On the Move

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, October 24, 2017

RICH SQUARE – Instead of sitting empty, the former PNC Bank building has recently been transformed for another purpose: housing Rich Square’s Town Hall. A ribbon-cutting was held here Saturday morning to commemorate the move.

“We just love this building,” said Mayor Doris Risper, expressing her excitement about the transition to the crowd of local town and county officials and business owners in attendance.

Risper explained everyone in town had been upset to see the bank close, so they were extremely glad to be able to give the building a new use instead of letting it go to waste. Vacating the old town hall, she added, meant that the police department and maintenance division would have more space there.

“It’s a win-win situation,” she said.

Rich Square Town Commissioners Larry Godwin and Linwood Bryant both agreed it was a great move for the town.

“This solves some problems,” Godwin explained. “Our old building was not handicap accessible. I cannot imagine how much money it has saved the town because we don’t have to update that old building.”

The newly opened Rich Square Town Hall will use the drive-thru teller window of former bank building to allow residents to pay their municipal service bills without having to exit their vehicle.

The work to remodel the bank building took a few months, Godwin and Bryant explained. A few things needed to be done to make sure it would be able to serve its new purpose, such as removing unnecessary equipment, trimming the hedges outside, and raising up the floor a few inches behind the old teller counter.

Other than gaining more parking space, another benefit of moving to the new location will be the use of the bank’s drive-thru teller window. Residents will be able to utilize the drive-thru in order to pay their town bills without ever having to step out of their car.

“Anytime things are easier, we tend to do it faster,” said County Commissioner Geneva Faulkner, who represents the town in her district. “So that means there might be fewer late bills coming in, which can definitely benefit the town as well.”

“I am very thankful to PNC and to the tenacity of our mayor to continue to fight for the town of Rich Square,” Faulkner added. “It takes a lot to move a small town where there’s little revenue coming in. We don’t have a lot of big industry and big stores and things to give us a lot of tax base.”

Faulkner expressed her appreciation for what the mayor and town commissioners were doing to help improve Rich Square.

“I hope the citizens will be as proud of this building as I am,” she concluded.

Northampton County Chamber of Commerce Director Judy Collier agreed with everyone’s positive attitude about the new location.

“We certainly want to thank PNC for the donation,” Collier said. “I’m quite sure the citizens of Rich Square appreciate it.”

Mayor Risper said they’ve been working out of the new town hall for the past two weeks, and they look forward to settling in.

The new town hall, located at 109 North Main Street, won’t be far from the previous one, which will continue to house the police department at 112 East Jackson Street. A sign for the town hall will soon be placed in front of the former bank, signaling to anyone passing by that the building is empty no longer.