The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has scheduled three public meetings to conduct an Opioid Settlement Funds Needs Assessment in the Mat-Su Borough.
The opioid epidemic has affected many lives in Alaska and across the nation. In 2021 alone there were 160 deaths in Alaska from opioid overdose and across our nation there were 106,699 opioid overdose deaths that year. The severe impact of the epidemic compelled many states to sue several distributors, manufacturers, and pharmacies involved in distributing prescription opioids. Settlements were reached in most lawsuits and settlement funds are being distributed to States and Municipalities across America to help remediate the effects of the opioid epidemic. The funds must be spent on opioid remediation.
As a result of the settlement, the Mat-Su Borough (Borough) anticipates receiving multi-year payments from litigants totaling approximately $2.3 Million over an 18 year period.
The Mat-Su Borough's task is to determine what the greatest needs are for opioid remediation in the Borough and will require public input to do that. This effort will consist of three public-participation meetings, a public survey and a committee of experts participating in the public meetings to help prioritize the Borough’s needs. Those results will be presented to the Borough Assembly for consideration/approval for how to spend the funds.
Public meetings are scheduled at the following locations:
April 26, 2023 - 6-8pm, Palmer Assembly Chambers, 350 E. Dahlia Ave, Palmer, AK
May 18, 2023 - 6-8pm, Willow Community Center, Mile 69, Parks Highway, Willow, AK
May 25, 2023 - 6-8pm, Curtis Menard Sports Center, 1001 S. Clapp St., Wasilla, AK
When the needs assessment is complete, the Borough will advertise the Assembly-approved list of needs and seek applications from qualifying Mat-Su organizations for potential grants. The Borough will receive and vet the applications and disperse the grants. The recipient organizations will be required to follow up with reports on how they spent the funds and the resulting outcomes (if quantifiable).