During Wednesday’s Crystal Township Board meeting, officials with Sidney State Bank announced a bank-affiliated ATM will soon be coming to the community.
According to Sidney State Bank President and CEO James Paris, an arrangement is in the works to place a new ATM in the entryway of the Blanchard’s Thriftway store prior to this year’s Fourth of July celebration.
The move comes after Chemical Bank closed branches in both Crystal Township and Sheridan last August — the only bank office locations in those communities.
Sidney State Bank, which has operated in Sidney Township since 1921, opened a new branch in Sheridan last December. Its next step is to bring an ATM to Crystal Township, with the hope that residents may begin doing business with the bank.
“Montcalm County is the primary market for our bank, we serve just Montcalm County,” Paris said. “So deposits that we receive will be used to lend to residents and small businesses in Montcalm County, and we think that’s important. We’ve been around, and we intend to be around here for awhile.”
Paris said the ATM will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be available for cash withdrawals and feature image-based deposits of checks, meaning cash funds will be immediately available for withdrawal after a deposit is made.
The new Sheridan branch of Sidney State Bank is located approximately 11 miles southwest of downtown Crystal, with the Sidney branch also located 11 miles, due west.
By comparison, the closest Chemical Bank branch in Carson City is located about eight miles southeast of Crystal.
“We do have local offices fairly close by for people to open new accounts,” Paris said. “We have other supporting services like mobile banking, which includes remote check deposit using your mobile phone.”
According to Sidney State Bank Sheridan Office Manager Denise Schneider, the bank is willing to offer additional services to accommodate members of the community who don’t have the means to travel outside of the township.
“We could set up some things here locally, and take them back to our offices, for people who have limited availability to drive,” she said. “I think it’s just a great opportunity for us to reach out into a new community.”
Paris is also proposing that Crystal Township begin a deposit arrangement with Sidney State Bank, but per board policy, the board took no action on the first reading of such a proposal and will discuss it again next month.
Crystal Township resident Kim Siburt was curious whether there was any potential for a new branch to be opened within the community.
“We’ve had a bank in this town since it was settled, and it’s really made us wonder why no other bank has come into Crystal since Chemical Bank left,” she said. “The bank up here ran well. There is money here … it would be nice to have another bank come in so we could have another one here.”
According to Paris, there is currently no arrangement to establish another new branch.
“I have to tell you, there are no plans for an office over here at this time, but we’ll have to wait and see. We’re trying to offer services the best we can right now. What happened here is what is happening to small communities all over the country. We’re trying to do what we can in an economical fashion, but once you start adding staff into the mix, the costs start escalating.”
Paris is hopeful the ATM — which will be the second in the community as Chemical Bank is installing an ATM at its former location, soon to become the new Crystal Township Library — will offer enough incentive for residents to open accounts with Sidney State Bank.
“We’re hoping if folks can open accounts with us, because our offices aren’t that far away, they could still handle most of their deposit business with the ATM,” he said. “It will accept up to 30 checks per transaction. Hopefully, folks can do most of their business that way.”
Paris said residents with accounts at the bank will not be charged for ATM transactions, while others will encounter a standard $3 fee.