Bank must erect sign, print book to open branch

Kentucky Bank will install a sign in Heritage Park and print a historical book as part of an agreement with the Kentucky State Historical Preservation Office to allow the new branch to open.

The branch is on the corner of Maple and Washington streets, where two buildings once stood, one of which used to house Tyler Banks American Legion Post 204, among other businesses.

Kentucky Bank Chief Operating Officer Jim Braden said the bank was aware of the building’s history, but did not find it listed on any historical registers and proceeded with the demolition.

“What we were unaware of was there was a request locally for the Kentucky History Commission to do a survey” about declaring it as a historical building, Braden said. “Apparently that effort was not complete, but the effort was started.”

After the situation came to light, Braden said the bank contacted the KHC and began working on a resolution.

The resulting memorandum of agreement between the FDIC and the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office, with input from the Winchester Black History and Heritage Committee and Winchester-Clark County Unity Committee, will allow the branch to open, with at least two tasks for the bank to complete.

Tuesday, the Winchester Board of Commissioners approved an order for the bank to erect an interpretive sign in Heritage Park, which is across from the former post site, about the history of the Poynterville community.

“The memorandum will allow the bank to move ahead and open the branch,” Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said Tuesday. The vote was unanimous.

The MOA also calls for the bank to publish 250 copies of an illustrated booklet about the history of African-American communities in Winchester, which will be distributed locally.

Braden said there are two other optional conditions of making a contribution of $18,500 for renovations to the community room at Smith Manor. If the Winchester Housing Authority does not agree, the bank could fund an architectural study and survey of historical properties in the African-American communities.

Though not a party to the MOA itself, the Winchester Black History and Heritage Committee consulted in the process.

“I looked forward to working together to help identify acceptable steps that would honor the heritage and legacy of the former Tyler Banks American Legion building located at 101 W. Washington St.,” committee president Joyce Morton said in an email. “My takeaway from this opportunity is that we are looking forward to seeing Kentucky Bank becoming the catalyst in building wealth in the north end of Winchester. We have several banking institutions in the surrounding area of North Main and Maple, however, it is a desire that moving forward, we will witness more opening of their doors to serve a community that has marginal credit and that has been hit hardest by the economy.”

At this point, Braden said the bank is waiting for the FDIC to give its approval of the MOA.

“We’re in contact with the FDIC on a daily basis,” Braden said. “We’re just waiting for them to finalize (the agreement). Once that’s approved, we’ve been informed by the FDIC the branch can open within two weeks.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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