HNB applies for Middleport branch

By Sarah Hawley -

The vacant former Peoples Bank building in Middleport could soon become a new location for Home National Bank.

RACINE — What once was, may soon be again.

Five years after the closing of Peoples Bank in Middleport, comes the application from Home National Bank to open a third branch in the former bank building.

Home National Bank filed an application on March 28 for permission to establish a full-service branch at the former bank location on North Second Avenue in Middleport. The bank portion of the building has remained empty since the closure at the end of March 2012, although the Meigs County Veterans Service Office now occupies the bank portion of the building.

A public notice printed in the Friday edition of The Daily Sentinel states that there is a 30 day public comment period regarding the application. Following that comment period, permission could be granted to Home National Bank for the new location.

Home National Bank President Roma Sayre and Executive Vice President John Hoback sat down with the Sentinel on Friday to discuss the application and potential plans should the application be approved.

Sayre said that they are excited about the possibility of opening in Middleport. Work has been taking place behind the scenes for a while leading up to the filing of the application.

Sayre said that the bank had been talking for several years about the possible expansion and after research was conducted they found that the most populated village in Meigs County — Middleport — did not have a full service bank and that Home National Bank could work to fill that void.

“I think it is fantastic,” said Middleport Mayor Sandy Iannarelli of the potential for the bank coming to the village. “We will do whatever we can to make them feel at home here.”

The village officials have been very welcoming, Sayre noted, adding that they are looking forward to working with them.

“We hope to have a long and happy relationship,” said Iannarelli.

Sayre said that the bank is taking steps toward the purchase of the building where the branch would be located.

Hoback stated that there would be some renovation and modernization work to be completed on the existing building, as well as reinstalling a drive-thru.

Should everything be approved the bank would be projected to open in the fall, said Sayre.

The bank would be a full-service location, allowing customers to conduct business as they would at the Racine location, from personal banking to loans and other services.

Initially the bank would employ three people which would be newly created jobs, with the potential to grow should additional personnel be needed at the location. Hoback stated that the bank would like to employ people who are local to the area, allowing for people to know the bank employees.

Should the application be approved, this would be the third location for Home National Bank, which has the main branch in Racine as well as a branch in Syracuse.

The bank would be joining multiple other new businesses which have opened their doors in Middleport in recent months, including Main Street Furniture and Flooring, Tuckermans on Lincoln and the Yellow Umbrella.

As a community oriented bank, Hoback and Sayre both noted that they want to be part of what is taking place in Middleport in recent months with the opening of the businesses in the community.

The vacant former Peoples Bank building in Middleport could soon become a new location for Home National Bank. vacant former Peoples Bank building in Middleport could soon become a new location for Home National Bank.

By Sarah Hawley