People speaking at a podium in Rhinelander needed to speak up over the noise of traffic Friday morning, but the people running the new Associated Bank are glad for all that activity.

The branch celebrated its grand opening at the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue in Rhinelander. Construction started in late October and the branch opened in mid-May.

Commercial Banking Vice President Brad Kowieski says they're already seeing the benefits of moving here from the old location on Stevens Street downtown.

"We want to be visible in our community," Kowieski said. "Just like we handed out checks today, we want people to know where we are. Whether you live in Rhinelander or you're one of our many tourists that come in."

Associated Bank also took time to give back during its ceremony, awarding money based on grant applications. The bank donated $5,000 to the Rhinelander Community Foundation and $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity Northwoods' ReStore for a new truck.

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