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Banking change approved

WINTON – In spite of the Hertford County Manager’s suggestion to continue the county’s current banking arrangements, change is on its way.

Change came during Monday’s meeting of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners where Commissioner Johnnie R. Farmer offered a motion to end the county’s financial arrangement with RBC Centura and switch to Southern Bank. Farmer’s motion was approved by a majority vote.

County Manager Loria D. Williams originally presented a request for awarding of banking proposals from RBC Centura and Southern Bank during the November 7 meeting of the Commissioners. At that time, Williams advised the Board that both banks had submitted bids to serve the County and both offered the same 3.26 percent interest rate.

She advised the Board there are very few differences between services offered by Southern Bank and RBC Centura.

Assistant County Manager Patricia Weaver also pointed out that RBC has served Hertford County for many years.

Williams explained to the Commissioners, then headed by Chairman DuPont Davis, that a change in banking would create “somewhat of an inconvenience” and she recommended that RBC Centura continue its services. She told the board that they, of course, would make the final decision.

At the November meeting, Commissioner John E. Pierce presented a motion to accept Williams’ recommendation, as well as that of County Finance Director Robbin Stephenson, and remain with RBC.

Pierce’s motion died for lack of a second and the matter was tabled until the December meeting of the Commissioners.

When Farmer presented his motion on Dec. 5, he suggested that switching to Southern Bank would be a good move.

“Change is good,” said Farmer. “Sometimes you do things the same old way and sometimes change is a wakeup call.”

Williams then assured the Board that since they had all agreed upon the decision to move the county’s banking to Southern, the transition would be made as soon as possible. The change must be completed by Jan. 1, 2006, she added.

Southern Bank’s Senior Vice President Jerry C. Alexander said in their proposal the bank has a 100-year history of service with three offices in Hertford County where they provide over $51 million in loans to local consumers, farmers and businesses.

RBC Centura’s bid letter thanked the county for their years of doing business and also offered a reminder that they worked through Public Sector Specialists who solely work with local governments in North Carolina.