Raccoon Valley Bank breaks ground on first Polk County branch

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Joining in Wednesday’s groundbreaking of the new Grimes branch of the Raccoon Valley Bank were, from right, Raccoon Valley Bank owners and Board Members Elizabeth Garst and Dr. Sarah Garst, Retail Banking Officer Kathy Hoskinson, Board Member Jon Peters, Marketing Officer Kelsey Hughes, President and Chief Executive Officer Terry Nielsen, Mortgage Loan Officer Randi Gustason, Board Member Dan Wilhelmi, Board Member Doug McDermott, Trust Officer Eric LeSher, Chief Financial Officer Kendall Rathje, Credit Analyst and Underwriter Brian Brecht, Vice President of Compliance and Audit Manager Rick Mosher, Chief Credit Officer Tod Ellis, Board member H. T. Holcomb, Vice President and Residential Mortgage Loan Manager Karyn Johnson, Vice President and Market Manager Thomas Book, Loan Operations Manager Abby Clayton and Vice President of Commercial Lending and Dallas Center Branch Manager Chris Watkins.

GRIMES, Iowa — Ground was broken Wednesday afternoon on the fifth branch of the Raccoon Valley Bank and the first to be located outside of Dallas County.

A crowd of about 50 attended the ceremony. The bank’s owners, directors and many employees were joined by the project’s architects and builders and a number of Grimes Chamber of Commerce and Grimes Economic Development members to mark the start of construction and welcome the new commercial venture to the city.

The 10,000-square-foot, two-story bank will be built at 1051 N.E. Gateway Dr. in Grimes, on the west side of Iowa Highway 141 and north of Iowa Highway 44. Construction is expected to be completed by May 2019, and the branch will open about one month later.

The bank’s leadership declined to reveal the cost of the investment, but the new building will take a prominent place in a rapidly developing commercial corridor that will also soon include an Earl May Garden Center, Hope Lutheran Church, Hy-Vee grocery store and other developments.

“We’ll be able to serve our Des Moines-area customers better here,” said Elizabeth Garst of Coon Rapids, co-owner of the bank with her sister, Dr. Sarah Garst.

Raccoon Valley Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Terry Nielsen said the bank’s committment to Dallas County — and the bulk of its $250 million in current assets — has deep roots and a long history.

“Our money stays where it’s at,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen said plans for the new building have been in the works for 12 to 18 months. He invited Jason Rechkemmer, central region president of Ames-based Woodruff Construction LLC, and Jessica Morgan, project manager with Des Moines-based Simonson and Associates Architecture, to discuss project.

Brian Beuthe, executive director of the Grimes Chamber of Commerce, conducted the introductions and directed the proceedings at the groundbreaking. Nielsen was presented with a gift from the bank’s new neighbors in the commercial community by Dr. Holly David, chairperson of the Grimes Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

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