Luther’s First Bank and Trust was the only bidder on a 1.75-acre parcel of surplus land offered by the Town of Luther. The bank offered $75,000 for the land that faces Highway 66 and is just to the east of the Dollar General store, east of Luther. Bids were accepted beginning 15 days ago until Noon Tuesday.
“With this bid, we express our intent to remain in Luther and continue to support the Town, the school district, the citizens and the surrounding areas. As we have in the past, FB&T intends for our future to include a close bond and relationship with our fellow residents,” said a letter from Bank President Gary Roy.
The board accepted the bid at the December 12, 2017, meeting. The bid letter included conceptual drawings of what the new bank might look like.
The acceptance of the bid closes the first chapter in the bank’s quest to build a new facility to accommodate growth. It was an effort that began almost one year ago when Roy first approached the previous Town Board about the parcel of land and an offer to “swap” the land for the bank’s current facility. The land is part of Wildhorse Park that features green space, playground equipment and baseball and softball fields. The bank’s purchase will not affect those areas.
There were many meetings and discussions since that January proposal. A meeting in June brought some public comments, as reported in The Luther Register.
From June 30 Luther Register: Some folks at the meeting said they do not want to lose that slab of concrete where the kids play tennis and basketball. Some nearby neighbors are worried about increased traffic and just how much “park” the bank is going to take. Some thought it unwise for the Town to let go of that prime land when it might be worth a lot more money in the future for commercial opportunity that might generate sales taxes for the Town. Some are obviously still stung about the whole Wal-Mart deal when the Town sold some park land to the grocer. And Wal-Mart closed only a few months after opening back in 2015.
The Dollar General eventually moved into the empty Wal-Mart building.
Roy said the bank will build a quality, community-affirming bank on the land. The bank’s sale to Bancfirst is expected to be complete early in 2018.
As part of Roy’s bid letter, he said the bank is committed to continuing the informal conversation with the Town Board regarding FB&T’s current building (on Main Street) and a potential sale of such building to the Town.