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The original item was published from 7/14/2021 2:39:02 PM to 7/22/2021 12:00:00 AM.

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City of Jonesboro News

Posted on: July 14, 2021

[ARCHIVED] MSA Standards Preserved for Jonesboro

Jonesboro, Arkansas logo that reads People, Pride, Progress

A White House news release announcing 2020 standards for “Delineating Core Based Statistical Areas” this week noted that a proposed change that would disqualify Jonesboro as a recognized Metropolitan Statistical Area was not adopted.
Mayor Harold Copenhaver was pleased by the announcement and thanks the work of our elected officials in Washington D.C., our Chamber of Commerce, and business leaders whose input and effort to prevent this change was instrumental.
“This proposal had the potential to severely restrict commerce and opportunities for Jonesboro, and I feel like this is a bullet dodged,” Copenhaver said. “Sometimes the wins are the one you don’t see.”
This decision by the federal Office of Management and Budget prevents a change that would have raised the threshold for MSA standards from a population of 50,000 to 100,000. Even though Jonesboro expects to be in the 80,000 range when Census figures are announced later this summer, this change would have eliminated the benefits that MSA status provides.
“What may seem like a small statistical change had the potential to create real-world obstacles for Jonesboro's economic future,” Chamber President Mark Young said. “In keeping our status as a MSA, Jonesboro will continue to be a community that investors and site location consultants will continue to have on their list for consideration."
The OMB Committee announced in January its proposed plan to raise the standards, contingent on a public comment period and further review. The decision maintains local input and control of many federal grant opportunities for Jonesboro and similar-sized cities, such as CDBG funding and our Metropolitan Planning Organization.
“Jonesboro’s representatives in Congress, boosted by some great leaders in this community, heard our clarion call to make our concerns known,” Copenhaver said. “I am grateful to Mark Young at our Chamber of Commerce and everyone who wrote letters of support for this cause. It was a true stand for Jonesboro.”

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