Banking on trust

Banking customers on North Hill won’t have to drive across town to access their accounts when First Western Bank & Trust opens in less than a year.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the future bank across from the new Marketplace Foods on North Hill Friday morning.

“We really noticed a lack of financial services’ availability in the north side of town after the 2011 flood and we just felt this was a good location and that we have a good customer base on this side of town,” said Richard Campbell, president and CEO of the bank, in a shivery interview prior to the event.

Overcast skies and strong winds combined with the unseasonably cold 39 degrees to make attendees of the ceremony laugh and run to their cars for warmth immediately following the ceremony.

“My wife kind of laughed at me when I put this coat in the car,” said Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman, who has worked at the bank for more than 40 years and is now senior vice president. “Boy I’m happy I’ve got it on today.”

The location will be the third one in Minot, which is the 50-year-old bank’s home base. There is another location in Glenburn and one in Eden Prairie, Minn., bringing the total to five.

“It’s a nice tie-in with Marketplace Foods and the other facilities up here, too,” Campbell added.

The bank will employee roughly 25 people in the 8,000-square-foot building composed of ground-level floor and basement. The bank’s insurance department will be transferred to the location, bringing 15 people along with it.

Bank chairman J.H. “Jack” Hoeven also spoke at the event.