By Travis Mounts
The drive-thru lane and automated teller machine (ATM) and Farmer’s & Merchants State Bank in Argonia have been closed indefinitely because of safety concerns about a neighboring building.
Farmers & Merchants chairman and president Leon Drouhard said the concern was raised following the storm and microburst that caused damage across the city, including extensive roof damage at both Argonia School District buildings.
“Hopefully we won’t be closed for long, because it’s inconvenient for our customers. But we don’t want anyone hurt,” he said. “We apologize for any inconvenience.”
The drive-thru and ATM opened late last year. The damanged building sits just south of the bank.
Drouhard said in addition to worrying about customers, he is concerned that the north wall of neighboring building could collapse and damage the ATM and canopy.
He said it appeared the north wall of the building was already bowing out before the storm, but became much more pronounced after. He added that it appears the wall is continuing to bow out more.
“Miraculously, it did not fall when we had the storm,” Drouhard said.
He said many years ago the building housed a grocery and meat locker. After that, it was home to Horton’s Furniture and then R&S Furniture. Lately it has been used for storage.
Because the bank does not own the building, there’s little that Drouhard can do to remedy the situation.
“We are anxious to get the drive-thru and ATM back open,” he said.
The bank’s lobby is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 5 p.m. on Friday. The bank’s Schulte location on Highway K-42 is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has a 24-hour ATM. Banking can be done online at www.farmersandmerchants.com.