City & County

Arkadelphia directors OK noise ordinance to block bitcoin operations

By JOE MAY | The Southern Standard

Arkadelphia is now covered should a crypto mining data center opt to locate within its borders.

City Manager Gary Brinkley said that, in the last legislative session, it was decided to offer incentives to crypto data miners, also known as bitcoin companies, to locate in the state. Because of this, cities and counties are hurrying to pass ordinances to regulate the companies, which have few actual employees, but thousands of computers, which he said generates an inordinate amount of noise.

Mayor Scott Byrd agreed, noting that there are online videos that highlight the noise that such businesses generate. He described the centers as “extremely noisy.”

“Highway noise is nothing compared to these,” he said.

The motion was then made to pass the ordinance with an emergency clause, which was approved unanimously.

In other business, the board:

• Heard Police Chief Jason “Shorty” Jackson introduce two new officers: Destiny Ryan and Jennifer Burkes, who have just undergone training at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Academy in East Camden as well as 12 weeks of local training.

• Voted at the motion of Directors Jason Jones and Keith Crews to update the city’s military leave police to be inline with new government guidelines.

• Renewed the annual consulting contract for B & F Engineering.

• Heard Brinkley say the city has three major water and sewer projects: The relocation of utilities along Pine Street, the lines for the OBU sewer lift station and the replacement of the OBU sewer lift station.

• Held a discussion with Water and Sewer Utilities Manager David Green and Brinkley about work needing to be done on four of the city’s clear wells, one of which is offline for repairs.

• Heard Byrd say the city’s ISO rating has been lowered, which should improve insurance costs.