Say Good-Bye to Nips

NEWPORT CITY – A summer tradition is about to end for good. North Country Federal Credit Union wants to tear down the well-known LB Snack Bar on the Derby Road and replace it with a new branch building. The Newport Development Review Board will take up the permit request Wednesday, April 11. The sale of the property is contingent on the issuance of the permits. According to the application, the project involves demolishing the snack bar and surrounding buildings and constructing a new 2,750 square foot facility with two drive-through lanes and an ATM.“This will be a full-service facility with a drive-up window, ATM and lobby,” credit union executive vice-president Bob Cowie stated in a press release. “We expect to hire up to four people to staff the branch and hope to add more as the branch grows.”The credit union will provide year round employment.Steve Poulin, of Re/Max Kingdom, is handling the sale of the property.“The whole sale of LB is kind of better sweet,” said Poulin. “Nips (the original name of the snac kbar) was there for years. But it is also nice to see new things in the area.”“We have very mixed feelings about replacing a landmark like what the hot dog stand is,” said Cowie in a telephone interview Thursday. “We talked long and hard about taking the spot of a landmark. We just couldn’t find a better site.”A photographer who does work for the credit union will take photos of the snack bar. The photos will be displayed in the lobby of the new credit union building. Stockholders own most banks, explained Cowie, who added that the intention of a financial institution is to reward those stockholders with profits. With a credit union, its members are the owners. A credit union exists to provide financial services at the most affordable level to its members. North Country Federal Credit Union has about 24,000 members.“We’ve been very pleased with our growth, the addition of Newport members and the utilization of our products over the last few years,” Cowie said. “We’re approximately $375 million in total assets.”The credit union has six sites: South Burlington, Colchester, Orleans, Berlin, East Montpelier and Lyndonville. By the end of the year, it will have nine facilities. The company is in the process of opening a branch in Alburg. It will be looking for a site in Hardwick.The Newport branch is expected to open by October.“We’re excited about coming to town and doing business in the Newport region for many years to come,” said Cowie.