Granger's only bank to close

US Bank closing in September

The U.S. Bank at Granger will be closing on Sept. 14 because not enough people need its services.

Pat Escobar
The U.S. Bank at Granger will be closing on Sept. 14 because not enough people need its services.

— GRANGER — A community which has suffered its share of economic struggles, is now without a bank.

US Bank will close its Granger branch at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14. The ATM will stay in place, however.

“The decision to close a branch is one we don’t take lightly, and we understand it could be an inconvenience to you,” Regional President Craig Tullis said in a letter to customers.

Chamber of Commerce President Gilbert Alaniz, director of programs at the KDNA radio station, met with Craig Tullis shortly after the announcement to see if there was a way to reverse the decision.

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” he said.

Alaniz added that Tullis said the decision was all about economics. Not enough people were using their services, he said.

Alaniz said the chamber and KDNA have accounts with the bank. He may have to find a new bank for both because of convenience.

Another account that may need to be changed is the Granger School District, retiring Superintendent Margarita Lopez said at a chamber board meting. She told board members the district makes daily deposits.

Tullis said no account will be closed unless the account holder requests that. He said customers can perform many banking transactions online or through the U.S. Bank mobile banking app.

Tullis also reminded customers there are thousands of branches across the country, including a full-service branch in Sunnyside.

A member of the bank’s media relations department said the main reason for closing was a dwindling demand for banking services in Granger. She said Granger employees will be transferred to other branches.

Alaniz said he also spoke with an official with the Lower Valley Credit Union about the possibility of setting up a branch in Granger, Lower Valley has an outreach office in the KDNA building.

“They said they would toss the idea around,” Alaniz said.

Granger’s U.S. Bank was at the center of a crime spree allegedly authored by Moises Marquez of Prosser last year. Marquez is accused of pulling off a half-dozen robberies from Yakima to Tri-Cities, hitting Granger first and last.

The return to Granger was fateful. Authorities identified Marquez after that robbery as the suspect who was later connected to several robberies.

Law enforcement officers up and down the valley were on the lookout for Marquez that day. When a Grandview officer spotted him, he tried to escape with a high-speed dash on lower valley roads.

His race for freedom ended when he encountered a mutiple vehicle roadblock on state Highway 241 on the north side of Exit 69 from Interstate 82 to Sunnyside.

A Washington State Patrolman, with a car equipped for the job, rammed Marquez’s car off the road. He was captured and is awaiting trial in Tri-Cities.


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