DALLAS — Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank will come to the Back Mountain this summer regardless of the outcome of a pending Zoning Hearing Board meeting, the President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel J. Santaniello, said May 4.
The Dunmore-based financial institution filed four zoning variance applications regarding dimensional regulations for a free-standing pylon sign, one variance for a building sign and a variance for traffic-directing signs for a new branch to be constructed on an empty lot between the Dallas Shopping Center and Auto Zone, located off Route 309.
According to the meeting notice in the Monday, May 1, edition of the Times Leader, Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank is seeking:
• A variance of one-foot and three-and-1/8-inches to allow a 25’3 high pylon sign.
• A variance of 10 feet to allow a 10-foot setback instead of the required 20-foot setback from the road for the pylon sign.
• A variance of 80 square feet to allow a 140 square foot pylon sign. The Borough’s Zoning Ordinance states signs exceeding 60 square feet are prohibited.
• A variance to allow an electronic pylon sign to change messages more frequently than once every hour.
• A variance of 79 square feet to allow an 87-square-foot building sign in an area where commercial signs cannot exceed eight square feet.
• A variance is requested to allow two-directional signage, designating where to enter and exit the property to be placed.
The Zoning Hearing Board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 24 at the borough municipal building, located at 25 Main St.
“Whatever happens at the Zoning Hearing Board, we are committed to the site,” Santaniello said. “We will bring a different approach to banking.”
Santaniello said a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. June 14.
To show the bank’s neighborly spirit, Santaniello invites the Back Mountain’s nonprofit organizations to submit innovative ideas to improve the area.
These concepts will be entered into a contest, he said.
The winning organization will receive “seed funding” to foster its idea.
Opening a branch in the Back Mountain area is something Santaniello and the bank’s stockholders have been considering for a while.
“The Luzerne County market is very strong,” he said. “We like the demographics.”
A consultant was hired to review properties in the Back Mountain to find a potential location, Santaniello said.
The branch will be similar to the Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank at 225 Kennedy Blvd. in Pittston, he said.
The building will consist of an environmentally-friendly design comprised of a white roof, which will keep the office cool in the summer as well as warm in the winter, plus carpeting made from recycled tires.
The layout of the branch will feature a “Tech Bar,” which will contain an iPad, iPhone and other electronic devices the staff can use to teach customers how to use the bank’s variety of online banking features.
“We do not use tellers,” Santaniello said, noting the branch will be staffed by four or five people, who are cross-trained and able to open accounts and loans, provide customer assistance and process transactions.
Trish Curley, the retail branch manager of the Pittston Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank, showcased many of the features in her branch that will be included in the Dallas location.
In the customer engagement area, a large touch screen monitor offers a 17-question quiz to help customers zero in on their financial needs and scheduled appointments, Curley said.
A customer lounge offers free, freshly brewed coffee and cookies baked daily, she said.
“Many people don’t believe that we bake our own cookies, but we do,” she said. “There is an oven in the back. Baking and banking go together.”
Staff and clients can meet at a nearby high-top table to discuss financial needs, or for training on online applications, Curley said.
The branch’s laid-back atmosphere is designed to alleviate stress for those clients not yet ready to utilize online banking, she said.
“Our goal is to bring value back to the clients,” Santaniello said.