Aledo deposits safe at Country Bank

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

Aledo Country Bank President Todd Frye spoke to the Aledo City Council at Monday's Feb. 21, meeting to reasssure the city that the city's deposits in the bank were safe.

He said the bank's financial situation is under control. "We voluntarily signed an agreement with the FDIC and the State of Illinois Financial and Professional Regulation division of banking," said Frye. He explained that the bank is not immune to the impact of the country's current financial upheaval. He said the bank is working with its current borrowers, stressing the importance of their relationship and taking the necessary steps to maintain those relationships.

He said there was little risk associated with the city's deposits, which were collateralized at 110 percent of what was actually deposited.

He added that an independent bank located in Springfield was monitoring Country Bank's transactions on a monthly basis.

He said the city's main question should be is there a risk of loss of the city's money. His answer was there was no risk. "We appreciate the city's banking relationship," he said.

Alderman Robert Rillie asked Frye to submit a copy of the Consent order, the stipulation that preceded the consent order and the notice that preceded that order.

"We will provide that," said Frye.

City Attorney Mark Walton said he felt that Country Bank is adequately secured.

City Administrator Janice Green said about 36 percent of the city's assets are held at Country Bank, an amount that did not raise any red flags during the city's last audit. That amounts to around $1.3 million. The city also holds its funds in other Aledo banks including around $2 million at THE National Bank, which is the city's depository; around $1.3 million at Midwest Bank of Western Illinois and around $250,000 at 1st Community Bank. All the funds are in certificates of deposit, which, when they mature are usually renewed, or moved to another bank with more favorable interest earnings. The city's CDs are usually procured for a one-year time period.

The city also discussed the ongoing issue of whether or not to sell the old Henderson lot east of Aledo Central Park to the Aledo Fire Department. The ongoing issue is -- will the city sell the entire lot, or just a part of the lot. A letter of intent to sell has been on the city's back burner since  June of last year. Alderman Rillie made a motion to rescind the letter of intent to sell the property and start over with the process. That motion was approved, by a 6-1 vote, with Alderman Barry Cooper voting "no." Aldermen voting to approve rescinding the letter of intent to sell the property to the Aledo Fire Department were Rillie, Richard Maynard, Jr., Dick Hunter, Michael Baugher, Terry Bewley, Tab Balmer and Randy Mattson.

No decision was made Monday on whether to sell the property to the fire department, but there is a property committee meeting set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, where the topic will be discussed further.