Banksville gets its Chase Bank back with some community effort

The Banksville community of shop owners and bank customers gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Elise ‘Raindrops’Merrow

By: Anne W. Semmes

On a Wednesday last of rampant Covid and stalled presidential election, there was triumph in Banksville. They gathered around their bank, Chase by name, for a ribbon cutting to celebrate their bank was not after all going to leave them in the lurch to move off to Bedford.

Proof positive came from the bank’s and shop owners’ landlord, Guy Sutton who reported that J. P. Morgan Chase, had indeed signed a five-year contract. “We think this decision is really a vote of confidence for Banksville,” he said, adding, he was “pleasantly surprised and delighted that Chase had elected to stay.”

“The whole community is so supportive of local businesses and while Chase is a larger chain, it feels like this branch especially has had a lasting impact on the community,” said Maria Ceci, manager of neighboring Troy Nursery. “We are so happy that the bank is staying.”

“Losing the bank would have been catastrophic,” said Rusty Parker, a 40-year Banksville neighbor and Chase bank customer. “The bank was originally a gas station when this shopping center was built. And we originally had two gas stations in Banksvillle. Unfortunately, we don’t have any at the moment – we can use a gas station, and keeping the bank is very important. And we are hoping for a food store to replace the IGA, which hasn’t happened yet. You can see they’re selling hot tubs up there, but an IGA would make this whole thing totally self sufficient.”

Rusty’s wife Katty Parker spoke of her personal attachment to the Chase branch. “They know my face – they say, ‘How are you, Mrs. Parker.’ It is so personal. I can be anywhere and call them at the bank, and they can vouch for me if I have a problem.”

“I’m not a techie,” she says. “I don’t like to do things on machines. I like that face to face. it makes a big difference to me. So that’s why I’m up every weekend cashing a check or making a deposit. It says so much about the Chase company that they would listen to us when we appealed to them to keep the branch open. It means that they feel their customers are important, and their people are not just a number. I will recommend the Chase Bank from now on to anybody who asks me.”

The force behind this triumph could be identified as Easy Kelsey who managed to care for her horses at Kelsey Farm wh

Easy Kelsey under the Chase sign salutes with others the employers inside the Chase Bank for their ongoing service. Photo by Elise’ Raindrops’ Merrow

ile bringing her Banksville community together to protest the closing of their bank. “Easy was such an integral part of making this happen and we all jumped on her bandwagon when she started,” said Christine Tegtmeier Salazar, co-owner with brother Tom of food catering Happiness Is, that was handing out mesmerizing Apple Cake muffins to attendees. “Easy would not give up and we stuck with her and kept hoping. And you never know. Never say never.”

“It’s unbelievable,” said Sonali Costa, owner of the North Street Pharmacy. “A small effort from a little community like ours was able to really make this happen. We’re just overwhelmed with joy. I’m really proud of everybody here. Easy Kelsey is a fireball. She’s awesome. She really makes things happen.” And we are hoping for a food store to replace the IGA, which hasn’t happened yet. You can see they’re selling hot tubs up there, but an IGA would make this whole thing totally self sufficient. So we love Banksville, and we have to keep Banksvklle, and we thank the owners of Banksville for allowing this to happen and we thank Chase Bank for staying.

I’ve lived near Banksville for over 40 years. It’s amazingly wonderful and unique. This a huge mixture of old and new, there’s a huge mixture of socio economic participants and shopping here. And we hope it never changes.