Gilmer County residents clash over proposed cryptocurrency farm

It was a passionate meeting in Gilmer County on Thursday night, all surrounding the possible development of a cryptocurrency server farm site.  

These server farms house computers that run day and night, mining for cryptocurrency. If approved to move forward, it would be situated on private land on Eller Road in Ellijay.  

Dozens of residents spoke during the public comment period at the meeting. Many were adamantly against it, but a few did say they were okay with it moving forward.  

"This is wrong, this is absolutely wrong to put it in a residential area," said one Ellijay woman.  

The attorney for the family who owns the land, Terry Lee Wilson, addressed the crowd. "It's a biodegradable, synthetic fluid, like vegetable oil. It's in a horse tank, a long one, and you submerge the servers in it. That is where the servers are submerged." 

Wilson stated that despite residents' concerns over noise issues, it would be regulated. "The requirements the county had set are from 100 feet, a 60-decibel level during the day, or a 50-decibel level during the evening," Wilson explained.  

However, a petition is circulating online to stop it from coming to fruition.  

"In our REMAX office, we have already had people call and try to list their house for sale because we understand that it is extremely hard to resell a home that is very close to a crypto mining facility," said Kara Conrey, an Ellijay resident, realtor, and business owner. "It just needs to go somewhere else and not there." 

The planning commission will need to approve a change from commercial-to-commercial technology before the project can move forward. Both rezonings were recommended to the board for denial. It will give a final decision to the proposal on May 9.