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Rome City Commission denies special use permit for cryptomining operation

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023–10:07 a.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

Rome will not be getting its first-ever cryptomining operation, at least not in the next six months.

On Monday, the Rome City Commission denied a special use permit for property on Westside Industrial Boulevard at Redmond Circle.

Despite the name, cryptomining does not involve any drilling. Instead, it is a number of computers that conduct mathematical questions. If the computers solve the questions, cryptocurrency is rewarded. The currency can either be used or traded.

The system uses ventilation through exhaust fans that do make noise, and that was a concern to some commissioners.

The planning commission’s recommendation to approve came with two conditions. The first involves the installation of sound-dampening walls. The second was a vegetative buffer of evergreen trees of no less than 6 feet.

The applicant Olivia Wang said other issues with sound that come up in the future could also be addressed.

“What the City of Cedartown has me do was to submit a letter,” she said. “I call it a promissory letter, but the overall idea was that I was to work with the city to take additional sound measurements if noise ended up being an issue to the surrounding neighborhood, knowing that sound can never be diminished to zero.”

Despite Wang’s offer to do the same in Rome, the motion to approve ended up being a 4 to 4 vote with Mayor Sundai Stevenson, voting against, and breaking the tie. Wang, who has already invested about $6 million in the project, can try again in six months.