Saturday, August 17, 2013
After existing for over 20 years as a Bank of America branch, the building at 115 Oak St., right in the heart of downtown Hood River, will soon have different occupants.
Bank of America’s Hood River location was one of 51 branches spread throughout Washington, New Mexico, Idaho, and Oregon that were sold to Washington Federal, a bank headquartered in Seattle, last month. The sale is expected to be completed on Dec. 6 following regulatory approval from the federal government.
Though the logo on the front of the building may change, the people who work inside won’t have to leave, according to Bank of America spokesperson T.J. Crawford.
“Washington Federal will retain all employees at all locations,” he said.
The building at 115 Oak St. has been home to Bank of America since 1989 or 1990, according to Crawford. Before that, it was the site of a Benjamin Franklin Savings and Loan — a Portland-based bank that was sold to Bank of America after falling victim to the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and ‘90s. According to the State Historic and Preservation Office, the building was originally built in 1889 by A.S. Blowers to house his hardware store and is believed to be the first brick building constructed in the city of Hood River.
In addition to the bank itself, Washington Federal will also own the two Bank of America ATMs located in Hood River: one located directly in front of the bank and one located at Rosauers Supermarket on 12th Street. Bank of America’s The Dalles ATM and branch, located at 115 E. Fourth St., will also transfer to Washington Federal. Currently, Washington Federal already has a location in Hood River, located in the Cascade Commons shopping center on West Cascade Avenue.
According to the Portland Business Journal, the Hood River and The Dalles branches were two of the six sold to Washington Federal in the state of Oregon. Bank of America currently has 51 locations in Oregon and will continue to have branches in the Portland Metro area.
When asked why the Hood River branch in particular was sold, Crawford didn’t delve deep into specifics.
“There’s a number of factors that go into these decisions,” he explained. “Certainly transaction volume plays a big role here.”
According to an information packet distributed by the bank to customers, deposit accounts, some loans, and safe deposit boxes will transition to Washington Federal. Credit cards, mortgages, investments and merchant services accounts, and the personal and business deposit accounts of U.S. Trust and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management clients will stay with Bank of America.
For more information on the transition, Bank of America customers are advised to speak with an associate or call 1-866-251-0233.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge