Herald JournalHerald Journal, Aug. 15, 2005

Howard Lake bank opens branch in Watertown

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

With a goal of becoming Watertown’s hometown bank, Security State Bank of Watertown has opened for business with several key people at the reigns.

“We want the Watertown branch to be the local bank in Watertown,” said Security State Bank owner John Forstrom. “We hired strong people who know the market and understand banking.”

Its parent company is Security State Bank of Howard Lake. Leading the way at Security State Bank of Watertown is Senior Vice President Ken Grotbo, and Branch Manager and Vice President Scott Cassidy.

Forstrom said the company decided to create a branch office in Watertown rather than charter a new bank due to the fact that it was more cost effective, and that if a new bank were created, a new board of directors would have to be named and new computer systems would have to be installed.

He also said having two people on board made him feel comfortable that the time was right to proceed forward with this.

Grotbo, a Prior Lake native, agreed that it is a good time to begin a venture like this in Watertown, and hopes to provide a competitive bank, as well as be involved in many different aspects of the community. He has been active in church organizations, is the current president of the little league organization in Watertown, and the past president of the Watertown Lions.

He graduated from college at the University of Minnesota, Mankato with a bachelor of science in business administration. Grotbo has had experience in all aspects of banking, including telling, managing, and doing lending.

Grotbo and his wife Tammy live in Watertown and have three children – Jacob, 10, Adam, 7, and Lydia, 2.

Cassidy, a Pipestone native, is also very active in civic responsibilities, and looking forward to his role at the newly created bank branch.

The bank, which opened for operation July 5, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and can be reached at (952) 955-2992. It provides Internet banking, telephone banking, and all other amenities of a full-service bank, and is temporarily located in the Riverbend Plaza building next to the Watertown Pharmacy until its new facility is complete next May.

Its new facility will be located near its current facility on Lewis Avenue, and will feature a skyway system between the existing medical facility and the new building.

Eventually, the bank will have four full-time employees, a two-lane drive-through window, and a 24-hour ATM machine.

“We think there is a real opportunity in Watertown,” Forstrom said. “We feel we have the right people in place to realize that opportunity.”

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