Its new State Street branch in the planning stages isn’t the only project Bowling Green’s Service One Credit Union has in the works.

Service One announced last week a merger that will lead to the credit union’s second foray outside Bowling Green since it was established in 1963.

Pending regulatory approval, SOCU is merging with Security Plus Federal Credit Union of Russellville, which serves employees of the Rane Light Metal Castings factory on Hopkinsville Road.

Service One President and CEO Rebecca Stone and Security Plus Chairman David Kinser view the merger as mutually beneficial, providing Security Plus members with new products and up-to-date technology while giving SOCU a foothold in a new market.

“The pending merger is an opportunity to further invest in our communities to make a positive impact on the lives of all those we serve,” Stone said. “Our plan is to bring expanded products and business hours, as well as increased accessibility through our branch network, mobile and online banking services and nationwide ATM network.”

Kinser said he and the Security Plus board of directors “look forward to the new and updated options that our members will have.”

Currently housed at the Rane plant, Security Plus will become a branch of Service One once the merger is completed in mid-2022.

But Stone said the goal is to serve more than Rane employees in the Russellville area.

“We will be broadening into the Russellville community, and we’ll look for another branch location,” Stone said. “We will reach outside of Rane.”

Service One’s assets have grown from about $150 million to more than $210 million over the past five years, and Stone sees expansions into Russellville and other southcentral Kentucky communities as opportunities for further growth.

“From my perspective, a lot of rural communities are underserved by banks,” Stone said. “Banks have started pulling out of some small communities. That’s ideal for credit unions. We are built to serve those communities.”

Meanwhile, Service One is also looking for growth within Bowling Green.

Plans are in the works to replace SOCU’s branch at 543 U.S. 31-W By-Pass with a larger branch on a two-acre site near State Street and U.S. 31-W.

Stone hopes the $1.2 million property purchase from Phoenix Enterprises LLC and the new location will spur growth for the credit union as well as for the surrounding community.

The property is in the 2.1-square-mile census tract 102 that has been identified as a federal Opportunity Zone in which investors can get tax breaks for projects in underdeveloped areas.

“That area of town can use a little facelift,” Stone said in October. “I hope that us building a branch there will spur some growth.”

Preliminary plans call for the new branch to be at least twice the size of the existing 4,000-square-foot branch and offer better access.

The new State Street branch will be in addition to Service One’s main branch on Campbell Lane and locations on the Western Kentucky University campus and in Glasgow.

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