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North Tonawanda residents join forces to rally against Digihost bitcoin mining project

During a public hearing on Tuesday, neighbors expressed their frustrations with the new business and the negative impacts it's having on community life.

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Residents of North Tonawanda aren't backing down when it comes to their concerns about the bitcoin mining project on Erie Avenue - a project many residents say, was pushed through without necessary steps that considered and protected their health and well-being.

Recently, neighbors say the project has been causing a lot of disturbing noise that's interrupting people's day-to-day lives.

Which is why neighbors and supporters decided to hold a rally outside of city hall on Tuesday afternoon, just one hour before the scheduled Common Council session and public hearing.

Neighbors say they're still frustrated months after the last public hearing, which was held back in August, and want elected officials to finally take responsibility and restore the community's quality of life.

Darlene Bolsover lives in North Tonawanda and says she's done being ignored, as are 3 hundred other neighbors and supporters who chose to sign their names in support of a lawsuit against the city.

"This is not something that they were notified of or that they were aware of, until Tuesday, they got a very loud humming. And that's not acceptable in this city," Bolsover says.

Fellow neighbor Debbie Gondek agrees. 

"North Tonawanda could have been a model for how to review these types of Bitcoin mining proposals. But instead now we just have to be a horrible warning," Gondek says. "We had a council member, actually two of them, who advocated for a three month moratorium to give everyone enough time to fully research it. However, the moratorium was voted down three to two."

A three month moratorium was suggested back in August by then councilman and now Mayor Austin Tylec. The idea was to use that time to conduct a series of studies and gather more information on the Canadian-based company Digihost and Bitcoin mining. 

That was never done.

Council President Robert Pecararo voted against the moratorium, but now agrees the noise is a problem. 

2 On Your Side's Liz Lewin wanted to know why the project was rushed from the beginning if potential issues like this could have been prevented. 

Pecararo says, "I am very disappointed in the fact that the noise is leaving the compound. It was my understanding that all the noise was going to stay on the compound. I'm going to stop the noise."

That said, Pecararo maintains, knowing what he knows now, he would still vote the same way because he believes new business is a good thing for his city. 

The council says they're now talking to Digihost, who plans to hire an acoustic expert to address the noise complaints, but so far, no timeline. 

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