First Liberty Bank Corp. in Jermyn, Pa., said Tuesday that it will reduce its work force by nearly 30% in anticipation of its merger with $1.9 billion-asset Community Bank System of DeWitt, NY.

Community Bank System announced in December that it had agreed to buy First Liberty for $86.7 million. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

First Liberty said it plans to lay off 64 of its 224 employees in the next 60 days. All 13 of its branches are to stay open, however.

“We have worked hard to minimize the impact of the merger on our employees,” William M. Davis, president and chief executive of First Liberty, said in a news release. The company, which said its “overriding goal has been to be fair and responsible,” said the affected workers will get severance packages.

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