A company that supports cryptocurrency mining and wants to build a facility on property near Belvoir Elementary School is facing pushback from nearby residents and concerned parents.
Compute North, a Minnesota-based firm that operates facilities in Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas is seeking the Pitt County Board of Commissioners’ approval to build a facility on approximately 20 acres of property off of Belvoir School Road north of Greenville.
Commissioners, who just last month approved a change to the county zoning ordinance to allow Compute North to seek the special use permit, are scheduled to hold a public hearing and possibly vote on the matter Monday.
Opposition has mounted since The Daily Reflector covered news about the zoning change and signs went up on property near the school announcing the special use permit hearing. More than 40 people turned out Wednesday for an information session hosted by Compute North at Staton House Fire Department in response to the concerns.
"It is bad enough that the county wants to bring in a business whose model is based completely on speculation and energy consumption, that will only employ 20 people, and that will diminish the bucolic appeal of our area, but to allow it to be built next to a school and so close to rural residential areas is unconscionable," said a letter to commissioners from Molly Holdeman, whose child attends Belvoir School.
The property Compute North wants to purchase is near the interchange of U.S. 264 bypass and N.C. 33 West. The company also plans to lease another 30 acres along N.C. 33 West. The properties are about three-tenths of a mile from the elementary school, said James Rhodes, Pitt County director of planning and development.
The property was selected based on three primary criteria, according to Kristyan Mjolsnes, Compute North’s vice president of marketing. It’s close to a Greenville Utilities Commission substation, it is next to a heavily trafficked...