that space for between six and eight months, depending on how long it takes to build the new branch.”
The temporary space will offer all of the same services that the permanent branch will, save for a drive-up window.
“We will have a full-time staff of three retail bankers (in the temporary space),” says Yates. “We will also provide residential mortgage lending, commercial lending, and wealth management services from the site, with those services provided by staff from our mortgage office in West Dover or our commercial lending and wealth management staff in Brattleboro.”
Yates says the move into Wilmington is part of an overall effort by Brattleboro Savings and Loan to establish itself as “the best community bank in Windham County.” As part of the same push, Brattleboro Savings and Loan sold its Springfield office in 2015, to focus its efforts on Windham County. Now, the bank hopes to become the best local banking option for Wilmington residents.
“With the sale of Merchants Bank to a large out-of-state bank in New York, the Deerfield Valley no longer has a local bank to which it can turn for financial services,” says Yates, referring to the recent sale of Merchants Bank to New York-based Community Bank. We want to be that choice and that bank.”
“We are the only bank remaining that is headquartered in southeastern Vermont and, as a mutually owned bank, we have no stockholders and can’t be sold,” says Yates. “This allows us to make our decisions based on what is best for the communities we serve, our customers in those communities, and our employees (our family). We all live in the area and all our decisions are made here, in Windham County, not in some other state.”
Yates says Brattleboro Savings and Loan hopes to have the temporary space on North Main Street operational by early January 2018 and the permanent space on East Main Street built and operational by summer 2018. Their plan is to raze the building that formerly housed Beaudette’s dental practice and construct a new facility, with a drive-up window, in its place. Yates says the new facility, which was designed by LineSync Architecture, will feature panoramic windows to the rear of the building to put the hillside behind it on display. “Images of the new facility will be posted in our temporary facility so the community can see what it will look like,” says Yates.
Brattleboro Savings and Loan currently operates two branches in Brattleboro and has a lending office in West Dover. According to Yates, the bank has also been approved for courier banking services to businesses in Dover and is pursuing finding a Dover location for a drive-up ATM.