Board Approves Ranken Agreement; First Private Partner Commits to Funding

Cochran Engineering has come forward as the first private partner to help the City of Wentzville bring Ranken Tech to the city.

The have approved an agreement to provide financial assistance to Ranken Technical Collge in order to bring a satellite campus to Wentzville, and the first private partner has already come forward.

A release issued today by Larry Tucker, the city's business development director states:

During today’s Wentzville Downtown Business Association Meeting, Alderman Chris Guard made the announcement that the Wentzville Board of Aldermen had unanimously approved the amended cooperative agreement to help bring the first Ranken Technical College Satellite Campus to the City of Wentzville. Immediately upon hearing this news, Kurt Daniels, with Cochran Engineering stated that he and Cochran Engineering wanted to be the FIRST to partner with the City of Wentzville, Ranken Technical College and the EDC of St Charles County to provide funding to bring this worthwhile endeavor to Wentzville!

The agreement was revised from the original so that the city could get private business partners to help with the funding commitment.

Alderman Forrest Gossett spoke in favor of the agreement at Wednesday night's board of aldermen meeting. He mentioned that the project has a budget of $3 million over the next three years, and that Ranken has already committed to providing $400,000 in scholarships.

Among the city's financial commitments are the costs of leasing a facility for the campus, not to exceed $80,000 a year for three years, and $120,000 for staffing.

"It’s a risk, but nothing in business is a guarantee," Gossett said. “We’re going to take a risk for the future of the city. I was on the fence (about the agreement) but I’ve given this a lot of thought and done a lot of research."

Alderman Cheryl Kross expressed some concern about the funding if no private partners were to come forward.

"We need an agreement in place before anyone agrees to anything solid," Alderman Chris Gard said.

Mayor Nick Guccione also supported the agreement, which he called "a long term investment in the community."

That’s what it’s about, trying to put people back to work in the community," Guccione said.


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