AUGUSTA, Maine (2/11/09)--Gerald C. Poulin, former board chair of Kennebec Valley FCU (KV FCU), is opposed to the credit union’s plan to convert to a bank, he wrote Tuesday in a letter to the editor of the Kennebec Journal. “For many years, this credit union has been a vital part of the Augusta community,” he wrote. “Today we are in danger of losing our credit union and, if allowed to happen, a big part of our community. Though I am no longer a volunteer, I am still a member and, as a member, I cannot support the credit union’s proposal to convert to bank and then merge with Kennebec Savings Bank. “The credit union was built by its members and it is the members’ assets that they are proposing to give away to the bank,” he added. The merger proposal was announced in September by Beverly W. Beaucage, president/CEO of KV FCU, and Mark L. Johnston, president/CEO of the bank (News Now Sept. 10). The credit union noted in the fall that the conversion and merger would significantly expand its capacity to meet the current and future needs of members. “We've continued to grow steadily since 1962 while maintaining a strong capital base and steadfast focus on member service,” said Beaucage in a September press release. “Our board determined that the long-term goal for KV was to build and maintain a strong presence in the Kennebec Valley offering our members a wide variety of financial services,” she added. To accomplish this, “it makes sense to consider combining our efforts with a local institution that has similar values.” The Maine Credit Union League called the vote of Kennebec Valley FCU's (KV FCU) board of directors to continue with its proposal to convert to a bank and immediately merge into another one “disappointing but just one step in a long process” (News Now Oct. 16). A group of members petitioned the credit union in late January to get access to board minutes related to the conversion proposal ( News Now Feb. 2). KV FCU, based in Augusta, Maine, has $51 million in assets.