THOMASTON — The Board of Finance, meeting on Tuesday, July 9, approved the transfer of the primary checking municipal bank account from Webster Bank to Thomaston Savings Bank.
Two new business items were on the agenda for this meeting.
The first business item was to acknowledge previous actions about the mill rate taken by the Board of Finance at a meeting on May 23. The second business item was about the presentation and eventual transfer of the municipal bank account from Webster to Thomaston Savings Bank.
Chairman George Seabourne and member Mike Madow recused themselves from voting on the matter.
Small business specialist Michael Dayton presented the board with financial figures, outlining why Thomaston Savings Bank should manage the town’s primary checking municipal account as opposed to their current provider, Webster Bank.
Mr. Dayton was the sole presenter, and Thomaston Savings Bank employees also attended the meeting, including President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen L. Lewis.
Mr. Dayton brought screenshots of April bank statements from Webster and compared the costs and interest earnings against Thomaston Savings Bank through an analysis summary.
He pointed out that Webster’s interest offset for municipalities is valued at .8 versus a .55 percentage at Thomaston Savings Bank.
When shown the interest offset rates, the town accrues $2,261.21 with Webster; and would gain $2,874.60 with Thomaston Savings Bank, a difference of nearly $600 per month.
Mr. Dayton said that with the proper management of their municipal accounts, the town could collect an additional $35,000 to $50,000 for the general fund on an annual basis.
He compared the charges between both banks, noting that partnering with Thomaston Savings Bank would save more revenue for the town.
In total, Webster charges $1,661.39 while Thomaston Savings Bank collects $680 in monthly charges.
Mr. Dayton explained that while both banks are comparable with no costs for monthly position, Webster accrues more interest from the town throughout the year in “hidden fees.”
He also mentioned the bank’s community involvement and influence as a donor through the Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation for community and non-profit organizations as well as its dedication to volunteering for hundreds of community service hours each year.
“Thomaston Savings also has the highest bond rating,” Mr. Dayton said.
Following his presentation, the board posed questions, one pertaining to any changes in online banking.
Finance Director Tracey Decker told the board she recently attended an online banking presentation hosted by the bank, informing her and accounts payable personnel about the potential new process.
“It will be a process to switch things over,” she said.
She also mentioned that the process and services are comparable to what the town currently receives from Webster.
Mr. Dayton promised the board that the bank would devise an implementation plan to smoothly transition from Webster Bank to Thomaston Savings.
Ms. Decker informed the Town Times that although the town already maintains multiple accounts with the bank, the bank did not initially have the institutional resources to manage all of the bank accounts.
Following Mr. Dayton clarifying that no formal contract with Webster Bank exists, Mr. Lewis interjected to offer a few final comments before the Board of Finance voted on the matter.
“Fifteen years ago, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” he added.
He mentioned that the services provided by Thomaston Savings Bank are comparable to any national or regional bank.
With a branch centrally located across the street from Town Hall on Main Street, technical support will be readily available to the town, even to directly come and visit the bank offices.
The motion unanimously passed to transfer the municipal account from Webster to Thomaston Savings Bank.
In closing, Chairman Seabourne praised the bank for their business practices and active presence in the community.