Columbia Falls will look to revise its zoning regulations to address the possibility of a cryptocurrency business setting up shop in the cityís zoning jurisdiction.
The business, with the new regulations, would be allowed in heavy industrial-zoned areas with a conditional use permit. The city-county planning board will have a public hearing on the matter at its Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at city hall. Council will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 19.
The city doesnít have a cryptocurrency business at the moment, though there is one in Columbia Heights. The businesses donít employ many people, but they do use a lot of electricity to power the servers that perform the multiple transactions as the currencies like Bitcoin are bought and sold.
The Pacific Northwest has proven to be a popular place for the industry, because it has relatively cheap power.
In other news:
• The project to fill the voids along the Nord building is going well, said public works director Tyler Bradshaw. Knife Riverís contract was extended by about $137,000 to fix the problem. Engineering costs were about $23,900.
• The new pond at Riverís Edge Park is well underway. The city will save the topsoil from the project for later landscaping. The park remains open.
• The city revised several of its public works codes, perhaps most notable is the change in septic tanks within the city limits. If a home that has a septic tank inside the city is sold, the owner will be required to hook up to the city sewer and properly destroy and fill in the old septic tank. The city also updated its requirements for sidewalks in commercial and residential areas and revised the cost-sharing in the event a water line breaks to a home. The city will now share some of the cost in most cases, while before it was up to the homeowner to get it fixed.
• The city extended a public hearing on its revisions to its municipal codes. The codes date back to 1987 and many of them donít adhere to state law or are outdated. For example, one section of code sets the drinking age at 18, city manager Susan Nicosia said. The project to update them will cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to completely codify the laws and put them on the city website in a searchable format, Nicosia told council. A public hearing on the matter is Nov.19 at 7 p.m.
• The city wonít take an old aluminum ore truck from the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. but it will take an old crucible. The inoperable truck was too expensive to fix up to make it safe for kids to play on, council agreed, but the crucible will be put on display at one of the city parks.