DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – After landing on a list of 144 cities threatened with losing their metropolitan status, Dubuque will retain its metropolitan area designation and access to federal funding and other essential resources that go with it.
The first congressional district representative, Ashley Hinson, has been fighting for Dubuque since the Office of Management and Budget announced the proposal in March. Under it, a metropolitan area should have had at least 100,000 inhabitants in its central city to be considered a metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The current threshold of 50,000 has been in place for 70 years and will remain so after the OMB announced it would not go ahead with the proposal.
“I am delighted that as a result of my efforts, the OMB has agreed to maintain the current population threshold so that Dubuque can retain its status as a metropolitan area,” Hinson said. “Dubuque’s metropolitan status is essential in attracting new businesses and securing federal resources for the community, and the change proposed by the OMB would have compromised economic development opportunities in Dubuque. I will continue to fight and obtain policies that will allow our communities to grow and prosper. . “
In addition to speaking directly with OMB interim director Shalanda Young on several occasions, Hinson also wrote to the agency expressing formal opposition to the change and the co-sponsored legislation to prevent it. More recently, she succeeded in including a provision ordering the OMB to rescind the proposal in the appropriation bill that funds the agency.
Had the proposal been implemented, Dubuque and similar towns would have been replaced by micropolitan statistical areas. Federal officials say the proposal was purely for statistical purposes and should not be used for funding formulas, but several housing, transportation and health insurance reimbursement programs are tied to communities that are areas metropolitan statistics.