Residents of Phillips and Stratton area said Wednesday they were relieved after a regional bank announced it would keep two bank branches open in the communities.

Skowhegan Savings Bank announced Wednesday that it will buy Camden National Bank’s branch operations in Phillips and Stratton as well as the ones in Farmington, Kingfield and Rangeley.

Camden National announced in April that it would close its branches in Phillips and Stratton, which would make the nearest bank at least 20 miles away.

Elaine Hubbard, Phillips town manager, said the announcement was an exciting surprise.

“It’s almost like waking up Christmas morning,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard said the town is in the middle of an effort to revitalize and its important to have local banks to promote business in the area. She also added that residents and businesses were not happy about the idea of an empty building in the town.

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