Legislature tables cryptocurrency resolution – observer-review.com
Legislature tables cryptocurrency resolution
SCHUYLER COUNTY–The Schuyler County Legislature voted 7-1 Monday, April 12 to table a resolution for one month that, if passed, would call upon New York state to study and develop regulations for cryptocurrency mining. This comes after the Seneca Lake power plant, Greenidge Generation, looks to expand its digital mining operation. Legislator Mark Rondinardo, who originally introduced the legislation, asked for the delay in part to give officials from Yates County an opportunity to have their voices heard.
“Yates wants to discuss this further, and I want to be collegial and let them make their case,” said Rondinardo after the meeting.
While saying he supported the resolution completely, Rondinardo added it is important to listen to all concerns if the intention is to build a broader coalition of counties.
“If (the resolution) is going to have any value at all it will require building a consensus from a much larger coalition than just Schuyler County,” Rondinardo said. “And whether Yates is for or against it I want to be seen as (the Schuyler County Legislature) as being open to the discussion.”
Specifically, the resolution would call on cryptocurrency mining operations within the state to operate solely on renewable energy, targets operations having peak power demand of more than 50 kilowatts, does not single out any individual facility, and notes that currently, New York state has little to no regulations regarding that type of mining.
“After we pass it, I am going to bring it to the Inter-County Association of Western New York and the New York Association of Counties, depending on what happens here in May,” Rondinardo stated. “But it is on the agenda in May, and I am in favor of it, but I want to make sure it’s fair, that the correct process is followed, and everyone feels heard.”
County Administrator Tim O’Hearn also gave an update on COVID-19 in Schuyler County during the meeting. Like the rest of the country, the local supply of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has diminished as a manufacturing error destroyed millions of doses. There is a first-dose Moderna clinic still with open spots that can be accessed at http://schuylercounty.us/
O’Hearn said Schuyler’s vaccination rate is one of the highest in the Finger Lakes, on par with Yates and just below Tompkins. O’Hearn added the demand has started to slow, as hundreds of vaccination appointments would previously be taken up in minutes and now it can be an occasional struggle to ensure every dose is administered at county run vaccination clinics.
“If you want a vaccine right now you can get it,” O’Hearn said.
County Attorney Steven Getman briefly discussed the state legalization of adult use marijuana, and said under the current iteration of the bill no county in New York state would have the ability to opt out of allowing a dispensary to open or for it to be farmed. Instead that will be left to villages, cities and towns to decide. Getman also clarified that towns will not be able to override the will of villages on the matter. As it stands, marijuana would be subject to a 13 percent tax, with 9 percent going to the state, three percent to the local municipality, and one percent going to the county.