Floyd County receives first payment in opioid settlement

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Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 5:37 PM EST
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - In February 2022, Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Kentucky would receive $483 million in an opioid settlement from drug distributors and a manufacturer. Now, nearly a year later, local governments are getting their share of the settlement.

“50 percent of the funds are going to go to the state, they will have an advisory committee that will be directing them on how they’re going to spend their 50 percent. The other 50 percent is going to go to local governments,” said Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams.

Floyd County recently received its first payment of $875,000 and officials are forming a committee to determine where the money would be best used.

“Some of the things we would like to do and what I preliminarily got in mind is to maybe form some type of an advisory committee to make recommendations to us how to spend it,” said Williams.

Some ideas from the community and other officials include more county detectives to decrease the spread of opioids, assistance for addiction recovery facilities, as well as funding for transitionary housing and transportation.

“That’s something that’s kind of near and dear to me, we’ve got a lot of folks that feel the same way,” said Williams. “That’s one of the big obstacles that we have right now with trying to get folks back into our community is that transition period.”

With more than $3 million in settlement funds coming to Floyd County over the next 18 years, Williams still believes more should be done to fight the opioid epidemic locally.

“I really think that probably 80 percent of that money should have come back to the communities and 20 percent went to the state,” said Williams. “This is ground zero, Prestonsburg, Eastern Kentucky is ground zero for this opioid epidemic.”

Along with this year’s payment of $875,000, Floyd County will receive $250,000 in 2024, and $125,000 over the next 16 years (2025-2036).