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No progress on getting building for the library

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By Kayla Vaughn

Downtown Kershaw may look a lot emptier next month when Wells Fargo shuts down its branch on Hampton Street.

The Kershaw branch will close its doors Oct. 10. Josh Dunn, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo, said the company is in the process of letting its customers know about the change, but the ATM will remain attached to the vacant building.

Dunn said the company tracks customer behavior, and customers are increasingly using online and mobile banking rather than walking into a branch.

“We believe we can continue to meet our customers’ needs through other branches that are close by, as well as mobile and digital services,” Dunn said.

After the Kershaw branch is closed, the nearest branches will be in Lancaster and Camden, both about 20 miles away from Kershaw.

Some of Wells Fargo’s local customers aren’t happy about the branch closing.

“It’s inconvenient for me to have to drive 20 miles away just to go to the bank,” Doug Coates said. “I’ve been with them since before they moved to Kershaw – since they were Wachovia.”

Coates has personal accounts at Wells Fargo and does banking for both of his businesses there. He says the ATM the bank is leaving behind won’t do him any good because he doesn't use debit cards.

Kershaw Town Administrator Mitch Lucas said they’re not just losing a building in downtown Kershaw – they’re losing an entire block.

“It is the central part of the town of Kershaw,” he said. “Wells Fargo sits right in the middle of that block and has about 25 parking spots on either side of it. It’s prime Kershaw real estate. We’ve just got to make sure what goes back in there meets the needs of the citizens of Kershaw.”

A town representative, citing safety concerns, suggested last month at a library board meeting that the county move the Kershaw library branch from Fork Hill Road into the Wells Fargo building.

The library board gave town administrators and the library architects two weeks to investigate this option, but Lucas said they won’t be able to get into the building to do any research until the middle of the month.

Renovations and add-ons to the three library branches – Lancaster, Del Webb in Indian Land and Kershaw – have been in the works since 2014, when funds from a county bond referendum were committed to library improvements.

“We’re going to go forward with a proposal during our next meeting on the 25th,” said library board Chairman Deborah Cureton. “The architects are going to show us how we might go forward with the projects. We don’t want to stop the process. We want to give Kershaw the maximum opportunity to get this done if at all possible.”

During the August board meeting, Cureton said the library couldn’t use the building if it wasn’t donated to the county.

Lucas said no progress has been made yet on acquiring the bank building for the library, but that he will get the ball rolling on that as soon as possible.

 

Follow Kayla Vaughn on Twitter @kaybvaughn or contact her at (803) 416-8416.