The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is seeking public comment on a proposal that could eliminate the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks region as a Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The proposal from the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee outlines changing the threshold of the urban area population from 50,000 to 100,000, which would result in the elimination of 144 Metropolitan Statistical Areas across the country, including Grand Forks/East Grand Forks.

Federal funding for infrastructure and other services could be eliminated, should Grand Forks and East Grand Forks lose the designation as a Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to a release from the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Chamber, communities in the MSA would be eliminated from business databases that bring new investment into our region.

Chamber President and CEO Barry Wilfahrt is asking residents to consider offering public comments to the OMB, about changing the requirements to be considered an MSA. Comments can be made at Regulations.gov. Public comments are due by March 19.

Additionally, Wilfahrt is asking residents to reach out to members of the North Dakota and Minnesota federal delegations to express their concerns about the potential change.