Chelan County is finalizing its piece of an agreement between seven municipalities in North Central Washington to allocate funds from the nation's settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors.

The Opioid Abatement Council Interlocal Agreement also includes Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties, as well as the Cities of Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, and Moses Lake.

Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay says the agreement is a critical step in establishing assistance and prevention for the opioid crisis locally.

"This interlocal agreement actually allows for the creation of what's referred to as the North Central Washington Opioid Abatement Council. That council will be made up of representatives from each of the seven entities involved in the agreement that will then look at how to put those opioid dollars into our communities to combat opioid addictions."

The council will follow state guidelines established by the One Washington Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was enacted after the settlements became official.

Overbay says the council will also play a pivotal role in obtaining and sharing information about opioid-related issues within the region.

"The upside of having the abatement council is that information can be shared about what's working and what's not working within the jurisdictional lines of each entity involved. That will provide the opportunity to use those dollars in a varied response phase by all of them."

Each entity involved in the council has the option to pool its settlement funds to achieve a common goal.

There have been two major opioid settlements thus far that, over the next seven to fifteen years, will bring in $2.98 million to Chelan County; $1.57 million to Douglas County; $3.98 million to Grant County; $2.46 million to Okanogan County; $1.19 million to the City of Wenatchee; $320,000 to the City of East Wenatchee; and $833,000 to the City of Moses Lake.

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