The Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission is preparing to accept applications for a share of $478 million in funding awarded to Kentucky from two settlements agreed upon earlier this year that will benefit cities and counties.
The commission met on Tuesday and unanimously approved the application for funds and the organizational disclosure form. Commission Executive Director Bryan Hubbard said the disclosure form is as important as the application to maintain “full and complete transparency” when awarding funds. “We are through what I would describe as the first half of the development of our organizational framework for our grant application and award process,” Hubbard said. He added that memorandums of agreement and contract language are being implemented for those receiving grants, and he said the commission would make sure money is distributed in a timely manner. “Between the time we make an award and the time the cash is delivered, we don’t want there to be any more than 90 days to pass, and if we can shorten that time frame, we’re going to do it,” Hubbard added.
Grant applications are expected to be available by the middle of October. The Kentucky League of Cities will relay information when the application period opens and when the commission determines grant amounts.
Hubbard provided updates on town hall meetings that will allow commission members to hear from people in recovery, their family members, and others interested in the grant process. He said two meetings had occurred, with six more scheduled before the end of November. Hubbard described the first meeting in Pikeville as “top-notch” and said the one in Ashland was “exceptional” and “exactly what we hoped to achieve.” The first two meetings lasted approximately two and a half hours each, and about 100 people attended them. “I hope we are able to replicate that spirit and substance as we move through the state,” Hubbard stated.
Upcoming town hall meetings:
- Hazard, Oct. 11
- Covington, Oct. 18
- Lexington, Oct. 26
- Louisville, Nov. 1
- Bowling Green, Nov. 9
- Paducah, Nov. 29
The commission will next meet on Friday, Nov. 15, at 1 p.m. at the Capitol Annex in Conference Room A.