LAUREL, Mont. – The $69.3 million Laurel Federal Credit Union is merging with the $13 million Mountain State Federal Credit Union of Billings on Aug. 30. The combined institution “will bring additional products and services as well as better economies,” said Rhonda Diefenderfer, president/CEO of Laurel FCU, the surviving CU. The merger has been under consideration for three years and was brought to fruition last year with the planned retirement of Mountain State’s long-time manager, Donna Weldele, Laurel FCU, founded in 1953 and with 10,450 members, currently has branches in Laurel, Red Lodge and Columbus “and now we will be able to reach the many members we have in Billings,” said Diefenderfer. Mountain State has 2,400 members.