By Fletcher Word
The Truth Editor
The Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union has now completed the financial steps that were necessary in order to take over the abandoned Fifth Third Bank branch on Monroe Street across from Fifth Third Field.
Last Tuesday, September 12, the Lucas County Commissioners during their 11 a.m. meeting and the Toledo City Council members during their 4:00 p.m. meeting both unanimously voted to grant TUFCU $75,000 in order to close the deal with Fifth Third. The government bodies’ funds of a combined $150,000, along with a matching amount from a donor, will enable the credit union to open its new branch right around the start of 2024, said CEO Suzette Cowell.
“It’s a big day for us,” said Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak commenting on passage of the county’s grant. “We have all followed this project with you guys. It’s time for you to grow. You have such a busy place on Dorr Street, you provide comprehensive services and we wanted to support you from day one. We love what you’re doing. We have big plans for the Monroe Street corridor and you are a big part of that.”
Skeldon Wozniak’s sentiments were echoed by her fellow commissioners. “Keep growing, keep doing good work; you do make a difference,” said Commissioner Lisa Sobecki.
“We were along on your first journey,” added Commissioner Pete Gerken.
Cowell expressed her gratitude after the vote, noting that the credit union’s customers urged her to “get that building.”
The newly obtained building on Monroe enables the credit union to expand its services to residents who are in the Englewood neighborhood, which borders the Junction neighborhood where the Dorr Street facility rests.
According to Cowell, many of the TUFCU clients are residents who walk to the building and many such clients will be more easily served by this second location. “They won’t have to get on a bus line,” she said later.
“They need banking services,” she told the commissioners. “When I came to you, I thanked you for hearing our plea. I’m overwhelmed today.”
Cowell may have been overwhelmed during that morning commissioners’ meeting but it was only for the first time that day. In the afternoon, City Council also passed the grant proposal unanimously and without comment.
Now the credit union will go about the tasks of lining up equipment such as ATM machines, signage and computers in preparation for an opening early next year.