DEWITT, N.Y. -- To get to the newest and nearest branch of Community Bank Systems Inc. in Cato, the company's executives must wend their way for 40 miles through rolling countryside and past sprawling farms aglow with the brilliance of fall colors.

In fact, to get to any of its 37 branches, they'll drive for as much as several hundred miles and 6 1/2 hours through some of the state's smallest towns, from the Canadian border to the Pennsylvania line.

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