News

February 2016

INSTITUTION FOR SAVINGS MIDDLETON OFFICE EXCEEDS $100 MILLION IN ITS FIRST NINE MONTHS

Middleton, MA – After opening its doors just a little more than nine months ago, the Institution for Savings’ Middleton office has exceeded $100 million in deposits, announced President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Jones recently. This milestone is particularly impressive given the growing national trend for banks to close offices rather than open new ones.

“While we enthusiastically embrace and encourage alternative banking channels such as internet and mobile banking, I firmly believe that conveniently located offices and our personal style of banking continue to be most important to customers. That certainly has proven true in Middleton,” said Mr. Jones.

The Middleton Office is located at 161 South Main Street, on busy Route 114 and across from Richardson’s Ice Cream. Since opening in May of 2015, Manager Jennifer Kocur, Assistant Manager Jennifer Morgan and their staff have been very busy opening new accounts and getting involved in the community. Employees have already jumped in to volunteer for organizations and events that include Neighbors in Need, the Middleton Food Pantry, the Middleton Board of Trade, Pumpkin Fest, Chief Wills Day, Community Giving Tree.

Through its charitable foundations, the Bank has also financially supported a number of area non-profit organizations including the Masconomet Education Foundation, the Middleton Council on Aging, Middleton Parent-Teacher Organization, and the Middleton Food Pantry.

“As a mutual savings bank, our true commitment to our communities extends far beyond profits,” continued Mr. Jones. “We are thrilled with the warm welcome we have received from Middleton businesses and residents alike since we opened. Our promise to the people of Middleton is simple: to always do what we can to improve the lives of those around us. The Bank looks forward to continuing to do what we can to make this community a great place in which to live and work.”

Port Bank Donates Land for Affordable Housing

BY ANGELJEAN CHIARAMIDA, STAFF WRITER

Reprinted from The Daily News of Newburyport,
Thursday, February 4, 2016

A local bank’s teaming with Habitat for Humanity could bring at least four affordable homes to Salisbury in the coming years. The Institution for Savings donated a 1.8 acre of buildable land on County Road to Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity, according to MVHH executive director Randy Larson.

“We are extremely grateful for this gift, and eager to start establishing partnerships in the Salisbury area to begin constructions,” Larson said. “Everyone at the Institution has been a pleasure to deal with.”

According to town records, the 1.8-acre site at 20 County Road is valued at $402,000, and the Institution has paid a healthy tax bill of about $4,700 on the land for years.

“We’ve owned it for about five years,” said Institution for Savings president and CEO Michael Jones. “We’ve been waiting for the right cause to come along and this seems perfect. We’re really, really a staunch advocate for affordable housing. We know there’s a need in Salisbury. We’re doing our best to make sure Salisbury continues to be a great place to live.”

Larson said the Merrimack Valley chapter of Habitat for Humanity has already built 82 homes in the region, with 14 more under construction currently, and with this new plan for Salisbury, 10 more in the pipeline. The organization has been looking aggressively for building sites in the Salisbury area, he said, which brought this parcel to its attention. The organization approached the bank within the past year, Jones said, and papers have already been passed.

The land was once owned by the Goldman family, who owned Kartland. It is right behind the large apartment complex at 191 Beach Road, known as Tidewater Landing. Although wetlands are involved since it abuts the salt marsh, there are uplands for building, according to Salisbury planning director Lisa Pearson.

Larson believes the site is large enough to build two duplexes on it. Pearson said a new wetland’s survey needs to be done on the site, since the former one has expired and marshlands can change. After that, a filing with the town Conservation Commission for a Notice of Intent is needed in the permitting process.

There is the possibility that an abutting 1.6-acre parcel could also become part of the project, Larson said, although that prospect is still in early stages. The land has been foreclosed on by the town for nonpayment of taxes, according to Salisbury treasurer Christine Caron. It was previously owned by Steven Nichols, a New Hampshire resident who is currently facing criminal charges and incarcerated at the Middleton house of correction.

