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Fiscal Court Fund used to purchase ultrasound machine

A crisis pregnancy center in Winchester may be getting its own ultrasound machine, thanks to an unexpected opportunity.

The Clark County Fiscal Court voted 6-1 Wednesday to contribute $7,500 to New Beginnings toward the purchase of the machine. 

New Beginnings Director Becki Arvin said one of the board members was approached with a deal on an ultrasound machine, which was destined for a hospital in Texas until the funding dried up. 

Arvin said the machine was offered to New Beginnings for $18,000, about half of the original price.

“It’s an unheard of opportunity,” Arvin told the Fiscal Court. “It’s brand new.”

So far, the organization has already raised slightly more than $11,000 in donations, she said, and asked the court for financial assistance. New Beginnings is also waiting for word on other funding sources, she said.

The organization works with pregnant women and mothers until their children are 3 years old. Arvin said four out of five pregnant women who see an image of their unborn child decide to keep the baby rather than seek an abortion.

The court voted 6-1 to approve $7,500 from the Clark County Fiscal Court Fund. The funds, which was partially funded from the proceeds of the sale of the Rockwell International building, annually has about $100,000 to distribute for projects that serve a public purpose, and Pace said there was money left over in this year’s distribution. 

Magistrate Robert Blanton cast the dissenting vote because there was no paperwork or documentation to support the request.

Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace, who made the motion, said the vote was a rare opportunity for local government to act on a national issue.

“A lot of people say local government can’t have an impact on abortion,” Pace said. “We did today. This may be the most important thing we’ve voted on since we came into office.”

Arvin said the original machine was accidentally sold before New Beginnings could finalize its funding. The company, though, agreed to honor the previous offer, she said. 

Arvin said four registered nurses have already volunteered to take the training to operate the machine.

The court also discussed an outstanding balance for fuel for county vehicles of approximately $900. County Treasurer Alicia Mayabb said the balance has been there since at least 2018 with WEX.

“We can’t pinpoint where it started or how to fix it,” she said. “We absolutely owe the money.”

Mayabb proposed splitting the balance among the five departments that use the most fuel, but the magistrates wanted more information from the supplier before taking action.

“If there’s no doubt Clark County government owes it, it needs to be paid,” Magistrate Chris Davis said. “If they’ve billed us inappropriately… that’s another matter. Then we can figure out how to divy it up.”

The court is scheduled to discuss it again at its next meeting on Oct. 22.

In other action, the court:

— approved a road closure for Rogers-Fox Road in Trapp Oct. 31 for Halloween activities.

— approved the purchase of two 2021 International dump trucks for the road department.

— approved the first reading of an ordinance for a bond issue. Pace said the vote would allow the county to access a bond pool from the Kentucky Association of Counties.

— approved the first reading of a joint ordinance with Winchester to create an administrative hearing board.

— approved a resolution to amend documents for a 2018 bond issue for educational development revenue bonds for The Lexington School.

— approved a resolution for an agreement for drainage structure replacement on Old Boonesboro Road.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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