Beatty officials in tizzy over lone bank closing

A lot of people are going to be hearing from the Beatty Town Advisory Board about the closing of the only bank in Beatty.

The board decided to send letters to county, state and federal representatives, the governor, Washington Federal Bank and Bank of America, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

One letter summarizes the history of the sale of the Branch to Washington Federal by Bank of America and says, “Beatty was told that this would be a change for the better and that Washington Federal was proud to be ‘Invested Here.’ There was no indication in this material that in just a little over three months time, the customers that had just been welcomed to Washington Federal would be told that their local branch was closing.”

The letter says that the closure “fails Washington Federal’s Customers who do not have the means or a way to drive to Las Vegas, their business customers, utilities, and civic organizations who can no longer conduct transactions that require the assistance of branch personnel such as cash deposits, coin requests, etc.”

Chairman Dick Gardner said that the closure would work a hardship on the local VFW “because we’re basically a cash business.”

Town Secretary Carrie Radomski said that, even with an ATM capable of taking deposits, it is not practical to feed hundreds of one-dollar bills into a machine.

It also points out that Pioche and Hawthorne branches are also being closed. “This is a disturbing example of what is to come not only for rural Nevada but rural USA.”

The letter to the Comptroller of Currency concludes with, “Again we respectfully request you decline the proposed closure of the only banking branch in Beatty, Nevada.”

Washington Federal has said that they intend to install a full-service ATM in Beatty, but board member Crystal Taylor said that ATM’s can malfunction. She said she knew of one person who was depositing her tip money via ATM when it suffered a power failure, and her incomplete deposit was not recorded.

Radomski also said that she was told by a bank representative that if the volume of transactions did not warrant keeping the ATM in Beatty it would be pulled.

Some board members said they felt that Beatty had “been duped.”

Board members did not put much faith in the efficacy of sending the letters, but chairman Dick Gardner said, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Bob Revert attended the meeting to counter statements made by Charlie Cook about the Revert family and the Town Square Park in his “wannabe newspaper.” He said he was approached about the possibility of acquiring one of the parcels of land, but that he did not own it, and the family member who owned it “did not get a cent,” but donated the land.

Board treasurer Erika Gerling told Revert that they were all aware of the truth of how the property was acquired. She said that Charlie repeatedly “slams the Revert family, and lately women.”

As for the park, she said there has been “a lot of red tape and bureaucracy” to deal with, but “we are committed to see this project through.”

Radomski said that she had received an email indicating that the Nevada Department of Transportation was denying the request to put a sign at the bridge in Beatty identifying the Amargosa River.

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