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Feds will keep definition of metro at 50,000-person minimum | News – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2021-07-13 19:26:57 –

Orlando, Florida (AP) — Faced with criticism from small cities for fear of losing status and money, the federal government said Tuesday that it would not raise the population threshold for what qualifies as a metropolitan area.

The Office of Management and Budget said it would maintain the minimum population required of the community’s core cities at 50,000 to be designated as a “Metropolitan Statistical Area,” also known as MSA.

The federal government was considering doubling that threshold to 100,000. Earlier proposals put 144 cities with a core population of 50,000 to 99,000 at risk of becoming “micropolitan statistical areas” instead. This proposal changed the designation of more than one-third of the current 392 MSAs.

Leader in metropolitan areas such as Bismarck, North Dakota. Cheyenne, Wyoming; Auburn, Alabama was concerned that this change would actually do harm, and cities were unable to obtain designated federal funding, making it unattractive for economic development. ..

“That’s great news!” Alex McElroy, executive director of the Southeast Metropolitan Planning Organization in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, said Tuesday’s decision. “Overall, it’s a great designation because it gets more attention from the federal government.”

In June, South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune and Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly introduced legislation to prevent changes by the Administration and Budget Office (also known as OMB).

“The fact that OMB is not pursuing change at this time ensures that important community services funded by various federal agencies considering population size and MSA status will continue into the foreseeable future.” Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken said. I am very grateful that the current threshold remains at 50,000. “

Federal statisticians who initially recommended this change said it had been postponed for a long time, given that the US population has more than doubled since the introduction of the 50,000 threshold in 1950. Currently, 86% do.

A committee of federal statisticians who made the recommendation said on Tuesday that it would support putting it on hold while waiting for additional investigations and work with local governments and others.

Updates to these standards are reviewed every 10 years. Even if the proposal was made during the Trump administration and put on hold by the Biden administration, statisticians say the change in standards is not politically based.

Of the 734 public comments received by the Office of Management and Budget on the proposed changes, 97% opposed it, officials said in a notice of the decision Tuesday.

“Almost all of the commenters who cited the opposite grounds cited non-statistical grounds, such as concerns about the loss of federal or other funds. Concerns about other program outcomes. Small from the metropolitan area. Concerns about economic development in individual regions reclassified into metropolitan areas. “

Patrick Lawrence, a spokesman for the city, home of Oregon State University, said more because staff in places like Corvallis, Oregon are looking to them to solve everyday problems. It requires a lot of resources.

“I think this acknowledges that cities, especially small and medium-sized metros, outweigh the problems they address and the expectations of the communities that provide them,” he said.

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Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter. https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

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