Farmers National Bank in Windham closing, leaving the village without a bank in its borders

Farmers National Bank in Windham. Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Farmers National Bank in Windham will be permanently closing its doors on April 26.

Farmers was the only standalone bank in the village. Now, for the 1,666 residents of Windham, and those in the surrounding township, an ATM at the Gas & Food Mini Market and another at the Circle K will be the only means for banking transactions in the area.

This latest closure follows the loss of Windham Pharmacy late last year. And the village has been without a grocery store since 2016 when Sparkle Markets shut its doors.

Director of Marketing for Farmers Julianna Begalla issued a statement on Feb. 23 stating that “there will be no interruption in service and customers will have access to their accounts at all times through this transition.” All of Farmers National Bank employees at the Windham location will be transferred to the Mantua office.

Farmers currently operates 65 locations throughout Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania, but come April 26, Windham customers will have to decide if they are willing to travel to Farmers’ locations in Mantua, Lake Milton, Warren or Howland, or if they are going to open new accounts at the nearest banks in Garrettsville, such as Huntington Bank or Middlefield Bank.

Windham Mayor Lawrence Cunningham is actively seeking a replacement for Farmers, as well as other much needed businesses in the village.

Farmers’ bank closing left village officials with little time to seek alternative routes for banking.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Cunningham said. “I wish that we had time in advance to work on this, so then we could come up with something, but we’re here now, and I guess I’m just gonna have to work with what I got.”

Windham Township trustee and current Farmers customer Brian Miller, owner of Don Miller Sand & Gravel Inc., plans to use Middlefield Bank in Garrettsville in the future, because the alternate Farmers branches are too far away. He’s also dismayed by the many businesses that have closed in the village in years past.

“There’s more than just the bank that had closed,” Miller said. “Somebody needs to explain why the old grocery store is still empty, and the beautician spots closed, and the other restaurant that shut right there in that plaza went out. That’s another issue. It hasn’t helped anybody here. It’s a sad day.”

The only pharmacy in the village closed in the latter half of last year, which makes it inconvenient for seniors in the area.

The Sparkle Market, the only grocery store in Windham, closed in 2016; since then, Garrettsville is the nearest location for residents to shop.

“We just had another senior center [built] in the middle of Windham,” Miller said. “They could have walked to those places [that closed]. Now I don’t know where they’re going to do their banking. They used to have a grocery store; where are they going to go to the grocery store, where are they going to go to their pharmacy?”

Audrey Roth, 88, has lived in Windham since 1969. Since the pharmacy closed, she now has to drive to the Rite Aid in Garrettsville to get her medications.

“I’m not happy about it,” Roth said. “It was so nice and convenient just to go up the road, but now I gotta go all the way to Garrettsville. I just think it’s sad that Windham’s getting down so far that they are losing all their stores and things. I still can do it, but somebody who can’t — if I couldn’t drive, it would be a real pickle.”

Cunningham has communicated with Middlefield Bank about the possibility of their installing a branch in Windham, but there’s still more to look into.

“I’ve been networking with a lot of different mayors, and town people, and the economic development of the counties and stuff like that,” Cunningham said. “I’m looking for a grocery store; that’s priority one. I’m looking for anything in the industrial spectrum. I’m also looking for food diners or small restaurants, or something to that effect, car washes, stuff like that. Stuff that will spice us up a little bit, make us look like we have something going on, that will entice other people to want to move here.”

Windham Village Administrator Ryan Wagner says he’s optimistic about increasing residency and bringing new businesses to the area.

“I’m really proud of the mayor,” Wagner said. “He’s met with mayors from Streetsboro, from Warren, and all around. He’s met with companies to promote growth and housing, to try to bring more people in. I see a lot of good things on the horizon. I have some hope. I think we’re going to see a big change.”

If you’re a Farmers customer and need help finding nearby branches, ATMs and additional information regarding mobile and online banking, you can visit their website at farmersbankgroup.com.

Jeremy Brown
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