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Sheridan, Montana

In Sheridan: Banking on Growth
By Perry Backus of The Montana Standard

November 20, 2002

Ruby Valley Bank in Sheridan, Montana breaks ground for new bank.Work began this week on a new 8,000-square-foot branch office for the Ruby Valley National Bank in Sheridan. 

When it's finished, area residents will have access to a two-lane drive-up facility with an automatic teller machine, a community meeting room and a state-of-the-art data processing center. 

Plans call for the building to be completed in August. The facility is being built on the corner that once housed Halse Motors. More recently, the Forest Service building was located there. 

The bank intends to preserve and enhance the small Ken Halse Park on the corner of the lot, said Karen Town, the bank's marketing director. 

"We think it will be a nice addition to the beautification efforts taking place on Main Street,'' said Town. "We think this is going to be a really good thing for the community and hopefully for the economy." 

The Ruby Valley National Bank's main office is in Twin Bridges. It has been serving the local communities since 1917. The current building being used in Sheridan wasn't suitable for the kind of updates the bank needed to better serve its customers, said Town. 

"We are committed to serving the Ruby Valley and are excited to be able to offer our customers more convenience and more choices with their financial needs," said Kenneth Walsh, the bank's president. "In addition, it was very important to us to keep the work in our communities to help promote the local economy and businesses." 

Town said the bank decided early on to do as much of the work with local businesses as possible. 

"It was very, very important for us to keep it all local," she said. 

The general contractor is JDL Construction of Sheridan. 

Sheridan Mayor Chris Mumme said the project is a good start to the revitalization efforts being developed for Main Street. 

"This is really going to be a boost to this end of town," Mumme said. 

During a recent meeting on growth, Mumme said residents identified a need to work together on revitalizing Main Street, which could include such things as sidewalks, curbs and refurbishing buildings. 

"We need to look for ways to get people to stop here and spend some money,'' he said. "That will help in getting new businesses started, increase the tax base and over time help our schools, hospitals and our tax base." 

"That's what makes this all so exciting for the town," Mumme said about the new bank building project. 

Town said the new building should help improve the bank's operations in both Sheridan and Twin Bridges. Plans call for moving the data processing center from the Twin bank to Sheridan. 

"It's going to give us more room in Twin as well," said Town.

Copyright Perry Backus and the Montana Standard, reproduced by permission.

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