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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 28, 2011, 09:32 AM

Minnesota community banding together to buy back their only bank

Rothsay, Minn. (WDAY TV) - The small town of Rothsay is looking to buy a bank, at least the building. The only bank in town closed about 10-days ago. Now the city wants another bank to come back and they're banding together to do it.

Faith Waldoch: "I was very sad, very sad.”

When the downtown bank closed two weeks ago, Faith Waldoch says it was hard to let it go.

Faith Waldoch: "We don't need empty buildings in this town, especially ones that are substantial buildings."

The bank that has sat down downtown for 90-years has changed hands a few times, but its never been empty. Now that it is, the people in town are trying to get it back.

Travis Shirley: "If we have to try and buy it outright through the city that’s what we'll try and do. But small towns, today’s economy, there’s not much money there either."

The town’s Economic Committee has pulled together enough city money to make a $35,000 dollar offer to buy the bank that's worth about $69,000.

"I'd like to see my money working in my local community."

That was denied, so the city came up with $55,000 dollars and they're waiting to hear back on that one.

Travis Shirley: "Our last offer is at about what we can afford."

Folks here say they want to bring back a community friendly bank and they have their eyes set on growth, not scaling down.

Faith Waldoch: "It says something about a community if you've got a bank there. It says you're doing something."

So the next chapter in the more than 90-year history of the bank might still need to be written.

Faith Waldoch: "We don't want to give it up; we don't want to give it up without a fight anyways."

Since it closed people have had to travel to Fergus Falls or Barnesville for their banking. The city hopes to hear back from the bank sometime this week on its offer.

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