CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission will start accepting applications from established programs for opioid settlement funds next month.

Commissioners said the goal when awarding these funds is to be as transparent as possible. They will not hold any executive session meetings about the distribution of the opioid funding.

The county will rake in close to $7 million over the next 10 years. In the first year, Kanawha County will see around $425,000. In the following years, the funding ranges each year from $200,000 to around $600,000.

“I look forward to expanding many great programs with the Opioid Settlement Funds,” Kanawha County Commission President Lance Wheeler said. “Investing in the betterment of our communities has always been, and continues to be, a top priority for this Commission.”

A memorandum of understanding allows for direct payments along with allocations from the West Virginia First Foundation, who was tasked with dishing out money from the opioid settlements to West Virginia counties and cities. The memorandum of understanding states that there are specific uses for the funds that must be approved. Examples include opioid use disorder treatment and misuse prevention, expanded care for pregnant and postpartum women and expanded care for incarcerated persons.

“We’ve been working toward this day for a long time,” Commissioner Kent Carper said. “If a program backed by these funds saves just one person from the effects of the opioid epidemic, it will be worth it.”

The commission can receive applications with requests up to $250,000, although funds are limited due to the amount of funding the county has received so far. Applicants will be expected to provide a project timeline, budget and general information about their organization when they apply. Additionally, applicants will be asked to include significant accomplishments, cash flow statements and two years of audits.

“We have a chance to make positive change for those who are struggling with Opioid Use Disorder through the allocation of these funds,” Commissioner Ben Salango added.

Qualified applicants are asked to apply online at when the application goes live. There will be an option called “Opioid Settlement Fund Application” on the left-hand side of the home page. Applications can also be sent through the mail.

President Wheeler said organizations considered to be more established programs will be considered first over start-ups. He said they will be careful with who they are vetting in the application process.

“We need to make sure we stretch every dollar,” Wheeler said. “This is one-time money.”

During their meeting Thursday. the commission moved forward with a plan to put every request on a public agenda.

“We will have a public agenda with a public meeting and a public vote,” said Wheeler.