4th Quarter 2018

Inside This Issue:

Mazomanie Area Flooding: In Disaster We Find Community

On the morning of August 21st around 1:30 a.m. distress calls started coming in to village personnel. The rainstorm that had started so innocently the day before had picked up in intensity and continued through the night. Black Earth Creek reached a record high flood level causing homes and businesses along the creek to be evacuated. All in all, as much as 13 inches of rain had fallen in parts of western Dane County over a 24 hour period, breaking the state record. 

Over the course of the next few days the flooding had wreaked havoc on much of the area surrounding the Black Earth Creek including homes and businesses in Black Earth, Cross Plains and Mazomanie. The damage was done. And that’s when the real work began... 

In the days following the initial flooding it became clear that many of the homes affected were not in the defined floodplain. Without flood insurance the majority of homeowners were left with nothing to fall back on but their own personal savings to cover the damages sustained. In an effort to fill that void, the Mazomanie Area Flood Assistance Fund was established. 

Donations large and small started coming in immediately. Many with notes attached with sentiments like “Thinking of my hometown, Mazomanie, from California” and “Mazo Strong”. People near and far were sending both well wishes and financial support to the community. In less than one month’s time the fund had collected over $90,000 in donations and will easily exceed $100,000, the result of fundraisers scheduled for early October. An impressive feat for a town of 1,700 people. 

The messages of support, financial assistance and countless hours of selfless volunteer work are a silver lining in what would otherwise be described as a disaster. In this disaster we’re reminded of what “community” is all about. Everyday people coming together to help one another. 

Grant applications are now available online at www.thepeoplescommunitybank.com or can be picked up in paper form at the Village of Mazomanie office, 133 Crescent Street, Mazomanie or The Peoples Community Bank, 222 W. Commercial St., Mazomanie.  Deadline for submission of applications is October 31, 2018.

Flood Fund Update (as of 10/13/18): $170,000

Beckie Lucey Retirement Announcement

Beckie Lucey in our Arena office retired at the end of September after more than 28 years of service. Beckie had been a staple at that location where she began her career in 1990 as a customer service representative. Throughout the years her dedication to our customers has made her an important member of our bank family. She made it her mission to provide great customer service to each and every customer that she worked with and that started with knowing them well. She said that, “working in a small town allowed me to do that”. In retirement Beckie plans on spending more time working in her garden and tending her flowers, but she is most looking forward to spending time with her two sons, grandson and extended family.

Join us in wishing her well in retirement! She will be missed. 

Megan Hooker New Location Manager in Arena

Megan Hooker has taken over the mantle as Arena location manager following the retirement of Beckie Lucey.  Megan has been an important part of our call center team since joining us in the summer of 2017. Her can-do attitude and her willingness to go above and beyond for our customers is one of the many reasons we are so excited to have her as the new face of our Arena office. 

Megan grew up and attended high school in the Hillsboro area. Prior to joining us at the bank, she worked and managed the US Cellular store in Spring Green for over five years.  During that time we developed a wonderful working relationship as customers of her store. When she heard of an opportunity for a position on our call center staff, Megan applied and we were delighted that she accepted.

Megan and her fiancé, David Jones, make their home in Arena. They plan to get married in September of 2019. 

Please help us in welcoming Megan as the new location manager in Arena!

Delivering Convenience with Instant Issue Debit Cards

If you’ve ever lost your debit card you know all too well the frustration that comes along with replacing it. Waiting 7-12 business days to get a new card can feel like an eternity. In the mean-time you have to make sure that you’re carrying enough cash or a credit card so that you can cover any purchases that pop up during the week; buying gas, picking up a few groceries, etc… 

We’re planning to change that. At the end of the year we’re rolling out “Instant Issue” for our debit cards. If your card has been lost, stolen, or hot carded (due to fraud) you can come in to either our Mazomanie or Spring Green office and receive a new debit card in minutes. Or call ahead and we’ll have your new card waiting for you. Just another way to provide you with Simply Good Banking.

Password Security Change

Starting on April 1, 2019 you may notice a small change to your online and mobile banking experience as we implement bi-annual password changes for all online banking accounts. While our goal is to create a seamless and simple banking experience for our customers, we believe it to be critical that we take every measure necessary to ensure that your accounts and information remain secure. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Budgeting Tips for the Holiday Season

While the first day of fall doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, the holiday season is fast approaching. And with that comes holiday shopping. Things like gifts, meals for those family gatherings, and decorations all can put a strain on your wallet. Creating a holiday budget early and sticking to it can help keep you on track. Here are some budgeting tips for the busiest shopping season of the year: Make a List, Check It Twice

Creating an effective holiday budget means including everything you plan to spend. Budget for decorating, new outfits you plan to buy, food estimates, and travel costs. Be sure to include any money you plan to receive, too. Does grandma give you $50 every year like clockwork? Include that in your calculations. Will you be buying a joint gift and then receiving cash from the others going in on it? Include that, too. The best budgets encompass all of the spending and saving you do throughout the holidays, not just how much you spend on gifts. If you're not sure where to start, look up what you spent last year as a good jumping-off point.

Keep Track
The most important key to remember with your budget is to not forget about it after you create it. Keep track of all the purchases you make, especially ones made with cash, and adjust your budget if need be. It is a good idea to hold a weekly "reckoning" meeting, especially if you're not the only one making the purchases for the year. Sit down and check your real spending against your planned spending (the budget). If you've gone over in one area, these meetings give you the chance to adjust by lowering the amount set aside for another area to make up the difference. That way you'll keep your overall spending on track.

Avoid Impulse Buys
Holiday sales can be especially tempting (Black Friday and Cyber Monday for example), but the fantastic deals on these days can also lead to impulse buys. If an item isn't on your list of planned purchases, wait at least 24 hours. After you've slept on it, if you still want the unplanned item, see if you can work it into the budget without straining your other financial obligations.

Setting and sticking to a holiday budget will help you enter the New Year without any added financial stress, making the holidays that much more enjoyable!