Local business in brief, Jan. 20, 2015

Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 7:00 pm | Updated: 1:03 am, Tue Jan 20, 2015.

The New Mexican


Española bank merger moves forward

Century Bank announced Monday that the transaction to purchase certain assets and deposit accounts of Valley National Bank of Española is complete.

Customers can expect to see sign changes and other rebranding to Century Bank beginning this week. With the merger, Century Bank will now have approximately $750 million in assets, according to a statement from the bank.

Customers of both the former Valley National Bank and Century Bank are asked to continue banking at their current bank locations. On Jan. 31, Century Bank will close its Española location and move into the Valley National Bank building. During the weekend of February 13, former Valley National Bank accounts will be converted to the Century Bank operating system. Customers should continue to use their same checks, debit cards and online banking services until that time.

“There will be no changes to customer accounts until the conversion in February,” said Don Padgett, president and CEO of the Santa Fe-based Century Bank. “Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible for our new customers.”

Customers will receive more information in the mail regarding changes that will occur. In the meantime, if customers have questions, they should contact their local branch.

Home sales rise in Los Alamos

The Los Alamos Association of Realtors reported that single-family home sales rose to 44 in the fourth quarter, up from 31 a year ago, while the median price increased modestly.

Condo and townhome sales also held nearly steady, the association reported Monday.

The median price of a single-family home in Los Alamos County rose 2 percent in the quarter, to $260,500 up from $256,000 in 2013.

“Single family home sales picked up at the end of the year in the Los Alamos market,” Cindy Hollabaugh, president of the Los Alamos Association of Realtors said in a statement. “Interest rates have remained lower than expected this year which may have helped to attract buyers to the housing market.”

Group sets policy agenda for legislative session

The New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry has voted on a detailed policy agenda that the group will support during the upcoming legislative session, President and CEO Beverlee McClure said in a statement.

“Businesses join ACI because we’re constantly engaged during the session and year-round,” McClure said. “We’re in committees, we’re watching votes, and we’re helping legislators understand what a bill means for their constituents. Bottom line, New Mexicans need jobs. We work to make sure that the laws being passed in Santa Fe will create better opportunities for all New Mexicans.”

McClure said one example is right-to-work legislation, which has received statewide attention recently but has been a priority for the association for years.

“ACI is not a group to only do what’s popular or easy,” McClure said. “We’re always advocating for the needs of our members and ultimately, New Mexicans.”

Other priorities this year include changes to the state procurement code to give New Mexico businesses a fair shot at competing for state contracts, and the introduction of an independent hearing officer to strengthen accountability and openness for taxpayers, both individuals and businesses.