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Trustar breaks ground for additional location

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week for the new TruStar Federal Credit Union building on Paul Bunyan Drive Northwest. Included in the ceremony were (holding shovels, from left): Jim Lukachick, Beltrami County Commissioner and project architect; Scott Kurzweg, TruStar vice president and Bemidji branch manager; Richard Lehmann, mayor of Bemidji; Dale Johnson, president and CEO of TruStar; Jerry Downs, Bemidji city councilor; Roger Hellquist, Bemidji city councilor; Stephan Halonen, co-owner of J.P...

Representatives of city and county government, the business community and project contractors joined management and staff of Trustar Federal Credit Union last week in breaking ground for the financial cooperative's new location on Paul Bunyan Drive Northwest in Bemidji.

"This is the culmination of a 10-year regional expansion plan for TruStar, and we're excited to be able to offer the credit union difference to the Bemidji community," said TruStar President and CEO Dale Johnson in welcoming the guests.

TruStar plans to retain its downtown location at 413 3rd St. N.W.

"As a regional center for technology, education, tourism, health care and retail business, Bemidji offers many opportunities for growth and business enhancement for forward-looking companies," Johnson said. "We appreciate the warm welcome which we have been given."

Cost of the new 15,000-square-foot building at 2312 TruStar Ave. N.W. is estimated at about $2 million. J.P. Structures, Inc., of Menahga has been hired as the construction manager for the project, which will begin later this month. Two additional major contractors have been named: Peterson Sheet Metal of Bemidji was the successful bidder for heating and cooling, and Naylor Electric of Bemidji was awarded the electrical portion of the project.

"I have worked in the financial services industry for 15 years, including seven years in the Bemidji area," said Scott Kurtzweg, vice president of the Bemidji locations. 

"Since coming to TruStar, I am beginning to see the unique advantage of belonging as a member versus coming in the door as a customer," Kurtzweg said. "Among the members of our staff, we have people with a great deal of experience in real estate, consumer lending and business services."

Kurtzweg joined the TruStar Federal Credit Union staff in Bemidji last December. Plans call for an additional seven full-time positions to be filled for the new location in addition to Kurtzweg and real estate loan officer Joey Kaseman, Johnson said.

The new building includes a basement, partial second story and three lanes to serve drive-through business. It is scheduled to open for business early in 2010.

TruStar joined Bemidji's downtown business community in October when members of Headwaters Federal Credit Union approved a merger with the International Falls-based credit union.

TruStar Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative with almost half a century of experience providing quality banking products to approximately 14,400 members. It has assets in excess of $134 million and serves members in Bemidji, International Falls, Big Falls, Park Rapids and Menahga and surrounding communities.