George P.Jaynes Justice Center

The Washington County Election Commission has asked county commissioners to scrap plans to move its offices from the courthouse to the George P. Jaynes Justice Center.

By Robert Houk

JONESBOROUGH — Washington County commissioners are scheduled to hear from BrightRidge officials tonight regarding noise complaints directed at a bitcoin mining operation in rural Washington County.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the George P. Jaynes Justice Center.

The presentation was originally set to be on the commission’s agenda in June, but was rescheduled after BrightRidge officials said the engineer who is involved in addressing those noise concerns was unable to attend that meeting.

Officials from BrightRidge were asked to come to the board’s meeting after commissioners heard from residents in the Limestone community in May.

Craig Ponder, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church, said his congregation and neighbors of the community were being disturbed by the constant noise from the computers and cooling fans used by Red Dog Technologies in its cyber mining operation.

Bitcoin mining is a process that produces cryptocurrency by using computers to solve very complex math problems.

Limestone residents have also expressed concern to commissioners that another bitcoin facility is being planned for rural Washington County.

Commission Chairman Greg Matherly said last week that Commissioner Kent Harris, whose district is impacted by the noise complaints, was the lead advocate of hearing from BrightRidge officials on the matter.

Matherly said Harris is not able to attend Monday’s commission meeting, which means discussion on the bitcoin matter will also be heard in August.

In other business tonight, commissioners will vote on:

• A resolution to authorize capital projects funds to be used to renovate space in the George P. Jaynes Justice Center for the county Election Commission to move its offices.

The resolution stipulates that the county’s purchasing agent authorize no more than $9,999 (with another $1,500 for design fees) to renovate the space formerly occupied by the district attorney general’s office.

The Election Commission voted Friday to ask commissioners to amend that resolution and allow it to remain on the third floor of the Washington County Courthouse by using the designated $9,999 to make needed security upgrades to its current office space.

• A resolution to convey property in the Washington County Industrial Park to the county’s Industrial Bond Board to be offered as a purchase option to a prospective company, identified as “Project Stamp,” looking to locate in the former Alo building as part of a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement.

• Resolutions to amend the county’s zoning codes to deal with “accessory structures” in agricultural districts and updates the title of “zoning administrator” to “planning director.”

Another resolution would allow “addiction recovery residential homes” to be located in A-3 (agriculture business) and MS (medical services) districts provided they are licensed by the state of Tennessee.

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