Hoiseth can't comment, but MnDOT has announced $450K grant for railroad infrastructure improvements for new 'Epitome Energy' facility in Crookston.

    Although there has been no official announcement, plans are in the works for a new soybean processing and biodiesel facility to be constructed on the southern edge of Crookston off Highway 75.

    Asked by the Times Thursday for comment on “Epitome Energy” on the heels of the Minnesota Department of Transportation announcing that “Epitome Energy of Crookston” had been awarded a $450,000 grant for “new rail infrastructure to support a new soybean processing and biodiesel facility” here, CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth said he was unable to provide any additional information at this time.

    The Crookston City Council in recent weeks has held a couple of meetings, closed pursuant to statute to the media and public because they involved discussions related to the sale of property in Crookston. The City of Crookston owns around 100 acres of land south of Ingersoll Avenue on the southern edge of town, known as the “Colborn property,” and also has some additional acreage adjacent to that land, courtesy of the local economic development entity, Crookston Jobs, which, upon its dissolution a couple years ago, handed over the land to CHEDA to be used for economic development purposes.

    The local grant application for Epitome Energy was one of three funded by MnDOT through its Minnesota Rail Service Improvement Program, a program that dates back to 1976. Two other approved grants will benefit initiatives in the Minnesota cities of Becker and New Brighton.

    According to MnDOT, nine applicants sought funding totaling more than $4.5 million. The three awarded grants total $1.55 million.

    Hoiseth said he was not able to comment on who the contact person for Epitome Energy is, nor was he able to provide any information on a potential timeline, the scope of the project, or how many jobs it would bring to Crookston. Hoiseth did say more information would be forthcoming.