TONGASS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION IS BUILDING NEW METLAKATLA BRANCH
September 26, 2011
The new credit union branch will be about 2,200 square feet and will feature a drive-through, a small multipurpose meeting room, 24-hour ATM and depository, offices and teller service area in the lobby. Amanda Welsh of Welsh Whiteley Architects designed the facility.
PK Builders has been in business since 1984 and is owned by P. Kelley and Pam Roth. A prime subcontractor will be Doug Booth, owner of Eden Builders in Ketchikan. Mr. Booth is a member of the Metlakatla Indian Community. A number of local firms will be subcontractors on the project.
A few dozen skilled and unskilled jobs are expected to result from this new construction over the winter. Metlakatla Indian Community, the tribal government on the Annette Island Reserve, requires employers to work through the Tribal Employment Rights Office as applicable. Metlakatla has about 1,460 residents, and is 90% Native Alaska residency, according to 2010 Census data.
Tongass Federal Credit Union, founded in Ketchikan in 1963, began offering on-site services in Metlakatla in fall 2005, using an older, vacated bank facility, and which it still occupies. The site of the new branch is tribal property with a long-term lease to TFCU. The location on Milton Street is on a lot next to the Head Start building. The Metlakatla Branch Manager is Nicole Booth. TFCU employs two full-time and three part-time employees in the branch.
The project including construction, equipment, furniture and related costs will exceed $1 million, Ms. Fisher said. TFCU obtained a loan under the US Treasury Department’s Community Development Capital Initiatives program last year. That funding also enabled TFCU to purchase property at 2106 Tongass Avenue in Ketchikan, which is now the Loan Center, and to begin a Small Business Loan and Services program.
“We are thrilled to move toward a modern, full-service facililty for our membership in Metlakatla,” Fisher said. “The federal loan dollars enabled us to get to this point much faster than we had planned.”
TFCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative based in Ketchikan. There are branches also in Klawock and Thorne Bay on Prince of Wales Island. It is a community charter credit union, with federally insured accounts, and is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) under the Treasury Department. It is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors elected by members.
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