Washington County Commission to vote on resolution opposing COVID mandates

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Washington County, Tenn. commissioners will consider a resolution Oct. 25 that objects to COVID mandates on private businesses and asks state and federal legislators not to support any such legislative or executive action.

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – Washington County commissioners will vote Monday night on a resolution asking state and federal legislators not to take up or support any actions that would regulate private businesses’ COVID-19 decisions.

The recommendation passed the commission’s Health, Education and Welfare committee by a 4-1 vote earlier this month with chairwoman Jodi Jones opposed.

The resolution aims at making the commission’s voice heard regarding COVID vaccine and testing mandates, including those floated by President Joe Biden using executive powers.

It notes “the challenges inherent in difficult decisions” presented to legislators, but requests “they refrain from taking up or supporting any executive or legislative action that would regulate private employers with respect to COVID-19.”

The commission faces a fairly light agenda Monday. It will enter executive session to discuss legal issues following the meeting’s adjournment.

One likely subject is the Bitcoin mine operating next to a BrightRidge substation on Bailey Bridge Road in rural Limestone.

At the commission’s request, Planning Administrator Angie Charles sent BrightRidge a letter Sept. 28 ordering the mine shut down immediately for violating the county’s A-3 (agricultural business) zoning resolution.

The mine — a series of computer servers that perform complex computations to “unearth” new virtual currency in a process that involves loud fans cooling the computer equipment — has continued to operate.

Red Dog Technologies owns and operates the equipment. It has become BrightRidge’s largest electricity user through a contract with the power provider including a lease of BrightRidge property.

Noise complaints from neighbors after the operation began in May caught the ear of commissioners. County Attorney Allyson Wilkinson told commissioners in September that in her opinion the use violated the resolution and the county would be acting within its rights to order it shut down.

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