A bank in northern Iowa is renewing its unusual home loan campaign for another year in an attempt to get more former residents to return. Brad Davis is president and CEO of Hampton State Bank in Hampton, which is extending its one-million-dollar commitment to attract any Franklin County high school graduates to come back and start a new life.
Davis says when the program started in 2005, they offered low-interest rate home loans, car loans and a free computer to any household that was willing to move back to the county. He calls "Come Home to Franklin County" an economic development initiative that aims to put a stopper in Iowa’s so-called "brain drain." Davis says Franklin County is probably surviving better that many other rural Iowa counties in terms of its population dwindling as folks head for bigger metro areas.
He says: "We’re a county seat community. We have a diversified local economy with several businesses in our industrial park, but we felt like we can always do better…to bring people back to the state of Iowa and to our local county." So far, Davis says the members of seven households have taken the bank up on its offer to return to Franklin County, with loans totaling over $480,000.
He says "These people graduated from one of our high schools located in Franklin County and have been away for a while. Since we announced the program, they decided to move back. Now they’re spending their money in the county here, they’re paying property taxes, maybe sending their kids to school. This is what we had hoped for." For more information, contact the bank at (641) 456-2559.