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Funds allocated for bypass study

County officials said the project to extend the bypass around Winchester took another step forward recently.

Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace told the members of the Fiscal Court Wednesday he was recently told by state transportation officials that Clark County was allocated $250,000 for an environmental study about completing the bypass.

“I think we’ve taken the first giant step in the right direction in regard to federal grant funding,” Pace said.

Once the study is completed, that would open the door for the county to pursue federal grants to fund the project, he said.

“Obviously, things are going to change in Washington, potentially, and hopefully that won’t adversely affect us, but we’re doing everything we can to get the bypass extended,” Pace said.

The project would ultimately complete the circle around Winchester from the end of Veterans Memorial Parkway to the end of Bypass Road.

In February, the state included the project in its six year road plan, with $36 million set aside for the project. The money, though was set for fiscal year 2024.

Federal funds are expected to be part of the project.

Earlier in Wednesday’s meeting, the court voted 5-1 against a resolution supporting increasing Kentucky’s fuel tax to increase funding in the state’s road funds.

The resolution was supported by both the magistrates’ association and the county judge’s association, Pace said.

“This has been talked about at every conference and meeting,” Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos said. “Now isn’t the time to raise taxes on gas.”

Magistrate Robert Blanton cast the lone vote in favor of the resolution, though he said he wasn’t sure it was the complete answer to increasing revenue. Fuel consumption has decreased, he said, comparing it to 911 revenue going down as more people switched to cell phones from landlines.

“I don’t know that increasing the gas tax will solve the issue,” he said.

In other action, the court:

• canceled its scheduled meeting for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 24 and set a special meeting at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 22.

• approved training incentive payments to Pace, Konstantopoulos and Magistrate Chris Davis.

• noted an indigent burial of David Conner.

• approved the 2021 budget for the county clerk’s office.

• approved a 2020 budget amendment for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

• approved a web hosting agreement for publishing the county’s ordinances.

• approved hiring a temporary part-time custodian for the courthouse and judicial annex.

• approved the first readings of two ordinances to rezone property on Veterans Memorial Parkway and Irvine Road from A1 agricultural to PD planned development.

• approved the first reading of an ordinance to rezone property on McClure Road from A1 agricultural to R1C single-family residential.

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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