The Baldwin City Council conducted a public hearing during their Monday, November 13 meeting to discuss the issuance of a special use permit (SUP) for Precision Digital. The permit, if approved, will pave the way for the construction of a data center in the industrial park.
Precision Digital intends to utilize the facility for high-performance computing, establish a data center, and operate a cryptocurrency mining venture. The necessity for a special use permit and variance arises from the city’s existing zoning ordinance, which lacks clarity regarding such specialized business activities. Additionally, Precision Digital seeks permission to operate with noise levels of up to 100 decibels, measured at the property line
During the public hearing, Tim Barbir, the owner of Precision Digital, advocated for the facility. Barbir underscored the significance of aligning the business with its surroundings, emphasizing his deliberate choice of Baldwin for this venture. He highlighted the advantage of power and fiber availability on the chosen property.
Mayor Stephanie Almagno commended Barbir for his proactive approach in specifying the decibel level. She pointed out that the city had assessed the noise impact and determined that the proposed facility would be less noisy than the airport adjacent to the property.
Addressing the zoning ordinance’s limitations, Mayor Almagno explained that Precision Digital’s request for a special use permit serves as a crucial safeguard. This measure ensures the business’s continuity, even as council members rotate off of the council in the future.
Council member Alice Venter acknowledged the collaborative efforts between the Development Authority, the county commission, and the city to facilitate Precision Digital’s entry into the city and the industrial park. A portion of the property had to be annexed into the city and the county waived its 30-day objection period to expedite the business’s progress.
The public hearing remained open for the mandated 20 minutes, providing an opportunity for community input. No one expressed opposition to Precision Digital’s special use permit.
The discussions during the public hearing mark a progressive stride in Baldwin’s support for innovative businesses, underscoring the city’s dedication to adjusting its ordinances to suit the needs of advancing industries. The forthcoming decision on the special use permit for Precision Digital is poised to significantly influence the broader economic landscape of the city.
The approval of a zoning ordinance for Precision Digital is anticipated at a later date, marking the next crucial step in the company’s integration into Baldwin.