On October 22, 2018, it was formally announced that McFarland State Bank will donate its Downtown Stoughton bank building and the adjacent parking lot to the City of Stoughton to be used for public purposes and to serve Stoughton citizens for generations to come. The City Council recently voted 7-4 to accept the bank’s gift, which is valued at $1,525,000.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity and willingness of McFarland State Bank to donate this unique, well-known piece of our downtown history to the citizens of Stoughton,” said Stoughton Mayor Tim Swadley. “As grateful as we are to the bank for gifting the city this property, we are just as thankful for their willingness to keep some presence in the building to provide much needed access to banking services in the downtown area and the east side of our city. The City has requested and Bank is willing to continue serving the area by leasing the drive thru and walk-up operation currently in the building, which will be remodeled.”
E. David Locke, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of McFarland State Bank, stated: “Being an ongoing part of the downtown business landscape, even after the building is gifted, is a wonderful opportunity. We wholeheartedly agree with the city that everyone involved benefits from this and that access to banking services is especially important to downtown businesses and people located on the east side of the city. We have been part of the Stoughton business community for a long time, and it has been a privilege to grow our relationship with the community over so many decades,” said Locke.
The impetus for the bank’s donation of the building to the City was the addition of new banking technology and the centralization of services across branch locations. Both have led to greater efficiencies overall that freed up space inside the downtown building that could be used more productively.
“In this case, change is a very good thing for our community,” said Mayor Swadley. “We are evaluating a number of options for the building’s use that will benefit our city and residents.”
Locke, who has been with McFarland State Bank since 1975, is gratified to see the building used to add vitality to the downtown area because many bank employees themselves live and work in Stoughton and enjoy its rich quality of life.
“Even though it may look different than before, we are actually deepening our roots in Stoughton,” said Locke. “We are mindful of the importance of banking in the downtown community, and we also believe deeply in supporting the city’s vibrant growth into new areas, such as Kettle Park West. We are dedicated to being a part of both.”