AUGUSTA, Maine (2/2/09)--More than 180 members of KV FCU, an Augusta, Maine-based credit union whose board has proposed a merger with a bank--signed a petition requesting access to the board's minutes leading up to the merger decision. The proposed merger is with August-based Kennebec Savings Bank, a state-chartered bank that recently applied for a federal charter. The proposal to combine a credit union and a bank is the first of its kind in Maine. Nationwide, there have been about 15 completed mergers or mergers still in progress. Members are requesting access to board meeting minutes over several years, from the time the board began considering the merger, member Lucille Clouthier told the Morning Sentinel-Kennebec Journal (Jan. 29). The petition was delivered to the credit union Friday. The group, which opposes the conversion, wants to see how much background work the board did, the reasons cited in the meetings for a merger, and why the $51 million asset credit union is deciding to merge with a bank instead of another credit union, said Clouthier. National Credit Union Administration regulations allow credit union members access to their credit union's records if they collect signatures from 1% of the membership. The credit union has 8,000 members and would need 80 signatures. The credit union must respond to the petition within 14 days after receiving it. KV FCU President Beverly Beaucage told local newspapers that members are invited to review the regulations and the minutes, but she indicated the credit union would not provide information that would breach confidentiality. When the merger proposal was first announced last fall, the credit union said the move would better position it for future growth. The bank applied for a federal charter Jan. 21. The Office of Thrift Supervision has until April 22 to decide on the application.