Wright City boosts funds for economic development council

By: 
Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

Wright City’s Board of Aldermen voted June 25 to increase the city’s annual contributions to the Warren County Economic Development Council.

The GWCEDC is a collaboration between local governments and private businesses which works to bring more manufacturing and industrial employers to the Warren County area. Member organizations contribute a certain amount of funds each year, which for local city governments is based on size.

Wright City aldermen voted 4-0 to increase their city’s annual contribution from $10,000 to $15,000.

Wright City Administrator Jim Schuchmann said since its founding about 10 years ago, the GWCEDC has been fulfilling its mission to attract more industry jobs to Warren County.

“One of the first businesses they attracted to the area was CertainTeed shingle plant,” which employs a number of Wright City residents, Schuchmann said. “Since they’ve been working for us, the region has seen a 25-percent increase in wages.”

The EPC plant in Wright City was another GWCEDC project, he added.

Schuchmann is a member of the GWCEDC advisory committee. He said the economic development council is asking city governments to increase their contributions in recognition of the continued services being provided. The economic development expertise the GWCEDC provides is worth far more than what Wright City pays, Schuchmann said.

Ward 2 Alderman Ramiz Hakim said he’s been very impressed with the GWCEDC’s main economic development consultant, Steve Etcher.

“He is brilliant. $15,000 looks like a lot, but it’s $1,300 a month, which is nothing for what he does for the city,” Hakim commented.

Ward 1 Alderman Kerry Lambright noted, among other statistics provided to the board, that there has also been a 14 percent reduction in area students needing reduced-price lunch at school. That shows the GWCEDC has been bringing valuable jobs for their families into the community, he said.

Mayor Dan Rowden said he has also been pleased by the work GWCEDC has done for Wright City and the rest of Warren County.

“This is only going to get better. The potential for us is substantial for the growth of our community,” Rowden said.”

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