Feb. 10, 2018 — Starting Monday, the Florence Branch of Banner Bank, 777 Highway 101, will open its doors to Central Lincoln PUD staff as the PUD begins remodels to its Florence office building, 966 Highway 101.
According to Central Lincoln Public Affairs Manager Chris Chandler, the PUD’s customer service division will be temporarily housed at Banner Bank while the PUD office undergoes a remodel. Central Lincoln’s linemen, operations group and dispatchers will remain at the office.
“The remodel of our Florence facility at the corner of Highways 101 and 126 will make our building safer in an earthquake, will result in more efficient use of the current space and will provide better service for customers,” she said.
The project should take approximately five months. It will also include warehouse improvements and the addition of two Level 2 electric vehicle-charging stations.
Chandler said the project was first bid last year, but the PUD received only one bid-for $1.67 million, which was more than it had budgeted.
“We took a second look at the project and re-bid the work,” Chandler said.
Three bids were received, ranging from $1.275 million to $1.377 million. All bids complied with published project specifications, and the low bid of $1.275 million received from 2G Construction of Eugene was approved and awarded by Central Lincoln’s Board last month.
Banner Bank’s own recent remodel provides ample space for PUD’s customer service representatives.
Chandler said. “Thanks to the graciousness of Banner Bank staff, effective Monday you’ll get to come see us there.”
During the Feb. 5 Florence City Council meeting, Councilor Ron Preisler took a moment to thank the organizations for working together.
“This is an example of how Florence operates,” Preisler said. “Central Lincoln is remodeling and needed office space, but there was none in town. This is a good thing, in some respects, since Banner Bank stepped up and offered them space in their building, completely separate from the bank. That’s Florence. If you have a problem, people will step up.”
Chandler clarified that Banner Bank is housing the PUD, so access will still be through the bank. In addition, she said that the customer service phone number will remain the same.
Banner Bank Branch Manager Dee Osborne said, “Every year, we try to have something new to improve the services we offer our clients. We hope to keep being involved in the community and keep loving Florence.”
Central Lincoln will keep new hours at the Banner Bank location. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to match Banner Bank’s hours.
The PUD’s existing payment drop box will be turned around to face 10th Street, so customers can still drop off payments. The parking lot will be blocked off to allow the remodel work to proceed safely.
“We appreciate customers’ patience and understanding during our remodeling, and are confident they will like the improvements we’ll be making,” said Director of Employee, Customer and Community Services Mark Freeman. “And we thank Banner Bank so much for their willingness to temporarily share their space with us.”