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  • Fairbury News staff

Bank branch to close Friday

The outside of Busey Bank shown last month from Third St. in Fairbury.

Friday marks the end of an era for a Fairbury banking facility.

The local branch of Busey Bank, at 115 North Third Street, will close at the end of the week, on Nov. 19. Customers were provided a 90-day notification of the closing when letters were mailed out by the bank in August.

“After careful review and analysis, Busey made the decision to consolidate the local service center footprint to ensure a balance in our branch network and broad digital banking services,” said Martin O’Donnell, Executive Vice President and Busey’s Central Region President.

In a statement released to Fairbury News, O’Donnell said Busey is committed to maintaining a strong presence in the region. The company plans to close other branches as well.

“With more than 20 remaining service centers throughout communities in central Illinois, an extensive ATM network and robust digital banking tools, customers continue to have many convenient options,” O’Donnell added.

The Third Street bank building initially housed Fairbury Federal Savings and Loan. Longtime Fairbury Federal president Carl Borngasser recalls an open house held in the fall of 1981 for the newly-constructed building which has mostly stayed the same to this day despite a number of mergers and name changes.

“In fact, we probably had overkill for space,” admits Borngasser. “Everything was basically duplicated upstairs the same as it is on the first floor.”

A handful of offices on the west end of the bank were filled at one time and the facility had two vaults and even hosted board meetings when it was Fairbury Federal. The savings and loan later merged with Citizens Savings bank, later becoming Main Street Bank and Trust and eventually, Busey.

Borngasser feels the two levels of the building are beneficial since it could potentially hold two different businesses in the future.

Fairbury Federal formerly operated in the Keck’s building across the street to the west.

“When we got ready to go across the street, the theater had burned, there were three buildings on the corner and we started going east and bought all of the houses to the side of the lot east of the building,” noted Borngasser.

The extra space on the east side of the current building allowed parking for the city and Fairbury Federal employees. City crews did snow plowing and maintenance of the lot, according to Borngasser.

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