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Gift will kick-start drive for community center


Posted 6/21/16 (Tue)

By Cecile Wehrman
The Bank of Tioga is presenting a gift of $100,000 to the community of Tioga in the hopes it could kick-start an effort to build a new community center.
The new center could one day replace and expand on the town’s aging Farm Festival Building.
“If nobody ever takes a step forward with something like this, nothing will ever happen,” said David Grubb, market president of the bank in Tioga, on Monday.
According to a press release from the bank’s owners, the gift is tied to The Bank of Tioga setting a high performance standard -- it was ranked the No. 2 top performing bank in the state among “C” Corporation banks in 2015. 
“To celebrate, a gift of $100,000 is being presented from The Bank of Tioga to the Tioga Area Economic Development Corporation as the initial funding for the purpose of building a new community center in Tioga,” the release states.
The bank’s gift, will “recognize its loyal clients and dedicated employees and give back to the community for this project. 
Grubb said the idea of a new community center is one that has been discussed in Tioga for a long time, but one that never seems to get anywhere. Now, maybe it will, he said.
“I think it’s just to create a buzz” and get people talking about the project.
The Tioga Area Economic Development Council, in accepting the gift, agreed to steer the project and future fundraising.
“We appreciate the vision and generosity shown by The Bank of Tioga in making this donation. A new community center is much desired by our citizens, and we intend to work with the City of Tioga and other interested parties to complete the planning and construction of the facility which would likely be situated on the current Farm Festival Building location,” said Chris Norgaard, president of the Tioga Area Economic Development Corporation.
“We are hopeful that this donation will serve as a catalyst to create enthusiasm and further participation to ultimately complete this project, which would be an important visible sign of progress in our community and improve the quality of life for Tioga and surrounding residents,” said Grubb.
In 2015, The Bank of Tioga also presented a multi-year donation for building projects of $100,000 to Tioga Medical Center and $50,000 to Crosby Kids Daycare, Crosby, where the bank has a second branch.
The press release cites a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation call report on The Bank of Tioga’s No. 2 ranking in both Return on Investment and Return on Assets in the state of North Dakota among C-Corp banks.
“The Bank of Tioga’s mission is to help ignite prosperity in the lives of others which strengthens local communities and preserves the viability and resurgence of community banking,” the release states. 
Officials from the TS Banking Group and TS Contrarian Bancshares, upon acquiring The Bank of Tioga in October 2014 made a pledge to reinvest in the local community through gifts such as the one announced as seed money for a new community center.
The Bank of Tioga with $295 million in assets, was chartered in December 1951 and has operated continuously in Williams County since its inception. 
The Bank of Tioga acquired Farmers State Bank in Crosby last year.
Norgaard broke the news of the gift to Tioga City Commission members at a meeting Monday night and members present were receptive to moving forward with planning and public input on such a project.
More on the discussion will be printed in next week’s issue.

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