For immediate release
MRPC board discusses opioid settlements
Steve Vogt, Jim Fleming recognized for service
ST. JAMES—Missouri is set to receive additional opioid settlement funds from several pharmacies and two opioid manufacturers. The Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) board discussed at its June 8 meeting what this means for the counties and the city of Rolla, who opted in to receive opioid settlement funds.
Each settlement has its own requirements for how the money is to be spent, but most of the settlements require between 85 percent and 95.5 percent of the money be spent on opioid abatement programs. These programs are meant to address the misuse and abuse of opioid products, treat or mitigate opioid use or related disorders or mitigate other alleged effects of the opioid abuse crisis.
Many of the counties in the Meramec Region and the city of Rolla are still waiting to see the amount of money they will receive and what the requirements will be. Phelps County has formed a committee to identify ways in which to spend the funds and work to fight the opioid epidemic in their area. These funds are set to be dispersed over the next 18 years per the settlement agreements.
MRPC has offered to assist with the administration of opioid settlement funds in the Meramec Region, similar to its work with CARES and ARPA funds.
Also at the June meeting, Steve Vogt was recognized for his two years of service as chairman and Jim Fleming was recognized for his outstanding service to the board representing St. James. MRPC officers are limited to two one-year terms. Vogt, who will continue to represent the city of Belle on the board, was replaced as chairman by Mary Heywood, who represents the unemployed on the board. Fleming, retired from the city of St. James, and his position will now be filled by Dan Knoell, the new city administrator.
In other business, the MRPC board:
- Approved the Bridge Replacement Program ranking for 11 bridges throughout the region as recommended by the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) earlier that evening (see previous TAC release for full ranking);
- Heard an update and approved the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) 2023 Update that included additional resiliency efforts and needs identified based on the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- Approved MRPC Annual Dinner ticket price at $40. The Annual Dinner will be held at the Festhalle in Hermann on Oct. 26 and will honor volunteers from across the region.
The board does not meet in July. The next meeting of the MRPC board will be Aug.10.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Mary Heywood, representing the unemployed, serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 33 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.
Vogt Cutline: MRPC Board Chair Mary Heywood, left, presents Steve Vogt with a plaque for his two years serving as board chair. Vogt will remain on the board representing the city of Belle.