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WTCCU Branch Site

 

WesTex Community Credit Union branch manager Brenda Basquette expects to have a new branch to manage by this time next year, as the local financial institution plans to relocate its local office from the crowded U.S. 285 corridor to a site on the southwest side of Pecos.

The site is located on to-be-built extensions of Arizona and Schmidt streets, just north of Interstate 20. WTCCU has a target date of mid-2018 to move into their new building, but Basquette said there had been some concerns about that earlier this month, until getting assurances from the Town of Pecos City that the new streets would be completed by April.

“It was a step in the right direction,” Basquette said, adding that the WTCCU board was due to meet this week to decide on their next step after getting the timetable on the street construction.

“We’re not asking that they be completely finished before they start,” she said. “It’s just that we don’t want to have a building and not be able to have access to it.”

WTCCU had been looking at a site off Lincoln Street near Walmart, before opting for the site on the southwest side of Pecos. She said the building plan would have to be modified slightly from what was drawn up for the Lincoln Street building, but that both would be larger that the current building at 13th and Cedar streets.

“Our branch in Alpine is a red brick building with white columns, and so that’s what we’re trying to get all our branches to kind of look like,” Basquette said. “We’ll have four drive-through lanes instead of three, and we’ll have an extra teller’s station, and our safe deposit boxes aren’t going to be inside somebody else’s officer, they’ll be in a stand-alone office.”

Basquette was one of three employees with WTCCU, when it opened as the Pecos branch of Winkler County Credit Union in 2004. “Now we have 11 here,” she said.

“When we started there were three of us, and we all did a little bit of everything, and as we started to grow we broke off to an operations person, a loan person, and I was lucky enough to get to be the branch manager,” Basquette said. “I think they went by age — I was old enough to be everybody else’s mother.”

“When I was a senior in high school, I worked half a day at a savings and loan,” she said, with that turning into a 10-year career, until the savings and loan crisis that hit Texas especially hard in the late 1980s.

“I went on to work at Sally Mae,” she said, which is the federal student loan program. Basquette was based in Killeen before moving out to Pecos when Winkler County Credit Union expanded here. Basquette said she came out with her family, and her son currently is working for the Ford dealership in Fort Stockton.

During her 13 years in Pecos, she said WCCU’s area assist have grown to about 5 1/2 times their original size, thanks in large part to the oil boom that began a decade ago, and has survived two setbacks to leave Reeves County as the most active oil and gas drilling area in the nation.

“We’ve just outgrown this building,” she said. “When I started our asset size was right around $15 million, and as of the close of August we were at $82 million.

“That’s not just (Pecos), that’s the whole credit union,” Basquette said. “Here we have a total of 4,200 members. Overall we have 10,686, so we’ve grown enough to where we’ve almost caught up to Kermit in their number of members.”