Rome Savings has entered into an agreement whereas they will merge with, and into, Berkshire Bancorp., Inc. The two entered into the agreement October 12, but it's subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals by shareholders and isn't expected to be completed until the first quarter of 2011.
This is a repeat of the demise of the Savings Bank of Utica earlier in the decade. If there are sufficient shareholders in Rome to stop this, you need to think carefully about what this will mean to Rome if this goes through.
Banks are an important part of their communities' economic well-being. Time was when loans could be reliably made on a handshake. The bankers were more likely to take risks because they personally knew their clients. That source of capital is rare these days when loans are based on metrics determined in a far-away boardroom. Bankers' not knowing their borrowers helped to contribute to the mortgage crisis.
This merger will make things that much more difficult for local businesses.