SIOUX Falls, S.D. (5/17/11)--Two credit unions based in Sioux Falls, S.D., have announced they are merging to create a new credit union. The merger is between the $33 million asset Bell FCU, which serves 5,046 members, and the $28.8 million asset Midwest Partners FCU, with 4,704 members. Both serve Lincoln/Minnehaha Counties and have offices on the same cul de sac. Midwest Partners FCU's members voted May 11 in favor of the merger, with 94% of votes cast approving the proposal. "Unlike some mergers, ours was one of choice and not of financial need," said the credit union on its website. "Midwest Partners FCU and Bell FCU are both well capitalized and positioned for the future." The combined organization will assume a new name, and both boards of directors will combine into a seven-member board. Midwest Partners FCU President Jeff Schmidt will assume the role of chief operating officer. Bell FCU CEO Darla Erb will remain CEO of the merged credit union, according to a member letter on Midwest Partners FCU's website. The merger will provide more branches and more services, the credit unions said. Members will experience business as usual for the next several months until the transition is complete. Information about branch usage, the new credit union's name, and data processor conversions will be available later, the website said. With more than $60 million in combined assets, the newly combined credit union will be the fourth largest in the Lincoln/Minnehaha County area in asset size.