On October 25th, we received exciting news from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED). DEED Commissioner, Steve Grove, approved a $1.3 million IBDPI grant with the City of Willmar for the Epitopix sewer line project. The EDC prepared and submitted the grant application on behalf of the City.
Epitopix, LLC is a privately-held company located in Willmar and an affiliate of Vaxxinova, a company based in the Netherlands. Epitopix has corporate offices at the MinnWest Technology Campus and a production facility off 45th Street and south of U.S. Highway 12. The company produces veterinary vaccines for the agricultural sector, selling vaccines throughout the U.S. for use in poultry, cattle and swine. Currently, it holds over 50 U.S. and worldwide patents on its biotechnology products.
The parent company plans to accelerate Epitopix’s growth in animal vaccines and is prepared to invest over $15 million in Willmar in capital investment and add 17 well-paying biotech jobs within Kandiyohi County. However, it cannot make that investment if there is inadequate sewer service to the site. Based upon engineering calculations, the estimated cost for extending city sewer service to the Epitopix production facility is approximately $1.3 million. The line runs from the main north-south interceptor near the Willmar Industrial Park, west along the north side of the new Highway 12, then north on 45th Street to the Epitopix production facility. Epitopix management was pleased with the news.
The EDC fully supports this project and is working with the City Attorney and City staff on several aspects of the project. Several follow-up planning meetings took place in November between City staff and the EDC to help ensure the success of the project.