Larson said it’s too soon to make definite plans for the second site, but if the second lot comes into play it would offer additional options for strategy for the organization, and would enhance the project, making it possible to build more units. MVHH also has a group of retired Honeywell engineers potentially ready to help build the Salisbury homes.

“We have 65 skilled volunteers from Honeywell willing to spend 10 days on the site when ready,” Larson said. “We don’t know the timetable yet. We’ll begin with the permitting process. I’d say we’re hopeful to start in 2017, but it could be 2018.”

Larson said candidate families for Habitat for Humanity dwellings are carefully screened and are required to put hundreds of hours of “sweat equity” into helping build their new homes. They take classes in budgeting and best practices for home ownership, and embrace a zero percent interest mortgage on their new home as part of the program.

“They also escrow money with their monthly mortgage to cover their taxes, insurance and home maintenance,” he said. He said the organization uses a variety of methods to keep the homes in their host communities’ affordable housing inventory, and he expects one of those tools will be utilized in Salisbury.

Trusts can be one option; another is to put within the properties’ deeds a right of first refusal clause for Habitat for Humanity when the owner goes to sell the property, he said. Then MVHH could buy it and resell it with an affordable price range. But he expects all of that will be worked out with Salisbury officials in months to come.

Taking a community’s concerns into account when developing their plan is one of the hallmarks of Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity. “Habitat has a strong brand and reputation for affordable housing builds,” Larson said. “The organization is actually the sixth largest home builder in the entire country right now. When Habitat goes in to a community, we like to make sure everyone’s happy.”

August 2015

Main Street Rockport Foundation Donates $344,000

The Institution for Savings, through its Main Street Rockport Charitable Foundation, donated and pledged $344,085 in the first half of 2015 to not-for-profit organizations in the greater Beverly and Cape Ann communities.

Read More

July 2015

Institution for Savings to Open a New Full-Service Office in Boxford

The Institution for Savings will bring community banking back to Boxford by opening a new full service  office inside the Boxford Community Store in the heart of the Village, announced President and CEO Michael J. Jones today. Pending approvals by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Massachusetts Division of Banks, the new facility tentatively is scheduled to open later this fall and will be the only bank located in Boxford.

Read More

March 2015

Institution for Savings Pledges $1.5 Million to the Ipswich Family YMCA for Outdoor Aquatic Center

The Institution for Savings, through its 2 Depot Square Charitable Foundation, has pledged $1.5 million to Phase 2 of the Ipswich Family YMCA’s Capital Campaign, announced President and CEO Michael J. Jones. This gift, the largest grant in the Foundation’s 10 years of existence, will be used to construct an Outdoor Aquatic Center.

“The Family Y is an integral part of Ipswich, improving the lives of so many as it serves the health, fitness, education and caregiver needs of thousands of families and individuals each year,” said Mr. Jones in announcing the gift. “Much like the Y, the Institution for Savings is committed to having a positive impact on those in our communities.  I believe this gift will accomplish just that, providing a modern facility that is welcoming, vibrant and accessible for those of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.”

Read More

March 2015

Institution for Savings Posts Fifth Consecutive Year of Record Earnings:  Completes Successful Acquisition of Rockport National Bank, Named Top Employer by the Boston Globe, Reaches Historic Highs in Total Assets, Total Loans, Total Deposits and Net Operating Income

2014 was another momentous year for the Institution for Savings as the Bank reported its fifth consecutive year of record earnings,  successfully completed the acquisition of Rockport National Bank  and was named the Top Medium Sized Employer by The Boston Globe for the second straight year and third time in four years.  These accomplishments were announced by President and CEO Michael J. Jones at the Bank’s 195th Annual Meeting held March 9th at the Black Swan County Club in Georgetown attended by more than 300 Bank corporators and employees.

Read More