Conemaugh Township will have one fewer bank by May 1.

First Commonwealth Bank is shutting down its Benscreek office, effective at 5 p.m. April 30, according a letter to customers signed by David L. Starry, the Indiana-based bank’s regional manager for the Johnstown market.

Bank officials identified the office at the Benscreek Shopping Center as a location that is not producing “the anticipated customer traffic flow to sustain operation,” the letter said, and customers instead can use the bank’s full-service Eighth Ward office at 1047 Franklin St. in Johnstown.

A list of the bank’s offices is available at The website shows 10 branch offices in Cambria and Somerset counties, including the Benscreek location.

Starry did not return a call for comment Friday or Monday, but his letter said customers are not required to take any action and that bank staff will work to make the transition smooth for Benscreek customers.

Client Darlene Favreau said she’s worried about parking and working around hospital-related traffic at the Eighth Ward office.

“We will probably have to go to Richland just to cash a check,” she said, adding that First National Bank closed its office near the same intersection within the last year or so.

Business owner Bill Venet said he’s frustrated with the change and it is the second time in a year and a half that the bank announced a change to that office.

The first time, he said, the bank told customers the location would be changed to drive-through only.

Venet, who owns Variety Depot at the shopping center, said he also is concerned about what the closure could mean to area business.

“Who is going to take that spot?” Venet said.

“It’s a total inconvenience. They are leaving the whole area bank-less.”

The change means customers who once picked up cash at the branch office and then shopped at the nearby Family Dollar won’t have the same opportunity, said Glenda Hileman, who works at the store.

“I’m very disappointed they’re closing,” she said.

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