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A change to Harmony Main Street

Fri, Nov 16th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

Construction crews work on the First Southeast Bank of Harmony’s renovation project, which is expected to be completed in mid 2013. Photo by Barb Jeffers

By Barb Jeffers

The First Southeast Bank of Harmony, Minn. has started work on a major project which includes an addition and renovation. According to bank President Chris Skaalen, the addition and eventual renovation has been contemplated for six years.

“There is a need for additional space as the bank is growing,” stated Skaalen. Mr. Skaalen added, “As we added staff we have had people working in corners.” Other options were discussed but with the bank being “land-locked” on three sides, Skaalen explained, there were not a lot of options for expansion. One consideration would have been to build a new facility in a different location in town but Skaalen said they “feel connected to Main Street” in Harmony.

Construction for the new addition was started in early October 2012 and should be finished in April 2013. Once the addition is completed, and the new space organized, a renovation of the rest of the building will take place with the entire project to be completed approximately July 4, 2013. The project manager of the design/build is the Samuels Group of Wausau, Wis. According to the business website,, the company “provides comprehensive construction, remodeling, furnishing and design services for new and existing projects.”

The space in the new addition will be used for offices, a new drive-up facility, and a bookkeeping room. It will also have a basement underneath, an asset that the original building does not have, which will be used for much needed storage space. The renovation, which will take place next spring, will include an expanded lobby area. The bank will hold an Open House in 2013 after the project is completed for visitors to come and see the improvements.

The bank was established in 1893, as the Harmony State Bank, by local investors and although many changes have taken place over the years, the bank has remained family owned. The bank was purchased in 1987 by the Jerome and Barbara Bushman family. In 1989 the family purchased the Canton State Bank and in 2011 the two banks were merged.

First Southeast Bank offers a wide array of financial services in southeastern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Bank hours are Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Friday - 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Drive-up hours are Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The address is 3 Main Ave. N., Harmony, MN. The phone number is (507) 886-6922, and the website for First Southeast Bank is

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