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Jonesboro officials strongly opposed to potential redefining of Metropolitan Statistical Area

JONESBORO,AR- Jonesboro city officials are fighting against a new federal proposal that would lead to the city no longer being considered a metropolitan area.

Several Jonesboro officials are strongly opposed to this potential redefining of would put a negative impact on cities in Arkansas like Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and Jonesboro

Under the new proposal, a metro area would have to have at least 100,000 people in its core city, doubling the current requirement of 50,000.

“If you look across the county, of the 392 metropolitan statistical areas using 2010 numbers, there would be 144 communities that would not meet that new standard and Jonesboro would be one of those,” President of Jonesboro Unlimited, Mark Young said.

Losing the designation could harm the city's federal funding and economic development.

Many federal agencies rely on metropolitan statistical area in funding program which could be eliminated and limit companies or site location consultants from choosing the city for future projects.

“The Metropolitan Planning organization, MPO. Which handles a lot of transportation planning for our community and for the region, receives federal funding and part of that’s based again on having that metropolitan statistical area standard,” Young said.

Grant programs from the department of justice or housing urban development could be impacted as well.

Young says this is not good news for Jonesboro, as they are taking a proactive step in opposing this from happening.

City officials say they will continue to fight the new proposal.

“It’s a really important issue for us and we’ve been working with our city and our elected officials, the mayor’s been great to work with on this and again it’s important that we continue to express our concern and voice our opposition because this would not be good for our community,” Young said.

Officials are asking the community to visit the Federal Registrar’s website to submit your comments about the metro labeling. The last day to do so is March 19th.


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