There are some sad faces around Sturgeon, but the good news is the town of almost 1,000 has not lost a business.
The frowns, however, are worn because one of the town’s cornerstone businesses, located on the corner of Ogden and Smith Streets, the Central Bank of Boone County – Sturgeon Bank, is cutting its hours in half.
Patrons of the bank recently received letters informing them the bank would be reducing its Monday through Friday hours to 9 a.m. -1 p.m.
Though a limited-attendance public forum held at the bank the afternoon of October 8, when bank executive Karen Taylor explained to a group of concerned visitors that the bank hours were changing for two reasons.
One she said is drop in bank lobby traffic.
The other, the retirement of the Sturgeon branch’s two long-term, locally cherished tellers.
Nevertheless, Taylor told the group, “taking care of our customers is our number one priority… If you know somebody who wants to work in this branch, we would love to hear from them. We have had a lot of trouble staffing our small-town branches.”
Some of the crowd, such as Lisa Gingerich, asked the bank executives to “work with the town to find a solution… I think if you all could put together something where you’re open full time, such as Mr. Simkins said, I think it would be a little more reasonable for the town. For the businesses, for the personal bankers, we just can’t work like this. This is not working for us. We would not have put together the petitions.”
Sturgeon Mayor Steve Crosswhite was there and asked if he and the bank could work on a survey for the community to take which might help everybody arrive at a solution.
“looking toward the future you’re going to try and come up with a survey for us to take as a community with some options available and maybe a spot for us to suggest some options as well, between now and the first of November,” Crosswhite said to Taylor.
“How do we reach the community… If we provide a questionnaire, are you willing to distribute that for us.”
Crosswhite said the city would be willing to distribute a survey with its monthly utility bills.
“Why don’t we try to work with a group of you guys to come up with some options,” said PRESIDENT? “And then publicize them and let people choose… Or let people design a schedule for us to look at… We want to work with you guys.”