MCLOUTH, Kan. (KSNT) – A push to bring a crypto mining to Jefferson County is on hold for the foreseeable future after a last-minute ownership shakeup.

Crypto Colo Center, an oil and gas company based just outside McLouth in Jefferson County, had proposed opening a crypto mining facility on its property. Jefferson County Community Development Director Dustin Parks tells 27 News ownership of the property switched hands on Monday, just hours before the issue was set to go before the county planning commission. Parks says the new owner then withdrew consideration of the crypto mining proposal from Monday’s agenda.

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Parks says Jefferson County won’t consider any similar proposals for at least a year.

“The Board of County Commissioners has issued a moratorium on accepting applications for Data Centers and Crypto mining facilities in Jefferson County for at least the next 12 months to review potential regulatory requirements,” Parks said.

Crypto Colo Center CEO Max Smetannikov tells a different story. In an email to 27 News, he asserts there was no ownership change and the company has not withdrawn its application with the county.

“There was no change in ownership with our firm, and we most certainly have not withdrawn our CUP application with Jefferson County. We are hoping for all misconceptions around our business to be cleared out soon, and for happy and harmonious development of our business within our McLouth community.”

Max Smetannikov – CEO, Crypto Colo Center Inc.

Parks says the Jefferson County Planning Commission and Jefferson County Commission will not review the application. He says at this time there are no plans of further discussion.

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The proposal drew criticism from residents and environment advocates. 

“It’s welcome news that the project owner decided to withdraw its application for a crypto mining operation. The County Commission has made the right decision to issue a moratorium on accepting applications for data centers and crypto mining facilities in Jefferson County for at least the next 12 months. This success belongs to the hundreds of citizens who spoke out against this project. We’ll be ready to support the community’s opposition to this ill-conceived plan if it resurfaces.”

Statement from Elaine Giessel, Chair of Sierra Club’s Kansas Chapter