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(July 26, 2023)  The Pope County Opioid Taskforce met for its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 25, taking up the topics of proposed bylaws, development of a project funding application, and setting preliminary date for a County-wide Consultation and Partnership Meeting with other local governments and stakeholders.

The Task Force was formed by resolution by the Pope County Board, and is comprised of a group of local officials and community members that meet regularly and collaborate on potential efforts to address addiction challenges in the Pope County community.  The resolution specified that this group will be “evaluating initiative proposals and making recommendations and decisions related to use of funds awarded to the County” from multi-state opioid manufacturer and distributor settlement agreements.

At its July meeting, the group discussed using the name “Pope County Opioid Settlement Advisory Council” to better reflect its function and purpose.  This new name will be adopted as part of the proposed group bylaws discussed at the meeting.  The group expects to receive an updated bylaws proposal in the coming month that will be ready for adoption.  This document will describe the group’s guiding principles, duties and powers, regular meetings, expectations of members, definitions of membership, provision of voting procedures, and other organizational guidelines.

The Advisory Council also spent time discussing a proposed funding application document.  The goal of the group is to have a funding application ready for community distribution in the fall, whereby local governments, agencies, and community groups may submit relevant project proposals to the Advisory Council to seek funding from opioid settlement dollars received by Pope County.

Finally, the Advisory Council tentatively set a target date for a fall public meeting with other local government agencies and community stakeholders.  This “Pope County Consultation and Partnership Opioid Meeting is preliminarily set for Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 12:00 noon in the County Board Room on Third Floor of the County Courthouse.  This meeting is required by the terms of the opioid settlement agreements by which Pope County is receiving its community funding.  More details regarding the meeting will be forthcoming in the coming weeks before the meeting.

Horizon Public Health, as the facilitator and organizer of Pope County’s community response, will be providing information on the Task Force’s activities in Pope County, as well as efforts in the other four counties in the Horizon service area — Douglas, Grant, Stevens, and Traverse Counties.

Visit Horizon Public Health’s website here for more information on the Pope County Opioid Task Force and its activities, as well as activities elsewhere in their service area, as the initiative progresses in the coming months.