ROCK SPRINGS — Bank of the West will soon be losing another client in Sweetwater County.
The Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County Board of Trustees voted to remove its assets from Bank of the West “as soon as possible,” according to board member Marty Kelsey.
The board voted 3-1 with one abstention to pull its funds from the bank at its monthly board meeting today, mirroring the choice of a several other county entities following the bank’s decision to stop doing business with the oil and gas industries in Wyoming.
Kelsey said the choice was not political, but made sense in light of the industries that support the hospital.
“The people working in those industries are patients of the hospital,” Kelsey said. “We want to be supportive of them as well. I don’t see that as a political decision.”
He said the financial staff will work as quickly as possible to have those funds removed from Bank of the West.
CFO Tami Love told the board at its September meeting that most of the hospital’s assets with Bank of the West were liquid and should be fairly easy to move.
Originally, the agenda item was going to be tabled until November, allowing for a public comment period through October along with written comments from the board.
But board member Taylor Jones said the topic had been discussed thoroughly over the past two months in the hospital’s Finance and Audit committee meetings, and he immediately moved to vote on the item.
Board member Ed Tardoni abstained from voting on the motion citing a conflict of interest due to his work history and subsequent retirement benefits he receives from the oil and gas industry.
Board chairman Richard Mathey cast the lone “no” vote on the motion.