ELLOREE, S.C. — Elloree residents say the loss of its local bank is like losing a piece of local history. Claudette Pauling has been banking there for more than 60 years. This is the only bank located in the town limits.
“We’ve always had a bank since 1935. 1935," said resident Claudette Pauling.
Pauling has been banking at the South State bank for more than 60 years. Her along with other residents say the bank closing is like losing a piece of local history.
“1959 is when I opened my savings account here and my Christmas savings account, and my checking account," said Pauling.
According to Mayor Mike Fanning, the decision to close the bank was made at the corporate level. He says this comes as more people have turned to online banking.
Starting in mid to late August when the bank closes, customers will be sent to the Santee branch for their banking.
“There could be a time where there will not be a bank presence in the town. We hope that’s a very short duration. We will work with other banks that have as their mission statement to be a community bank in smaller communities," said Mayor Fanning.
For residents like Pauling, transportation could create a challenge during this transition.
“I can’t even get to the doctor which is seven miles from here. Santee is only seven miles from here," said Pauling.
Other residents say they are willing and able to accommodate this change.
“Ain’t nothing I could do, if you gotta go to Santee bank, that’s where I’ll go," said resident BJ Bookaard.
When it closes, the town has plans to relocate town hall into the building housing the police department and town council. It will be used as a meeting space for community meetings.