Organizers continue outreach effort for start of new credit union

Two additional information meetings about forming an island-wide federal credit union have been scheduled for this week.

The next meeting will be in Oak Harbor at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 21, in the fellowship hall at Oak Harbor Lutheran Church, 1253 NW Second Ave.

In Freeland, a meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, at Trinity Lutheran Church’s Grigware Hall.

Information and survey forms will also be available at the Coupeville Farmer’s Market on Saturday, April 2.

Previous meetings were held at Freeland, Coupeville and Clinton.

Proponents hope to collect 250 survey forms indicating interest in a credit union by April 30 before a charter application is made to the National Credit Union Association, said Beverly Rose of Freeland, one of the organizers.

Rose and Duke LeBaron of Bayview hope to establish a Whidbey Island Community Federal Credit Union, a cooperative financial institution for residents of the entire island that would be locally owned and controlled by members.

Rose said that credit unions exist for service, not profit, and so are typically able to offer better rates on loans and a better return on savings than for-profit banks and savings-and-loans.

When the surveys are in hand, along with the verified pledges of startup deposits and donations (about $125,000), a volunteer organizing committee of seven to 10 members would be formed, and a business plan created, Rose said.

At that point, a formal application would be made to the NCUA.

For information, call LeBaron at 321-7489 or Rose at 331-1110, or e-mail