What's in a name?

Well, folks in one South Dakota city might be on the verge of finding out what happens when you go from being 'metropolitan to 'micropolitan'.

Associated Press is reporting that Rapid City is one of 144 cities nationwide that might be losing its status as a 'metropolitan statistical area' as the federal government is now recommending new population minimums to qualify for that designation.

Currently, all cities with a population of 50,000 or more make the cut, but a new proposal wants to raise the threshold to cities of 100,000 or more going forward.

The population of South Dakota's second-largest city currently stands at 81,251.

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Six cities in neighboring states are also in danger of losing 'metro' status:

  • Bismarck, North Dakota (population: 81,955)
  • Dubuque, Iowa (population: 67,818)
  • Grand Forks, North Dakota (population: 61,270)
  • Ames, Iowa (population: 60,438)
  • Mankato, Minnesota (population 57,584)
  • Grand Island, Nebraska (population: 50,440)

Losing the metropolitan designation could potentially take away federal funding for things like housing and transportation, although the Office of Management and Budget is disputing that.

That potential loss of funding is prompting action from some members of congress.

The AP says a bipartisan group of senators and congressmen has voiced their opposition to the planned restructuring in a letter to the OMB.

Among those to sign the letter are South Dakota senators John Thune and Mike Rounds, as well as Representative Dusty Johnson.

Among the others signing the letter are senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven of North Dakota, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, and Representative Adrian Smith of Nebraska.

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